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Should burkas be banned in the UK? Show more Show less

Boris Johnson MP recently divided opinion - drawing condemnation from the Prime Minister and provoking a disciplinary investigation by his Conservative Party - for controversial remarks about Muslim women who wear burkas/burqas. Though he did not advocate a ban, his comments have reignited the debate following bans on the full-face-and-body coverings becoming law in countries including France, Belgium, and Denmark. Should similar prohibitions should be introduced in the UK? This question operates on the basis that women are making a free choice when wearing burkas, and are not forced to be doing so - something which all parties would reject.

Burkas should not be banned in the UK Show more Show less

A ban would infringe civil liberties, inflame tensions and would be impractical to enforce.
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Banning the burka would be discriminatory

Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits discriminatory laws on religious grounds.
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Context

The enaction of a burka ban would be a violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This article prohibits "discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin."[1]

The Argument

In deliberately discriminating against the nation's Muslim population, any burka ban would surmount to discrimination.

Counter arguments

It is Not Discriminatory Most burka bans are not discriminatory because they do not only pertain to burkas but any facial coverings in public. Not Banning the Veil is Discriminatory It is actually those that permit the wearing of the burka that are in violation of Article 14. By condoning the oppressive and sexist practice of wearing the burka, governments are behaving in a discriminatory way against women and condoning discrimination based on the grounds of gender.[2]

Framing

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. http://law.emory.edu/eilr/content/volume-25/issue-3/comments/burqa-ban-limitation-religious-freedom-restriction.html
  2. http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/pdf/rap-info/i2262.pdf

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This page was last edited on Monday, 23 Dec 2019 at 10:36 UTC