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Ring-fencing Islamic culture from criticism has created a new intolerance

Ring-fencing Islamic culture from criticism has created a new intolerance

Date Published: 
Tuesday, 7 August, 2018
Summary: 

For an illustration of just how kneejerk accusations of Islamophobia have become, look no further than the row over Boris Johnson’s latest column. Writing in the , the former foreign secretary criticised Denmark’s ban on the burqa. A ban runs against Denmark’s ‘spirit of liberty’, he said. He makes clear that he opposes the introduction of a similar ban in the UK.

Yet while Johnson is against banning the burqa, he is nonetheless critical of this garment. It is ‘oppressive… to expect women to cover their faces’, he says. He adds that it looks ridiculous and its wearers sometimes ‘look like letterboxes’ and ‘bank robbers’. For making these remarks, despite his call not to ban the burqa, Johnson stands accused of right-wing, racist demagoguery.