Is Banning the Burka in Britain Racist?

So Syria's just about to have the shit bombed out of it, Cameron and the media are working overtime to make the country feel guilty for not joining in the bomb-fest and the Tories are getting a cheap thrill from making the poor, disabled and unemployed pay for the banking crisis they didn't create. So what does Tory MP Philip Hollobone do? He puts a bill onto the Parliamentary timetable looking to make burka clad women criminals in their own country. Yup, he wants to ban the burka.

Tory MP's ban the burqa bill reaches parliament

Francois 'Bomber' Hollande
Perhaps he feels 'one' with that the faux socialist Francois Hollande, President of France who already has the burka banned and is itching to rain death down on the Syrians, and is the man to follow. And while Hollobone is at it he wants to reintroduce capital punishment, privatise the BBC, have a referendum on equal marriage, withdraw from the EU and rename the August bank holiday as Margaret Thatcher Day. My arse.

Also in the news there was a recent judicial case where a judge refused to allow a Muslim woman to enter a plea because she refused to remove her burka, as she does not believe she should be seen uncovered by none familial men.

Muslim woman must remove burka in court, judge insists

Judge Murphy told her: 'It is necessary for this court to be satisfied that they can recognise the defendant. While I obviously respect the right to dress in any way she wishes, certainly while outside the court, the interests of justice are paramount. I can't, as a circuit judge, accept a plea from a person whose identity I am unable to ascertain.'

But then on the flipside there's nothing but praise for a judge who happens to be blind. Judge John Lafferty told Snaresbrook Crown Court he couldn't view a video relating to paedophilia as he obviously couldn't view the images so he decided to let full-sighted judge decide on severity of the pornographic film.

Blind judge adjourns sentencing of pervert so colleague can decide how serious child pornography video is

There was a little bit of kerfuffle over this but it was short lived and Judge John Lafferty continues to preside over cases, and very competently I expect.

The problem for me is when all three items are viewed together I can only ask the question is there racism or islamophobia at work here in such high levels of British society and the State? In the case of the blind judge it's accepted that he doesn't have to see people's faces or visually identify them to do his job. Then we have Judge Murphy who is adamant that he has to see people's faces. When it comes down to it this act of seeing people is either a requirement of justice or it isn't. If it is a requirement then someone needs to tell Judge John Lafferty that he'll be spending more time tending his garden as his disability obviously disqualifies him from presiding as a judge. If it isn't then Judge Murphy and even more so Philip Hollobone need to address their own prejudices.

Burka / Niqab - I know all the articles in the linked news items refer to the burka but I think they really mean the niqab. To me the burka is the all enveloping covering associated with Afghanistan and the niqab is the face veil that covers everything but the eyes. For continuity's sake I've used burka throughout regardless of the accuracy.

Authored by Chris Hall
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