Boris Johnson is in trouble again. Nothing new for Boris. But this time he has been labelled Islamophobic and a racist for an article in yesterday's Telegraph where he opposed a burqa ban. He feels (as do I) that banning women from wearing the burqa in public is illiberal. He would also prefer (as I would too) women not to cover their faces. What he got into trouble for saying was that "it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes" and saying that women wearing the burqa look like "bank robbers".Read more
I watched as Lord Pearson asked his question in the Lords and I felt both ashamed and disgusted. The spectacle was of our leaders, supposed statesmen, sleep-walking into oblivion. To put it politely, members of the House dodged the facts. Lord Pearson's question was partly about the implications for sharia in England once the Muslim population has increased tenfold. The government spokesperson brushed it aside and assured members that sharia will have no place in our legal constitution and framework. Really? But it is operating here already - in cases involving marital law among Muslims for instance.Read more
The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association.
Does the Foreign Office believe in freedom?
Senior civil servants in the FO have asked their staff to wear Islamic headscarves for a day because, they claim, the headscarf – commonly called the hijab or khimaar - symbolises “liberation, respect and security.” Hijab means a barrier and one might question how the veiling of a woman behind a barrier leads to her liberation. Many women in Iran certainly don’t think the hijab is liberating and, while women in our Foreign Office were wearing the veil for World Hijab Day, Iranian women were risking imprisonment and worse by removing their hijabs in public as a protest against “the institutionalised oppression of women.”Read more