I fear that some of the sweeping statements made on the subject of the niqab and the burqa are actually thinly veiled (no pun intended) expressions of anti-Muslim sentiment and curtail the freedom of women in their choice to dress as they wish, despite claiming the contrary view. In stating that banning the burqa or niqab will empower women, it actually does just the opposite by dictating to them what they can and cannot wear. Philip Hollobone MP, in his speech on the subject reported on ConHome this week, made such a contradictory assertion.
His view that the woman he encountered in the park dressed in full burqa did not want any normal human interaction with anyone else is pure speculation, as is the view that she wears the burqa because she finds our society objectionable. He said: “In my view and that of my constituents, the burqa is not an acceptable form of dress and banning it should be seriously considered”. Was the woman he met in the park not one of his constituents?
Susan Williams, who was the Conservative parliamentary candidate in the Bolton West constituency, at ConservativeHome, 3 July 2010