Thursday, 28 January 2010

Conflicting Messages In Burqa Poll

As lawmakers in France openly recommend a ban on full veils, people in Britain believe that garments that cover the face should also be outlawed in the United Kingdom, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 2,001 British adults showed respondents pictures of three different garments—the burqa, the niqab and the hijab—and asked whether their use should be forbidden in the UK under three specific scenarios.

Burqa

The burqa is an outer garment worn by some Muslim women that is meant to conceal the entire body. In addition to a full veil, the burqa usually features a net that covers the eyes.

More than 70 per cent of respondents would agree with banning the burqa in public places (72%), at schools and universities (79%) and at airports.

Niqab

The niqab is also meant to conceal the entire body and also features a full veil, but differs from the burqa because the eyes are usually exposed.

Two thirds of Britons (66%) would ban the niqab in public places, while higher proportions would forbid the use of the garment at schools and universities (75%) and airports (85%).

Hijab

The hijab is a type of head scarf that usually exposes the entire face. A majority of respondents believe the hijab should not be banned at airports (63%), schools and universities (69%) or in public places (75%).

Mixed Signals

While two thirds of Britons (67%) believe that garments that conceal a woman’s face are an affront to British values, a majority of respondents (58%) claim the Government should not be allowed to tell individuals what they can and cannot wear.

It would appear not for the first time the public are at odds with themselves, and whilst the prejudice amongst society may well see the 70% as vindication of a ban policy clearly, when push comes to shove the public don't like bans.

For complete survey click on title link.

4 comments:

Fausty said...

What were the actual questions asked? Context is important.

Bob Feal-martinez said...

As I say at the bottom, if you click on the title link it takes you to the survey.

Bob Feal-martinez said...

As I say at the bottom, if you click on the title link it takes you to the survey.

Roger Mellie said...

Interesting poll: However the question of whether the Government should not be allowed to tell individuals what they can (and cannot) wear, is a blanket question.

I feel the above question is too vague and all-or-nothing, especially when juxtaposed with questions about specific items of clothing.

A respondent could say that the gov shouldn't have any say about what we wear. Would that respondent disagree about the mandatory provision of protective clothing in hazardous workplaces?

Or would that respondent believe that anyone can walk around without any clothes, beyond naturist resorts or their own homes?

Thus I think just to ask whether the government should legislate about clothing 'full stop', is too simplistic, which is why you get the apparent contradiction.

To me it's a bit like asking somebody "do you like cheese": Then concluding they must like Edam (or another specific brand of cheese), because they answered "yes" to the general question.