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Boris Johnson MP recently divided opinion - drawing condemnation from the Prime Minister and provoking a disciplinary investigation by his Conservative Party - for controversial remarks about Muslim women who wear burkas/burqas. Though he did not advocate a ban, his comments have reignited the debate following bans on the full-face-and-body coverings becoming law in countries including France, Belgium, and Denmark. This conversation looks at whether similar prohibitions should be introduced in the UK. It operates on the basis that women are making a free choice when wearing burkas, and are not forced to be doing so - something which all parties would reject.


Arguments supporting this position



The enaction of a burka ban would be a violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This article prohibits "discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin."[1]

The Argument

In deliberately discriminating against the nation's Muslim population, any burka ban would surmount to discrimination.

Counter arguments

It is Not Discriminatory Most burka bans are not discriminatory because they do not only pertain to burkas but any facial coverings in public. Not Banning the Veil is Discriminatory It is actually those that permit the wearing of the burka that are in violation of Article 14. By condoning the oppressive and sexist practice of wearing the burka, governments are behaving in a discriminatory way against women and condoning discrimination based on the grounds of gender.[2]


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Rejecting the premises

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at 16:35 UTC