Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yes but...

I agree with pretty much everything Mr E says here.  Banning the burqa altogether would be  a profoundly illiberal and unBritish thing to do.  That said, he does illustrate quite neatly one particular viewpoint that frequently gets aired when this particular debate surfaces.
How often do you see a woman in a full burqa wandering around the fruit and veg section in Tesco? I'll warrant that on any given day there are more people in the UK walking around with vegetables up their arses than wearing a tent on their heads.
Living as I do near Edgware Road, I see scores of women in hijabs/niqabs every day.  There even a fair few of those truly bizarre brass nose-guard things that make the wearer look like a Star Wars extra.  And it is faintly creepy – an awful lot of human interaction is done by eye contact and body language, and it’s a bit unsettling to see people so utterly cut off from human contact.  I’d certainly be unhappy if my daughter was looked after or taught by someone wearing one.  But ultimately, so long as it’s none of my business, it’s none of my business.  In any event, I doubt there are quite so many niqabs on the mean streets of Kettering.


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