Boris Johnson is trying to police Muslim women's bodies - just like everyone else
By Guest Contributor
6th August 2018

by Akeela Ahmed MBE

Boris Johnson’s comments demonise British Muslim Women - whether they wear a niqab, hijab, burka, or anything else of their choosing - who face increasing hate crime attacks on streets and hostility online.

There are ways to debate religious attire. This is not one of them.

Such debates should be led by British Muslim women (not necessarily exclusively), and include the women who choose to wear a Burka.

Otherwise it's just mansplaining and policing of women’s bodies.

I don’t think the burka or niqab is mandated in Islam but some Muslim women believe it is. It's their right and freedom to decide what they wear, free from demonisation and fear of attack, physical or otherwise.

Yes, it’s not always appropriate to wear a face veil, and those conversations can be had without name calling or removing an individual’s liberty.

Boris Johnson's comments are a form of coercive control, similar to the men who insist Muslim women should wear a burka, niqab or hijab, indicated by his unwillingness to speak to his constituents who refused to remove a niqab.

This is not a debate. It’s an ultimatum.

Calling women who wear a burka or a niqab a 'letterbox' or 'bank robber' is simply cheap name calling.

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