British politician and journalist Boris Johnson is facing an investigation after he criticized women who wear burkas in an op-ed.
Johnson is under fire after writing a Sunday op-ed calling burkas “oppressive and ridiculous,” and likening the looks of women who wear burkas to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers.” Johnson pushed back at Denmark’s recent ban on burkas in his piece, published in The Telegraph, arguing there is no reason to ban the garb simply because it’s oppressive.
An independent panel will investigate Johnson in order to determine if and what action should follow. The panel might refer Johnson to the Conservative Party’s board, which can expel him if it sees fit, BBC reported Thursday.
Conservative party elected officials and representatives must “lead by example to encourage and foster respect and tolerance,” according to the party’s code of conduct. They must not “use their position to bully, abuse, victimise, harass or unlawfully discriminate against others,” the code also states.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis have demanded Johnson apologize, but he refused.
“We are not forced to make these clothing choices, nor are we oppressed,” women from the Muslim Council of Britain wrote in a letter to Johnson, BBC reported.
A woman was fined $210 Aug. 3 for wearing a burka in Denmark, the first charge of its kind following the country’s ban on burkas, which became effective Aug. 1. France, Austria, Bulgaria and Bavaria also have full or partial burka bans. (RELATED: Muslims Get Fined For Illegally Wearing Burkas In Switzerland)
Johnson served as the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2016 and 2018. He previously served as the major of London from 2008 to 2016, and was a member of Parliament from 2001 to 2008.
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