Boris Johnson rightly opposes the Danish ban on the niqab but denigrates the minority of women who choose to wear it. He described them as looking like “letter boxes” or “bank robbers” – in language that would not be used about other faiths.
His comments are particularly regrettable in this current climate, where Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred is becoming worryingly pervasive with disappointingly little action from this current government. Muslim women bear the brunt of hate on the streets. Just this week, two people were jailed for torturing a Muslim convert and a bookshop was attacked by Islamophobes.
Mr Johnson’s comments come at a time when he reportedly met Donald Trump’s former right-hand man Steve Bannon.
We need responsibility and action from our politicians, not pandering to the far-right. Mr Johnson’s comments also underscores the Muslim Council of Britain’s call for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party. Such crass commentary should have no place in our political discourse.