I have been reading a lot of blogs writing about whether we should ban the burqa, together with a lot of frenzied comments taking either side of the argument. It has given me enough food for thought and I have sat down and slowly considered the arguments on both sides.
Finally, as a libertarian, I have decided that this is not something that should concern the Government, the Judges, or the Civil Service.
I have studied the arguments that this is something insisted upon by husbands to subject their women folk, as is their custom to make the women wear black clothing that absorbs the heat of the sun, thus making them unbearably hot in the summer, whereas the men wear lighter clothing that deflects the heat of the sun’s rays.
It is nothing to do with government if there are evil men about making the lives of their womenfolk unbearable. If the women really hate it they have means in Britain to divorce and if they fear their husbands and fathers, they will be given protection. Also decent people could bring pressure to bear by not employing men who force their women to wear black and wear the burqa. And neighbours can also let these people know exactly where they stand in society.
As for wearing the burqa in public, I can see no harm if a bank, building society or any shop or store bans people wearing the burqa as long as they also ban people wearing crash helmets or hoods.
However, passports and driving licences are a special case as these documents are used to identify the holder. With our present system, five woman in the same household could share one driving licence and if they get banned, then the next woman can use her licence so you could have four banning orders and still all woman would be able to drive. So a good deal of thought needs to be given here.
If the final decision is to allow a person wearing a burqa to be photographed for these documents with their faces totally covered then, for British Justice to be fair and to be seen to be fair, other non-Muslims should be allowed to be photographed for their passports or driving licenses wearing ski masks, balaclavas or a ladies stocking over their faces.