Saturday, 2 April 2011
The Guardian's Comment Macht Frei today publishes a pro-burka-ban argument for the first time in the form of a for-against debate between Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who favoured the ban, and Salma Yaqoob, who opposed it.

To my knowledge, this is the first time the Guardian has ever allowed the pro-burka-ban point of view to be aired. Of course, in keeping with the multicult Queensberry rules, it had to be articulated by a Muslim and a woman.

A more thoughtful case for banning the burka is also made in the Times today by an actual European rather than a third-world alien living amongst us, Janice Turner. Probably inspired by her recent interview of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, she notes that Theresa May is planning to introduce a ban on face coverings and asks why burkas should be exempt:

Last summer as I stood outside a friend’s house, where our kids were having a water fight, a Land Cruiser abruptly zoomed through the quiet street far too fast, scattering the children. It was driven by a woman in a burka. Putting aside whether it is safe to drive looking through a slit — in some German states it is illegal — why did this woman have the right to conceal her identity while driving a car on a public highway?

Moreover, why is British law not seeking to protect the Muslim women who feel compelled to wear the burka? In The Islamist the author and former fundamentalist Ed Husain recalls how he and fellow Hizb ut-Tahrir members took only six months to get every Muslim girl in a Tower Hamlets college to cover up, just by quiet menace and questioning their piety in wearing Western dress.

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