I think we will all agree there are lots of newsworthy items going around at this time that ought to get our attention, but the one pushing to be top of the queue is the hiatus over the article Boris Johnson posted in the Telegraph titled “Denmark has got it wrong. Yes, the burka is oppressive and ridiculous – but that’s still no reason to ban it”. I read it at the time and felt I essentially agreed although I get it his imagery likening burka wearers to pillar boxes and bank robbers may be unduly excessive.
Other than share a picture painted by my street artist friend John Bulley, who claims he neither likes Boris nor the burka, I have resisted referring to specific media accounts, which can be found in great abundance, from many sectors of society, by checking out Google and, in my case, many postings to be found on social media friends (mainly of the liberal left flavor and as expected not sympathetic to Boris). A wide range of opinions have been expressed and it seems everyone has one. I have refrained from giving the link to Boris’ original article as in order to read it you need to subscribe and in order to subscribe you must pay (against my religion).
I daresay most reading this have already formed a view, although just maybe this will get you to reflect. So having gone through a countless number of articles in various media and experienced a variety of reactions ranging from annoyance and irritation to enlightenment and laughter, I thought I should give vent to where I stand right now. As I was out earlier today, I passed two attractive ladies. One was fully covered and wearing a headscarf (with facial features in full view) and one fairly scantily clothed leaving not too much to the imagination as to that lady’s assets. As a good Christian man, I naturally averted my gaze and concur with my liberal friends my views are irrelevant anyway. Even so, if I were to advocate which dress I were to favour, it would be the more modestly dressed Muslim lady (who looked serene) rather than the less modest one.
For those who follow my writings will know, I have fairly strong views on free speech and see this as being under threat and that while I know a lot more than most about Islam and have Muslim friends I do see a danger already evident of Islamification of the British way of life. I see the wearing of the burka, which has increased significantly in recent years, especially in parts of the country where Muslims form a significant percentage of the population, as on a sharp increase and it bothers me. In one sense it is none of my business and besides which my own dress sense has a lot to be desired, but seeing the face of those you engage with matters. Despite what luvvie liberals say, the burka is a form of oppression in some parts the world, and the wearing of the burka is a weapon in the further intent by Islamists to bring in Sharia law, to make Islam an increasingly formidable political force and cause the British culture to not only accept Islam but also to be subject to it.
As for Boris remarks being racist, islamophobic etc. I beg to differ. As for these stirring up hate, I accept that his words may well be the catalyst to embolden the hate mongers and this I regret. If I were to counsel Boris, I would say thank you for speaking out on matters that bother many but who are afraid to say so because of the repercussions by a societal hegemony and its minions that disapproves of and clamps down on any criticism of Islam. But at the same time I would urge wise caution in the choice of language used. As for those who want Boris censored and in cases prosecuted for hate speech, my gut reaction to organizations like Hope not Hate is “you hypocrites”. Ever since I have been on social media (for the past 4 years) you have been spewing forth your disdain for conservative types, and I am p***** (I mean displeased), because I have seen the hatred your words have helped to engender.
I am also worried. One of the news items on my today radar raised the possibility of what some see as an unholy alliance being formed between the likes of Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees Mogg, Tommy Robinson, Nigel Farage etc., advised by President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to form a new right leaning populist movement to fill some of the vacuum that is now being left in British political life due to recent upheaval over Brexit etc., who whether we admit or not would likely attract the common working man / woman who often feels disrespected and ignored. I watch with interest without revealing my hand other than state the obvious that the hiatus following Boris’ comments illustrates yet again the polarization in British culture, where what is needed is honest and respectful debate and those things that concern people are raised and dealt with, rather than being shoved under the carpet.