Pakistan-born bishop calls for near-total burqa ban in UK

London: A Pakistan-born bishop in the UK has called for a near-total ban on wearing of burqas in public places in the country as he backed former UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s criticism of the practice.

In August, Johnson triggered a controversy when he said that women in burqas resemble “bank robbers” and “letter boxes”.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said burqas should be outlawed in a wide range of situations where people interact, including in hospitals, doctors surgeries, universities and schools.

Nazir-Ali said, “We have all seen how even male terrorists have escaped arrest by donning a burqa and making an effective getaway. It is true that some women choose to wear the burqa or niqab because they feel it makes them more observant Muslims. But, burqa is also being weaponised by Islamists to impose what they consider to be ‘Islamic’ character on communities.”

(With inputs from Agencies)