Theresa May condemns Boris Johnson's burka comments

Boris Johnson under fire for ‘hate’ burqa comments

Boris Johnson under fire for ‘hate’ burqa comments

Seen as a way to burnish his credentials for a future leadership contest in a climate of right-wing headwinds in Europe, Johnson set forth his views on the recent burka ban in Denmark in his column in The Daily Telegraph. "I am told that I am being blasphemous for questioning the veil, and the extreme Wahhabist narrative which justifies the idea that it is required by Islam".

60 per cent - said the comments by the former foreign secretary were not racist, while 33 per cent thought they were.

"Farah" warned that, for many Muslim women in Britain, "the pressure to wear [the veil] is real", and that "trauma is the spur that leads many to take it up".

Sayeeda Warsi, Johnson's colleague in the Conservative Party, and a member of the House of Lords, accused him of making "hate crime more likely" with an indefensible "dog-whistle" reference to fully veiled Muslim women.

A former chairman of the Conservative Party has backed growing calls for Boris Johnson to apologise for his "unacceptable" remarks about women in burkas.

Sahar al-Faifi, who has covered her face since she was 14, said that negative rhetoric is making Muslim women feel "unsafe".

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"It is ridiculous that these views are being attacked - we must not fall into the trap of shutting down the debate on hard issues", a source close to Johnson told reporters.

But a Sky News poll found that 45% of voters thought he should apologise, while 48% thought he should not. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leading backbench Brexiteer, said May was "clearly wrong" to have demanded Johnson apologise.

Mr Johnson referred to women who wore the veil as "bank robbers" and said they looked like "letter boxes".

He added that he could not find scriptural authority for the dress code in the Koran.

Johnson said he opposed banning burqas and other face-covering garments, but wrote that it was "absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes".

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