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Ban the burqa petition gets a response from the UK government.

Earlier this year I set up a parliamentary petition to ban the burqua. Under the procedure, if you get 10,000 signatures then the government has to respond. If you get 100,000 signatures then they will consider listing it for parliamentary debate. I worded it very carefully.

Ban wearing face coverings in public places. Very recently the Sri Lankan and Tunisian governments have banned full face coverings and coverings where only the eyes can be seen in public places for security reasons. We should too.

We got 10,000 signatures and the response is below.

What is the difference between a hijab, a niqab and a burqua?

The niqab and burqa are garments worn by women of Jewish and Islamic faith. It is commonly thought that only women of Islamic faith wear them. That is not true. They are worn by Jewish women too.

This video explains everything.

Why I object to the burqua and niqab.

  • They are a security risk
  • They’ve been banned in several Islamic countries for security reasons.
  • There is no religious requirement.
  • Health

Here you can see some men disguised in face coverings robbing jewellers. Clearly the police can’t do much since the suspects can’t be identified.

Despite the serious nature of this,I find it somewhat hilarious that a suspected terrorist went to a mosque in normal male clothes, donned a burqa and left. People thought he was a woman. (3)

The videos below show both these cases.

Why I think it should be banned- security.

In May 2018 I was attacked by a bunch of guys wearing burquas. I could only tell they were male because of their voices. I gave them a pasting. The problem here was someone came to drive them off. The problem here is that the police can’t do anything since the assailants can’t be identified. However, I would say if you are going to set on me at least challenge me.

Banned in Islamic countries for security reasons.

Tunisia is an Islamic country has banned the niqab for security reasons (4) (5.) Sri Lanka did the same. (6) The Islamic countries of Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Niger and Turkey have banned it on security grounds (7.) That always shuts up those who cite the religious argument. How can it be a religious requirement if several Islamic countries have banned it?

No religious requirement

If you see Here’s the truth behind the veil (8) written An Associate Professor of Islamic studies it is written that the only thing that comes remotely close to a Burqa in the Quran is a WHITE garment called a purdah which is to protect a woman against sunburn or a sandstorm. There is no religious requirement.

Even Dr Taj Hargey, the Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation and the Director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford opposes it (9) and if you see his article called Why I, as a Muslim, am launching a campaign to ban the burka in Britain you’ll see why. Here I have pasted his article.

The increasing fashion for young Muslim women in Britain to wear the burka (in contrast to their mothers, who do not) is one of most sinister developments of our times.

Supporters of this garment like to pretend that it is a welcome symbol of our society’s multicultural diversity and philosophical tolerance. But such warped thinking is woefully misguided. In reality, the burka is an archaic tribal piece of cloth that is eagerly used by fundamentalist zealots to promote a toxic brand of extremist non-Koranic theology.

Everyone in Britain, including Muslims, should oppose the insidious spread of this vile piece of clothing, which imprisons women, threatens social harmony, fuels distrust, has grave health implications and is a potent security risk.

Contrary to the claims of its advocates, it has nothing to do with Islam but is a cultural fad imported from Saudi Arabia and primitive parts of the Islamic world.

That is why this week, with the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, I am launching a nationwide campaign to impose a ban on face masks in public spaces in Britain.

Such a nationwide prohibition would deal with all types of covering, including balaclavas, but there would be no exemption for the burka/niqab on any spurious, politically correct grounds of religious conscience.

One of the key purposes of this initiative is to persuade at least 100,000 people to sign a formal petition calling for the ban, thereby obliging Parliament to debate the issue.

Despite growing concern from the British public, our pusillanimous politicians have refused to address the burgeoning prevalence of the burka in our midst, as they fear accusations of Islamophobia from the militant fundamentalists and their PC allies.

Well, it is time to put the needs of British society before the manufactured grievances of the hardliners, whose aim is to replace our liberal democracy with a totalitarian theocracy, the burka serving as a weapon in this far-reaching cultural war.

In rejecting the ideology of the zealots, mainstream Muslims should be at the forefront of the campaign for a ban, not least because the burka so badly undermines the credibility and reputation of our faith.

