Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

UKIP Calls for Ban on Burqas

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 16th January, 2010

The leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) — and its only Westminster parliamentarian — Lord Pearson of Rannoch has said that his party wishes to ban the wearing of the burqa or the niqab (full face veil) not only in public buildings, but in private ones too, if possible. ‘We are taking advice on how we could do it,’ he informed The Times. This puts UKIP even further to the right than the British National Party (BNP) on the issue, as the BNP has only called for a burqa ban in schools. Both are of course pandering to the irrational fears of a disenfranchised white working class which feels abandoned by the Labour Party and ignored by politicians in general. But some right-wing county types in the shires will doubtless also applaud UKIP’s stand on the issue. They will probably sympathise with Lord Pearson’s statement that UKIP wants to bring to the fore the issue of the alleged increasing influence of Shariah (Islamic law) in Britain. ‘We are not Muslim-bashing,’ he says. ‘but this is incompatible with British values of freedom and democracy.’

Apparently Lord Pearson is blind to the irony in that statement, as British values of freedom of democracy have at their core tolerance and diversity — both things that UKIP and the BNP clearly reject. Moreover, Lord Pearson’s claim that this is ‘not Muslim-bashing’ is disingenuous, as that is exactly how it will be seen by many of Britain’s Muslims.  The proposed burqa/niqab ban also gives a green light to racist bigots to insult and maybe even assault women wearing it, which alas already happens sometimes. I find it sad that some Muslim women (or their husbands/fathers/brothers, on their behalf) feel it necessary to cover their face completely — as opposed to wearing modest dress, which is what the Quran actually stipulates — but I respect their right to be able to do so in most public situations. There have to be some limited exceptions, of course, but these should indeed be the exception, not the rule. Many of my Bengali neighbours in Tower Hamlets habitutally wear the niqab when they leave the house. I wasn’t surprised that politicians in France (which is an officially secular nation) should call for a burqa ban, but it is depressing that a British political party — albeit one as loopy as UKIP — should be following suit and thereby fuelling the fire of community discord.

5 Responses to “UKIP Calls for Ban on Burqas”

  1. Chris said

    I have never known the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) until I read that they wish to ban the burka and kiqab. They now have my interest and I shall vote for them on that issue and end my Labour party vote. Your comment is pandering to “many of my Bengali neighbours” I guess cynically to get their vote. The burka is the thin end of the wedge that will destroy our democractic freedom. To allow it is to invite seperation and future conflict, to ban it will prevent future conflict.

  2. P.F.Darlington said

    When the ‘freedom and tolerance’ seeking component of UK society is under threat, as it is now, from sections of the new society being imported from abroad, it is sometimes necessary to compromise in order to protect it. The banning of the Burga is necessary as it is an example of special treatment of an imported religion/culture at the cost of the resident Anglo-Saxon-Celt community as we are not afforded any quid pro quo or special status in any respect. Indeed it is our security which is compromised. I can see your party would be more of the same excessive Euro-philia and ‘any culture is better than the Anglo-Saxon-Celt’ plus the inexperience of never having run a country. Your party talks different policies from one part of the country to another.
    No, I shall not be voting for you…

  3. Ian said

    Anglo-Saxon Celt culture?
    Where did Christianity come from?
    Where did St George come from?
    Where did tea come from?
    All imports!

  4. P.F. Darlington: your culture gets “special treatment” every day in the UK – you’re just so used to it that you don’t notice. Think how much easier it is for a Christian not to work on a Sunday than for a Muslim not to work on a Friday, for instance.

  5. Daze said

    I am French and I’m for banning the burqa but it’s true that our culture and society’s model are different.

    Yet, I’d like to remind few things : with rights come duties.
    One of this duty is to be loyal to the state. Whether it doesn’t please these women in burqa, UK is in war, today, against radical Islam, in Afghanistan.
    There have been terrorist attempts in London. Your country has too often a link with terrorism… And this makes everyone in danger, in the West.

    Wearing this uniform (the burqa and niqab) if claiming openly to support terrorism since, it their literal interpretation of Islam, Britain is a “dar al harb” (a house of war), it became an ennemy the day it colonised Palestinia and then, helped for the creation of Israel.

    Wearing this “uniform” is not a free act.
    It’s also linked to policy and a version of history where Hitler was an allie and America/Britain/Jews the “bad guys”.
    Wearing this uniform is like shouting “i’m on Radical Islam’s side” who want “to take your women as war booty”, who want to “kill the unfaithful” (sourate 5 verse 9) and submit you…

    You treat these women are civilians while, actually, they’re into Djihad. They’re into making “an effort” to please Allah, they’re his “servants”, they’re “fighters”. They’ll never integrate in an what they consider an ennemy country, and they’ll teach their children to hate your society as much as they hate it.

    Of course, in front of cameras, they’ll say they love Britain but that’s Takiya. I live in a Muslim countries where you have 99% of Muslims. People like them were sent to jail because they’re into political things, when you look closer… You give freedom to people who consider you belong to an inferior race and that you shouldn’t be free at all, that they should “desinfect” your “pervert” and “corrupted” society. You have no idea how much racist and fascist values this “uniform” implies! It’s as bad as a Nazi Swatika…

    I don’t see why, then, these women who openly show themselves supportive for the death of your state and people should still have all the state’s rights, benefits and even citizenship…

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