DENMARK-POLITICS-RELIGION-ISLAM

The Politics of the Niqab Ban

On the 1st August 2018, Denmark banned the face veil that some Muslim women wear as part of their beliefs. A 28-year old women became the first person to be charged with wearing the full-face veil in public. She was fined 1000 Danish Krones after refusing to take it off. Last year the European Court of Human Rights upheld a similar Belgian ban, saying that communal harmony trumped an individual’s right to religious expression. Full or partial bans are also in place in France, Austria, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria.

In reaction to the Danish legislation, former British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph “If you say that it is weird and bullying to expect women to cover their faces, then I totally agree…I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes.” He added that if a female student turned up at school or a university lecture looking like a bank robber, he would ask her to remove it. The inflammatory remarks have sparked debates over the choice of Boris Johnson’s words and if a similar ban should take place in the UK.

In this video we are not going to discuss if the veil should be banned or not, but we are going to demonstrate a classical political tactic that Boris has used called Dog-Whistle politics. Make no mistake, the language Boris used is not an accident. It is a calculated and tactical method designed to achieve a particular objective.

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