There have, of course, been previous petitions and calls to outlaw face masks in public, but all came from the political Right and gained little traction.

This campaign is different. It is the first one led by Muslims, speaking for the moderate majority whose voice has been unheeded up to now. We invite both Muslims and our other fellow citizens to work together to rid Britain of this alien cultural monstrosity.

A key part of the impetus for this move came from the decision of the European Court of Human Rights this month to uphold the ban instituted by the French Government in 2010 on all face coverings in public. Supported by lawyers from Birmingham, a 24-year-old French woman of Pakistani origin took her well-funded case to the ECHR, claiming that the ban was a violation of her — and note the sequence — religious, cultural and personal rights.

On every level, this questionable appeal relied on distortions and untruths. Thankfully her case was thrown out, but her arguments illustrate the chronic weakness of any suggestion that we must allow the burka to be worn in public.

First, there is no religious requirement on Muslims to don the burka; second, the burka is not a feature of Pakistani culture, where 90 per cent of women do not wear it; third, there is no unqualified human right to wear whatever we want in public. In every developed society, personal freedoms have to take account of wider social mores.

The French ban has proved to be legally sound as well as sensible. I have long believed that the same measure should be introduced here in the UK to prevent community separatism and social apartheid. And, like the ECHR, I see no basis for the pretence that there is any religious sanction for the burka.

The wearing of the face mask is a custom originating in ancient Persia and Byzantium, more than 1,000 years before the birth of Islam. It was upheld by male aristocrats because of social snobbery rather than religion, since they did not want their womenfolk — wives, daughters, sisters or mothers — to be seen by the peasantry.

Nor is there any evidence in the Koran to support the wearing of the burka. Indeed, the Holy Book stipulates that men ‘should lower their gaze’ when meeting women to avoid lecherous staring (verse 24, chapter 30). So logically, if women were fully covered up there would be no need for such an instruction.

Some Muslim clergy claim that the burka is religiously necessary. They assert this because the Prophet Muhammad’s wives allegedly hid their faces in public.

These puritanical clerics do not base their theological misrepresentations on the Koran but on the subsidiary and suspect hadith (a collection of books containing the reputed sayings of Muhammad, written 250 years after his death).

In any case, this is a wilful misreading of scripture. In fact, verse 32 of chapter 33 in the Koran explicitly states that ‘the Prophet’s wives are not like other women’. So there is no reason to emulate them.

Just as revealingly, it is forbidden for Muslim women going on pilgrimages to Mecca to cover their faces. So if such a pre-Islamic practice is banned in Islam’s holiest site, why on earth would it be required on the streets of Britain?

The truth is that there is no theological foundation for these separatist face masks, as most non-fundamentalists recognise. Only recently, Al-Azhar, the leading institution of Muslim theology in the Islamic world, declared that the burka has no spiritual authenticity.

Theology apart, there are many other compelling arguments against the burka. It badly undermines social cohesion by inhibiting effective interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims in the public realm. There can be no meaningful exchange with people if you cannot even see their faces.

Moreover, the burka is an affront to the concept of gender parity in the UK.

If I tried to wear a ski-mask on a bus or at a bank, I would quickly be told to remove the item or leave, or be arrested. Why should the same rules not apply to Muslim women?

The demand for equal rights has always been central to the feminist cause, and in this case feminists should be calling for men and women to be treated equally. Either everyone has the right to mask their face or no one has.

There are huge implications for security, after several cases of terrorists and criminals using the burka to evade detection — a particularly worrying development given the explicit, bloody threats of militant extremists. In our troubled world, there can be no absolute right to anonymity in public.

Another concern is the health risks, for full coverings mean a distinct lack of exposure to sunshine. One recent study of 203 burka-clad women in the United Arab Emirates revealed that all but four were deficient in Vitamin D.

If that can happen in a land of blazing heat, how much worse will be the problems in often damp, dark Britain? Our society is already seeing rises in rickets and other bone-related diseases for the first time since World War II.

Supporters of the burka talk about freedom of choice — yet it is not women who are being given that freedom, but men who are imposing their will. That is not empowerment but imprisonment.

