Boris Johnson seems to have moved on from the row caused by his remarks on women donning the burka after he dodged the subject in his latest Daily Telegraph column. The former foreign secretary came under attack after writing that Muslim women who don face veils resembled “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” in his column.
Yet, he decided to shift his attention to plans to boost house building, despite strong debate among those supporting him and those offended by his comments.
Mr Johnson instead called for reductions to “absurdly high” stamp duty and warned of construction firms decreasing the number of new homes by “land-banking”.
The politician declined to acknowledge reporters’ inquiries about his comments on the Burka as he returned to his Oxfordshire home following a holiday in Italy. He did, nevertheless, emerge from his home to offer them cups of tea.
He is yet to respond to accusations of Islamophobia as well as Theresa May’s demands for an apology.
A former advisor to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon is amongst those supporting Mr Johnson. He stated the former London mayor had “nothing to apologise for” and that he should not “bow at the altar of political correctness”.
The Republican strategist pointed out that Mr Johnson’s comment argued against outlawing full-face veils, as Denmark has done.
Mr Bannon told the Sunday Times: “His entire argument revolves around not wanting to ban the Burka, but arguing that he agrees that it’s an oppressive garment and that there is no scriptural basis for it in the Koran, which is true. I think the substance got lost because of his throwaway line.”
The remarks come after Mr Johnson’s father Stanley Johnson said people should be “grateful” to his son for putting the matter of banning the Burka “on the table”.
He told Sky News that much of the criticism was “synthetic indignation” that had been “whipped up” by his opponents. Yet, Conservative chair Brandon Lewis told an independent panel to investigate Mr Johnson following accusations his remarks defiled the Tories’ code of conduct.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, a supporter of the former cabinet minister, said there would be “open warfare” in the party if Mr Johnson was harshly chastised over his Burka remarks.
He issued the warning in the event the former foreign secretary is suspended in such a way that he can’t take part in a future leadership contest.
Mr Bridgen told the Sunday Express: “If Boris is suspended it will be open warfare in the Conservative Party. If Theresa May dares engineer a leadership contest while Boris is suspended it will be World War Three.”
But a former close aide to David Cameron, Lord (Andrew) Cooper, attacked Mr Johnson of “casual racism” and “courting of fascism”.
“He will advocate literally anything to play to the crowd of the moment. His career is a saga of moral emptiness and lies; pathetic, weak and needy; the opposite of strong,” Lord Cooper said.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) stated that Conservative MPs’ backing for Mr Johnson over his remarks on women dressing in the burka had “shone a light on the underbelly of Islamophobia” inside the party.
Fair play to Boris, he has his own views and we shouldn’t need to atone for our beliefs, although sometimes we should keep our beliefs to ourselves and not express them in society, he’s only stating what most of the British public are thinking.
The problem is, people are frightened to say anything because everything is classified as discriminatory, and this country has double standards.
Whatever happened to free speech?
The problem is not the Burka as such, but in such places as Banks, Airports et cetera we need to see the faces of people. There are various places that people are not permitted to wear hoodies, so why are people entitled to wear Burkas?
This is just a storm in a teacup and today’s news will be tomorrows history, and Boris Johnson is a rather funny man and likes to banter, and there’s nothing wrong in a bit of banter, comedians do it all the time and get away with it.
But Burkas and Niqabs are really clothes of oppression. They were designed as a way to prevent women from being part of society, to prevent people from even seeing them, but in the United Kingdom, woman are part of society, this is the 21st century, not the 1850’s.
Boris Johnson might have his own views and that’s great, but we keep banging on about the Burka, and really it’s getting a tad tiresome now. It’s time to move on, and this sustained harassment of Boris is getting tiresome, and he’s only echoing what most people think.
Perhaps Boris Johnson should give more airtime on the hundreds of children raped, but apparently ridiculing attire is a greater crime than violating children, and if we’re going to ban Burkas it should be for security purposes only.