UKIP does. It is their policy to ban the wearing of the Burka and the Niqab in public places. The reason? It might make terrorists harder to identify. They say that they pose a threat to gender equality and they have no basis in Islam. Lets look at all of these arguments. Firstly that they make terrorists harder to identfy. So do Beards, wigs, dyed hair, coloured contact lenses, make up. If I was Osama Bin Laden and I wanted to use a woman to plant a bomb somewhere, I'd get her to beach her hair blond, wear blue contact lenses, a mini skirt, fish net stockings and a skimpy top. Who would get pulled over and searched a woman dressed like this or the one in the burka behind her? I've no idea how terrorists plan attacks, but I'd bet my bottom dollar that if they are seriously planning to smuggle expolsives or weapons, the last thing they'd do is want to draw attention to themselves by looking like Islamists. Then there is the argument that they pose a threat to gender equality. So do fishnet stockings, mini skirts, skimpy tops. If an alluringly dressed, scantily clad woman goes for an interview at a major bank, does she get taken as seriously as a woman in a smart business suit? That threatens her gender equality, but are UKIP clamouring for the banning of such attire? Then there is the argument that the Burka has no basis in Islam. So what? Why should whether something has a basis in Islam have any relevance to whether it should be banned or not? I'd have thought that this was the last reason UKIP of all people would quote for justifying a ban. As to the suggestion that Burkas endanger public safety, are UKIP going to ban football shirts for the same reason. As an example, if a group of blokes wearing Manchester United shirts enters many pubs in Liverpool on a Saturday night, or Celtic fans enter known Rangers pubs, violence is certain to ensue. Should we ban these tops?
UKIP's proposals are the thin end of a very fat wedge. Like many people, I really dislike seeing women in Burkas. I think it is an ugly and repressive look. Having said that I wouldn't want my local Imam telling me how to dress, so what right have I to tell anyone else what they should wear? Tolerance is one of Great Britain's biggest strengths. Any such move to tell people what they wear is a major step towards destroying this tradition.