With the upcoming snap election, there has been a lot of uncertainty and fear being circulated amongst the public. There are a number of questions being raised. Will the homeless issue be tackled? What about the NHS funding? Austerity, will I be affected? How will the UK be safe from further security issues? There are so many big issues out there that need addressing and we need definitive answers. Each of the political parties are compiling their manifestos with each element being calculated in such a way, even Francis Urquhart would be proud.
Whilst the big three are refining their policies, some more questionable than others... UKIP have caused yet another controversy with a manifesto none other than a burka ban. Sometimes, I feel Ukip only has such manifestos to make them sensationalist and make them relevant again. A small fish in the big sea.
As a British Muslim, this both infuriated and dumbfounded me in equal measure. I, like most others, do not like being told what to do. Particularly when it comes to expressing individuality. Religion is an aspect of individuality. Implementing such a ban begs to question, when will the prejudice end? This is setting a dangerous precedence for many more bans to be applied where in which people will be forced to change various aspects of their core beliefs in the name of integration. What will the next unacceptable factor be?
This is stripping an individual of their most basic human rights in the most literal sense. The bigger issue seems to be there must be a consensus that women do not know what we want and are not capable of deciding what to wear ourselves. No one should be discriminated against based on what they wear. Regardless what it is. Just because a woman wears a burka or a niqab (face veil) does not mean she is oppressed and being forced to do so. The true oppression is in the burka ban where there will be a lack of choice... actually NO choice! This type of covering is a liberation for some Muslim women. Because it does not match an individual's definition of freedom, does not mean it isn't freedom.
Ukip's Paul Nuttall has stated this is due to both a security and integration issue. Majority of Muslim women who observe this type of covering will happily comply to minimise security risks. By forcing the removal of the burka or face veil, will not help integration but will instead cause anxiety, mistrust, division and prejudice - the polar opposite of integration.
Most people cannot comprehend the magnitude of telling someone to remove a religious article of clothing. The burka is not just a piece of cloth. It is a part of an identity. Worn with the understanding of the creed and for the love of religion. There is a spiritual and emotional connection. By having a ban implemented, it will create further barriers preventing the interaction between the wider social group and stigmatising the minority.