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