Hawzah News Agency (Swindon, UK) - The former foreign secretary has been criticised for saying Muslim women wearing burkas “look like letterboxes” and comparing them to “bank robbers”.
He said full-face veils should not be banned, but it was "ridiculous" item of clothing.
Labour councillor for Walcot and Park North, Abdul Amin, who is a Muslim, said that we live in a free country, where people can wear what they want and Mr Johnson should resign.
He said: “People have called for him to resign, an that is the right thing for him to do as a person of his standing.Calling people things like that, I think it is degrading and it is insulting to our religion.
“This is about any religion, you can’t insult religion.We are living in a free thinking country where everyone can wear what they want.
“If a Muslim wears the burka it is a choice they have made and it is not a choice he should be making.”
Eerum Nayani, a Muslim woman who lives in Swindon and who wears a headscarf but not a veil, said: “I feel that Boris Johnson’s latest derogatory comments in which he compares women who chose to adopt the niqab and burqa to “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” is largely consistent with his history of humiliating minorities –“flag waving piccaninnies” anyone?
“However, as a woman who wears a headscarf and is identifiably Muslim, my main concern is that Islamophobic hate crimes have been continually increasing over the past six years with perpetrators emboldened by the anti-Muslim rhetoric which is increasingly common in the political and media landscape. Johnson’s comments almost validate verbal abuse and fan the flames of this disturbing trend.
“I would ask if anyone else in the public realm would get away with such tripe if they didn’t fit the mould of a white, middle-class, ex-Etonian male? Is this an example of white male privilege? Lastly, would poking fun about the appearance of any other minority group for example Sikhs or Orthodox Jews in a similar manner be tolerated?”
Following Mr Johnson’s comments in his Daily Telegraph column, residents of Swindon were divided.
Harry Coates said: “The column on Sunday by Boris Johnson was calculated but surely this can be classed as a hate crime?”
Mike Henley added: “Couldn’t we keep the burka and get rid of Boris Johnson?”
But Joe Rekowski, said: “Honestly just leave Boris alone."
The Conservative Party has announced that Mr Johnson is to face an internal party inquiry into whether his remarks breach the party’s code on bullying and discrimination The prime minister Theresa May has called on him to apologise but so far Mr Johnson has refused.