The East London Mosque (ELM) and London Muslim Centre (LMC) welcomes the Government’s recent comments that banning the burka would be “un-British”.

Following recent bans in the Netherlands and debate about a ban in France, Minister for Immigration, Damian Green, said in The Sunday Telegraph recently:

“I stand personally on the feeling that telling people what they can and can’t wear, if they’re just walking down the street, is a rather un-British thing to do.”

He added that “we’re a tolerant and mutually respectful society.”

His words were echoed by Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. “I don’t, living in this country as a woman, want to be told what I can and can’t wear,” she told The Telegraph.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on in this country is being free, and being free to choose what you wear is a part of that, so banning the burka is absolutely contrary I think to what this country is all about.”

The ELM and LMC is pleased that banning of the burka is ruled out in the UK. Any form of ban would be counter-productive and undoubtedly divide communities and work against community cohesion.

It is important we are aware of the reasons why some Muslim women choose to wear the burka. Indeed many among them find it a source of empowerment and inspiration in their daily lives.