Stanley Johnson, Boris Johnson’s father, has recently spoken with Sky News and said that British voters should really feel “grateful” about the former foreign secretary’s comments about the burka as this is an issue that clearly needs to be raised and placed directly “on the table.”
Boris, it will be noted, stated that women who wear burkas face the very real threat of being mistaken for “bank robbers” or “letterboxes.” However, as Sky News reports, Stanley Johnson feels strongly that the criticism that has been seen in the media is nothing but “synthetic indignation” that has been “whipped up” by enemies and political rivals of Boris Johnson, of which there are plenty.
Stanley has concluded that the debate over the use of burkas needs to be changed from “letterboxes and so on and so forth,” because in his opinion, the real issue at hand here is whether it should be legally and culturally “appropriate to restrict the use of the burka or the niqab in certain circumstances.”
He also explained that Boris Johnson’s comments about the burka were meant to prompt a discussion about the use of the burka in the Muslim community, and that certainly in many different career choices this garment would simply not be an appropriate choice of clothing.
“I think we should all be grateful to Boris because he’s put this issue on the table. It’s a matter of common sense. It seems to me, that if you’re a doctor or a nurse, or a school teacher, if you’re a female airline pilot for heaven’s sake, there must be restrictions, and it seems to me absolutely right that we should use this occasion and look again at where we stand on this issue.”
Stanley Johnson further feels that it wasn’t merely the choice of words his son used that so incensed people and that he didn’t feel Boris had gone “far enough” with his comments.
“I would have preferred Boris to say, look, the moment has come for a very serious debate about this.”
The debate on burkas is something that is captivating Europe at the moment, and Denmark has just put into force a burka ban that would stop individuals from donning any garment which causes their face to be hidden when they are in public areas.
However, in Boris Johnson’s column for The Telegraph, he said that he personally did not agree with the burka ban in Denmark and that while the burka may, in fact, be oppressive and ridiculous, there was no reason to ban it completely in the country.
When asked whether Boris Johnson would be writing any more columns on the burka, Stanley Johnson replied that he seriously doubts “if his column is going to focus on the burka” in the future.