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A few months ago on this blog, I wrote that I could not support a move to ban the Islamic veil in Britain. The reasons I put forward in support of this stance were straightforwardly libertarian:
“It’s true that the Burka (actually called a ‘Niqab’) has no place on English streets, and it’s also true that the veil is impractical and hazardous in many social contexts… But that said, I don’t want to live in a country where the government can decide what people may wear… Should we concede to government the power to choose how we dress, there would be no turning back. The outlawing of the veil could soon become the outlawing of hoodies, baseball caps and any other item of clothing which obscures identity.”
Well, I’ve changed my mind. There has been no particular catalyst for this, or at least not one I can identify, but I regard the reasoning quoted above as adolescent and knee-jerk. Those who objected to my post were correct. The veil is a revolting garment, an affront to women and a moral stain on the standard of our whole society. It should be outlawed across the continent of Europe.
In the same post alluded to above, I went on to say that a ban – as well as being undesirable – would be difficult to enforce. This is now an argument that can be turned the other way. A confrontation with Islamic misogyny in England is just what we require, and the more aggressive, public and discomforting to the multicultural idea it is, so much the better.