Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Should we ban the burka?

A while back the French parliament passed legislation banning the wearing of the burka in public places. UKIP is advocating that a similar law should be introduced in the UK, considering burkas to be a symbol of an 'increasingly divided Britain', which oppresses women and which are a potential security threat. UKIP leader Nigel Farage considers that 'we are heading towards a situation where many of our cities are ghettoised. UKIP does not believe in the multicultural separation that Islamic extremists wish to pursue through the gradual imposition of Sharia law. We believe in a single British culture and values shared by all British people'.

There is no doubt that the wearing of the burka is an affront to British cultural values. It is a provocation by the wearer and her religious community backers that demonstrates their unwillingness to make even the most rudimentary attempt to integrate into our society. It also defiles women by requiring their physical features to be concealed. It is of course right that banks and shopping centres can ban individuals from entering their premises if their identity is concealed. Nevertheless, it is wrong for the state to dictate by law what people can and cannot wear when in a public place. To do so would make us no different from countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, none of which have a particularly proud record on human rights.

The number of women wearing burkas and similar garments appears to be increasing. Whether they are doing it of their own free will from some kind of religious piety or 'modesty', or whether they are forced into it by their men folk is neither here nor there. Their community by its very nature is an alien intrusion into British life. Since they are not properly part of British society they should be regarded as guests in this country. Out of natural courtesy they should be free to express their own values undisturbed, provided they do not cause direct damage to the host society.

In this respect, the main effect of the increasing numbers of burka clad women will be to remind the indigenous British people just how much of their country has been colonised by outsiders with alien cultural values. This can only be a good thing as it might help to rouse the electorate from their torpor so that they start voting for political parties that might take action to address the problem. Unfortunately UKIP’s position on this is rather na├»ve as it presupposes that the communities concerned are likely to change their ways and adopt 'a single British culture'. For the most part this is not going to happen and we need as a country to face up to this fact.

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