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Ban the burqa, says Tory MP

A TORY MP has launched a legal bid to ban Muslim women from wearing burkas in public places.

Philip Hollobone has tabled a private members’ bill which would make it illegal for anyone to cover their face in public.

Hollobone has previously likened full face veils to:

Going round with a paper bag over your head.

His Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill is the first of its kind in Britain, and is one of only 20 private members’ bills drawn in a ballot for the chance to make it into the statute books.

According to this report, the bill, which had its first reading yesterday, stands little chance of becoming law due to limited Parliamentary time and a lack of support from the main political parties.

But it is set to reignite the fierce debate about the banning of the Islamic garments at a time when a number of European countries are trying to outlaw them.

Hollobone said it was “not the British way” for Muslim women to cover their faces in public. Insisting that his bill has widespread public support, the Kettering MP added:

People feel that something should be done about burqas, but so many are afraid to speak out for fear of being labelled a racist. Part of the British way of life is walking down the street, smiling at people and saying hello, whether you know them or not. You cannot have this everyday human interaction if you cover your face. These people are saying that they don’t want to be part of our way of society.

But Shaista Gohir, of the Muslim Women’s Network UK, said:

I agree that wearing a face veil has a negative affect on community cohesion and the majority of Muslims do not believe it is a religious obligation. But a ban would be a completely disproportionate response. There are a million Muslim women in the UK and only a few thousand are estimated to wear a veil. Banning the veil will not help those few women to integrate. But it will play into the hands of extremist parties.

Heather Harvey, Amnesty International UK Stop Violence Against Women campaign manager, said:

For those women who are being coerced into wearing full face veils, a ban would only make matters worse. Either they’re criminalised if they go out in public or, more likely, they are confined to their homes.

And speaking of burqas, we thought the picture below cries out for an amusing caption. It shows an Afghan woman – we presume it actually IS a woman – being snapped at a voter registration centre in Herat last month.

Best entry wins a year’s subscription to the print edition of the Freethinker plus a hard-back copy of The Atheist’s Bible, “an illustrious collection of irreverent thoughts”. There is a runner-up prize of a year’s subscription to the magazine.

Closing date for entries is July 8, 2010.

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• When I think of all the harm [the Bible] has done, I despair of writing anything to equal it – Oscar Wilde

• The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one – George Bernard Shaw

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• I’m not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I’m going to Hell? – Homer Simpson

Hat tip: Pete H

68 Responses to “Ban the burqa, says Tory MP”

  1. Pete H says:

    @barriejohn:

    “I agree with Fedupwith. Hollobrain again shows just how out of touch with reality our MPs are. If you say “Good Morning” or “Good Night” to people as you pass them in the street these days, the way that we always used to, they look at you as if you are bonkers!”

    Depends where you go. If you go to Cornwall, people you don’t know will say good morning/good evening and even strike up a conversation with you.

    I found it quite un-nerving at first, as coming from Essex, when people you don’t know speak to you, you wonder what they’re after. Or if they’re going to mug you. ;)

  2. jaffacakes says:

    Caption: Smurfs finally win the right to vote.

  3. NeoWolfe says:

    Oh dear, I’ve been plagerized. BDuke stole my Tosh.O best caption idea. :-) That’s okay, I stole it from Daniel Tosh.

    How about: Trim your beard, it shows through the burka.

    Or: This is a head shot. Lower your assault rifle or the bulge will appear in the photo.

    Or: Does this suicide belt make me look fat?

    Or: Mom said if I didn’t, I’d never get a man.

    Bottom line, disguise is a weapon of criminal activity, and any society has the right to ban it. If religious elements consider this objectionable, let them move to the shitholes they immigated from, where their stoneage culture is normal.

    NeoWolfe dammit bduke

  4. hissing sid says:

    caption,
    Photographer: ‘mrs fuc a you, you have an unusal name, why is that?
    Fuc a you:’because all the men in my family are shahids, and when we womenfolk sit around to talk the first thing we say is ‘who the fuc a you?’

  5. MrGronk says:

    Caption: The recession continues to bite in Hollywood, as filming starts on Ninja Turtles II

  6. Paul M says:

    Caption: Our brand digital cameras have smile recognition technology that works even in the most difficult of situations.

  7. barriejohn says:

    “I needed a new photo, as I have changed quite a lot since I had the last one taken.”

  8. Jobrag says:

    “And just how do you translate irony into the Afgan language”

  9. Brian Jordan says:

    Caption: Say “cheese and ham”.

  10. Brian Jordan says:

    Caption: “It’s not often we get one of the Prophet’s wives in here Aisha – and how you’ve grown!”

  11. Pete H says:

    Caption:

    “If I were to win Mrs Chattel 2010, I would change the world by… erm… husband, what do I think?”

  12. terry says:

    Caption: oh dear we’ll have to do that again, you had your eyes closed!

  13. terry says:

    Caption: Does my bomb look big in this?

  14. Stonyground says:

    Has anyone seen the photo of the Muslim woman feeding ducks on the Counting Cats blog? Basically she has the head-scarf to cover her hair, the long sleeves to cover her arms, but her jeans are halfway down so she is showing her knickers and the crack of her arse.

  15. rog says:

    “Welcome back to Afghanistan, Mr.Simpson.

  16. Ban the burqa, says Tory MP…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  17. wandapec says:

    “Okay, lift your head up and look straight at the wall. We’ll get one more from behind and then you can turn around and we’ll take some of your front”

  18. Amina says:

    I am muslim and know that the burqa has no place in british society.. it is for these very extremist views that I choose to live in this free and democratic country..

    Face covering has been worn by many men and women in parts of arabia/sahara to protect face from sand… It is also part of some cultures… but these “nijas” that we see on the street of britains streets are a new wave of Wahabbi extremist from Saudi… THIS SHOULD BE STOPPED.

    I fully support the banning of burqa in British society.

    Open minded and moderate muslims will understand why, only the extremists will oppose it… If they want to live such an Islamic life away from the kuffar and idolatorers.. then go live in Saudi/Yemen and see if they can claim their benefits there!

    Wasalaam Amina