Tuesday, 19 March, 2019


Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to apologize for controversial burqa comments

Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to apologize for controversial burqa comments Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to apologize for controversial burqa comments
Bennie Garza | 09 August, 2018, 14:26

Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis said in a tweet that he had asked Johnson to apologize.

However, Taj Hargey, Imam at Oxford Islamic Congregation, said Mr Johnson "should not apologise for telling the truth", adding that his comments did not go far enough.

Taking jibe at burqa, Johnson on Sunday mocked women who wear the full-body veil "look like letter boxes" and compared them to "bank robbers". "And some of the terms Boris used describing people's appearance obviously have offended", the prime minister said.

A string of other Conservatives have queued up to criticise Johnson, with Theresa May saying he used the wrong language and Lord Sheikh calling for the whip to be withdrawn.

"If a woman wants to wear a short dress, it is her right and freedom to do so".

There was no immediate sign that Johnson planned to back down.

The comments came as the Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, said Johnson's remarks about Muslim women wearing the burqa would not "reach the bar" for a criminal offence.

They said: "We must not fall into the trap of shutting down the debate on hard subjects. If we fail to speak up for liberal values then we are simply yielding ground to reactionaries and extremists".

Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi, a former party chairwoman, accused Johnson of adopting the "dog-whistle" tactics of right-wing firebrand Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump's former top aide.

Some suspected Johnson's burka comments were meant to boost his appeal among right-wing members of the party.

"It's not the job of the Prime Minister to tell backbenchers what to do".

Johnson also received support from Qanta Ahmed, a prominent British Muslim woman doctor and writer, who wrote that she was "fully supportive of Boris Johnson's rejection of the niqab".

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