Boris Johnson is UK's 'Pound-Shop Donald Trump' as Burqa Comments Draw Ire

Published August 7th, 2018 - 02:03 GMT
Women wearing burqa sit in the audience at the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May 2018. (AFP/File Photo)
Women wearing burqa sit in the audience at the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May 2018. (AFP/File Photo)

* Update August 8, 2018: UK PM Theresa May has rebuked Johnson over his controversial comments urging him to apologise after he defied an order to do so by Tory chiefs.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes.” This is how the right-wing former UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, expressed his opposition to wearing the Burqa - a face covering worn by some Muslim women in Public.


In his weekly column in the Telegraph, Johnson attacked Muslim women who wear burqa saying students who wear it in schools and universities look like a “bank robber”.

Despite the fact that burqa is most of the time a personal choice, Johnson chose to describe it as kind of “oppression” women.

However, Johnson criticized Denmark’s decision to put restrictions on women over what to wear or not to wear in public, after Denmark became the latest country to ban wearing it in public places in August 1, 2018.

He said: “Such restrictions are not quite the same as telling a free-born adult woman what she may or may not wear, in a public place, when she is simply minding her own business.”

The former foreign secretary who resigned last month faced harsh backlash in media as well as by social media users for his Islamophobic remarks.

On top of that, the current Prime Minister, Theresa May refused to condemn Johnson’s remarks. May’s spokesperson confirmed: "We do not support a ban,” without commenting on his anti-Muslim remarks, which angered opponents of the Conservative party.

On their turn, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) called for an inquiry into allegations of Islamophobic acts within the ruling conservative party.

Johnson has also faced criticism from the opposition Labour Party. David Lammy, a Labour party member in the parliament said Johnson chose to mock women in burqas in a time when they are having their burqas pulled off in streets.

Johnson’s hateful comments came also in a time while Brits are rowing over Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who is accused of anti-Semitic views, following his party’s announcement to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that is different from the one approved by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. [Read More here: Does Criticism of Israel Mix with Anti-Semitism? Global Answers From Jews].

This is not the first time in which Johnson, who is seen by some as a potential leader for the Conservative party, sparks debate over inflammatory remarks.

Earlier, he had described black people from Commonwealth countries as "flag-waving piccaninnies" with "watermelon smiles" and he also attacked gay people saying they are "tank-topped bum boys."

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