Comments in an article by Boris Johnson about women wearing burqas have been described as ‘Islamophobic’ and ‘totally unacceptable’ by Muslim groups. While criticising the Danish government’s decision to ban the garments in public places, in an article published in today’s Telegraph, the former foreign secretary wrote:
“It is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes; and I thoroughly dislike any attempt by any – invariably male – government to encourage such demonstrations of “modesty”…
… if a constituent came to my MP’s surgery with her face obscured, I should feel fully entitled – like Jack Straw – to ask her to remove it so I could talk to her properly. If a female student turned up at school or a university lecture looking like a bank robber then ditto.”
Conservative peer Baroness Warsi has described Mr Johnson’s comments as “dog-whistling”.