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 are a tool of repression and a threat to national security.
New(er) cultures should adapt to existing customs
The immigrant should adapt to the culture of the country they reside in, not the other way around.Explore
Safety concerns should be prioritised
Wearing clothing that covers a citizen's identity poses a threat to security.Explore
Wearing the burka normalises the oppression of women
The custom is intentional and part of a cultural practice that subjugates and dominates females to an extreme degree.Explore
Islam does not require a burka
Face-veiling is customary, not religious. Both the burqa and other types of face veiling have been verified since pre-Islamic times. Because of this, most Islamic scholars, both past and present, have not regarded the burqa or other face veils as a religious requirement.Explore
Burkas should be banned in certain contexts
In a secular society, burkas should be prohibited from government buildings. They should also be banned from places where security could be a concern.
The government is secular
In countries with a secular government, the burka should be banned from government buildings.Explore
Ski masks and helmets are also banned in some locations
You can't walk into a bank wearing a ski mask or a helmet. You shouldn't be allowed to wear a burka either.Explore
Burkas should not be banned in the UK
A ban would infringe civil liberties, inflame tensions and would be impractical to enforce.
Personal liberty should be prioritised
A burka ban would infringe Muslim women's rights to religious freedom and civil liberties.Explore
A burka ban is excessive relative to its object
The burka is worn by less than 1% of Muslim women. A blanket ban is not a proportional response in relation to the object.Explore
Banning the burka would prevent cultural dialogue
Adopting a legislative approach to increasing gender equality through banning the burka will stymie constructive dialogue.Explore
We should not create an anti-Muslim environment
Burka bans have a direct correlation with anti-Muslim violence.Explore
Banning the burka would be discriminatory
Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits discriminatory laws on religious grounds.Explore
Burka bans are a hinderance to integration
Banning the burka would create a barrier to cultural integration.Explore
This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Jan 2020 at 16:24 UTC