My first thought is to say it’s no one’s business what I wear and I have no right to push what I believe are the ‘correct’ things to wear on anyone else. But of course I worry that some, maybe many, women who wear the Burka in its various forms are doing so because of male oppression rather than personal choice.
But what worries me even more is the casual identification of Muslims as though it’s OK to make out that they are all potential criminals and terrorists. That line is utterly appalling and its one that Johnson was clearly peddling. Remember he compared Burka wearers with bank robbers and in my view he was deliberately calling out to the kind of people who would want to hear that appalling message.
I agree that religion should be up for having jokes told about it in a free society and maybe some who know me would counter by saying that I would say that as an atheist. But seriously we should be able to take satirical knocks, just look at Dave Allen and Father Ted as examples of the Roman Catholic religion being ridiculed unmercifully.
Our problem is that we have some very unprincipled politicians and a section of the press who delight in feeding prejudices. The fact that they are creating situations where Muslims and others who look or speak differently to the white British ‘norm’ are being attacked in the streets more regularly due to this propaganda is why we are becoming less tolerant, less inclusive and more hateful as a society. There’s nothing at all be proud of, by sailing in that direction one day it will be the minority that you are a part of which will be singled out!