Sunday 4 December 2016

Mary Kenny: Ban the burqa -- and bring us back to the Middle Ages

Published 19/07/2010 | 05:00

So Britain will not follow France down the parliamentary path of legally banning the burqa, the Islamic form of dress that covers virtually every part of a woman's body, with only a visor for her eyes.

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There is undoubtedly, in Britain as in Ireland, a groundswell of popular support for the ban, both for practical and for feminist reasons. It is argued that in many professions, from teaching to hairdressing, you need to see a woman's face properly when engaging in any conversation or transaction.

Many feminists say the burqa is an instrument of the oppression of women and a "manifestation of misogyny", and thus should be prohibited. But there is also a xenophobic undertone to the anti-burqa lobby: such dress is seen as the rig-out of "bloody foreigners". Why should they be coming over here and imposing their weird/backward appearance on us represents that line of thinking.

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