Havant Muslim woman speaks out on Boris Johnson burka controversy

A YOUNG woman said the people telling Muslim women they cannot wear a burka are just as bad as those who force them to wear it.

Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 12:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 3:22 am
Basira Ajmal says people telling Muslim women they can't wear a burka are just as bad as those who force them to wear it Picture: Malcolm Wells

Basira Ajmal, from Havant, has spoken out after comments made from former foreign secretary Boris Johnson on the clothing item.

The 23-year-old said she chose to wear a hijab and cover part of her face when she was 15 to follow her faith.

Mr Johnson has faced criticism after comparing women who wear a burka to letterboxes and bank robbers in his Daily Telegraph column.

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Basira Ajmal says people telling Muslim women they can't wear a burka are just as bad as those who force them to wear it Picture: Malcolm Wells

Ms Ajmal said: '˜I do not wear a niqab/burka but I find it highly offensive and appalling that a British politician ridicules and insults Muslim women who do.

'˜We are living in the 21st century and in the Great Britain which proudly speaks of its freedom of choice and rights of women. It is a society where people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and beliefs are celebrated rather than reproached.

'˜Politicians like Boris Johnson are doing nothing but damaging the peace of society at a time when we need unity. He speaks of 'live and let live', but can't restrain himself from criticising a section of society who doesn't dress as he likes.

'˜I would like to tell him they do not care if he likes their appearance or not because they are grown-up women who have every right to decide for themselves what they want to or do not want to wear.'

Since the comments, the Tory party has been split with some calling for Mr Johnson to apologise. He is facing a possible investigation for breach of his party's code of conduct.

Ms Ajmal said in his role as a politician Mr Johnson is a public representative and should '˜unify all types of people in his country'.

'˜I would like to tell all the people defending Mr Johnson in the name of free speech, including Rowan Atkinson, that there is a difference between free speech and hate speech,' she added.

'˜I would like to tell those who think a burka should be banned, that they shouldn't for one second, think they are any better than the governments and individuals who force women to wear it.

'˜Stop forcing and telling women what to wear and what to not.'