Pakistani-origin Tory chief defends burka
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 17:35
  
London: Wearing a burka does not prevent Muslim women from engaging in everyday life in Britain, Pakistani-origin Conservative Party chairman Sayeeda Warsi has said.

Defending the right of Muslim women to choose to wear the burka, Sayeeda Warsi said many women wore the veil of their own free will.

Warsi, the first Muslim women to serve in British Cabinet, said: "Just because a woman wears the burka, it doesn't mean she can't engage in everyday life. Why should we tell women what to wear? What it boils down to is choice. If women don't have a choice over what to wear then they are oppressed.

"But if a woman has a choice, and she chooses to wear whatever she chooses to wear then she's not oppressed is she? She's choosing what she wants."

Critics, including some in Warsi's party, claim that the burka alienates Muslim women from the rest of society.

Conservative MP Philip Hollobone, who is piloting a Bill in the House of Commons to ban the burka in public, has likened the full-face veil to 'wearing a paper bag over your head'.

Launching the Bill, Hollobone said: "Part of the British way of life is walking down the street, smiling at people and saying hello, whether you know them or not. You cannot have this everyday human interaction if you cover your face. These people are saying that they don't want to be part of our way of society."

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 17:35


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