The burka is just another weapon in the jihadist arsenal of misogyny, like forced marriage, female genital mutilation and sexist discrimination. It should have no part in British society, where women are supposed to be treated as equal citizens. By tolerating it, we are allowing a form of gender apartheid to grow in our midst.

All of us, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, have a duty to challenge the religious hardliners who have cynically exploited British traditions of tolerance and individual liberty to pursue their own twisted sectarian agenda imported wholesale from the Arab Middle East.

A start could be made by forcing our politicians to debate the issue by gathering sufficient signatures for our historic anti-burka petition.

We cannot continue to accept the creeping Arabisation of Islam in the UK and consequent destruction of our cherished British freedoms. A stand must be made now.

That really shuts up those who bring up the religious argument.

Why I think it should be banned on health grounds.

From a health point of view that lady is not exposed to sunlight. She can’t make vitamin D. She can’t absorb calcium and under the weight of the body the bones of the leg can bow- it’s called rickets and in severe cases it is life-threatening. (10)

From a mental health point of view by banning a young girl from showing her face in public there is a risk of self-esteem issues and self-worth issues arising.

The response from the UK government

The Government does not support a general ban on the wearing of face coverings in public.

Face coverings have a variety of legitimate purposes and as such the Government does not support a general ban on face coverings in public, including the wearing of the veil.

The Police already have powers under section 60AA of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to seize materials being used to hide someone’s face when the police have reason to believe that they are being, or could be, worn wholly or mainly for the purposes of concealing identity (in connection with, or in anticipation of, the commission of an offence). These powers are designed particularly for public order situations, such as protests, marches and demonstrations.

However, there clearly will be circumstances when covering the face would be inappropriate, and institutions such as hospitals, schools, courts and the border force, as well as employers more generally, are free to set their own policies. So we support the right of individual organisations such as these to restrict the wearing of face coverings through legitimate dress codes, or for instance reasons of security, identification or health and safety.

Home Office

Action points.

UK Citizens

If you are in the UK and you are a UK citizen then please sign this parliamentary petition https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300471

Once you have signed it then please text the link to 20 of your friends.

I am not satisfied and I will write to them on the above points.

Bibliography

  1. NP Explainer: Difference between the hijab, niqab & burka https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RevADaZsZ4
  2. Robbers dressed in burkas raid jewellery armed with machetes — Daily Mail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prIt8dxqvdI March 15 2018
  3. Terror Suspect ‘Escapes Mosque In Burka’ 4 November 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUu3btYrQb4
  4. Tunisia bans Niqab in government buildings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmUn7Vp6xoE
  5. Tunisia bans the niqab veil in ‘public institutions’ and government buildings for ‘security reasons https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7216705/Tunisia-bans-niqab-veil-public-institutions.html?ito=social-facebook&fbclid=IwAR27k0rZWvFqikgWH9Qz9ue_Iuc23Xyop49R2keSNAuc8TXgb–oRAatdQE. (Date checked 5th July 2019)
  6. Sri Lanka attacks: Face coverings banned after Easter bloodshed https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48088834 (Date checked 5th July 2019)
  7. Burka bans: The countries where Muslim women can’t wear veils. Daily Telegraph. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/burka-bans-the-countries-where-muslim-women-cant-wear-veils/?fbclid=IwAR1HLyPRBwJ3AvveBeN8nxWuV_Ghm8RCjGg-FSfVpyqA-Tj2Ief39fYgCa0 (Date checked 5th July 2019)
  8. The truth behind the veil https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Heres-the-truth-behind-the-veil/articleshow/5516489.cms (Date checked 5th July 2019)
  9. Why I, as a Muslim, am launching a campaign to ban the burka in Britain https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2695181/Why-I-Muslim-launching-campaign-ban-burka-Britain.html
  10. Burkas ‘are bad for your health’https://metro.co.uk/2007/07/18/burkas-are-bad-for-your-health-532757/ (Date checked 5th July 2019)
  11. Rickets problem
    CBC News: The National
     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W8cjQ6iQAo

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