Dave Thompson, chief constable of West Midlands police, has decided that there are ‘no barriers’ to a woman police officer deciding to wear the niqab – the full face covering beloved of some Muslim women. He has already hired some Muslim female police officers who have asked to wear the hijab – the full length body covering garment sometimes called a burka.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) questioned whether the face veil was appropriate in policing and said that the percentage of women who wore it was “very, very small”. A spokesman added: “The women who do would probably not want to be in the police.”
A spokesman for Mr Thompson confirmed that he was referring to the garment which covered the face.
The ‘usual suspects’ are going berserk over this story, and I expect the Mail to pick up on it any minute (it’s a Times exclusive at the moment and so behind a paywall) this comment is pretty representative of the opinions that are flooding in.
Facial expression is a fundamental aspect of communication in our culture. I do not see that the wearing the niqab could possibly be appropriate to face to face communication’ around education, policing, medical care or legal processes.
How is the niqab any different to the garb currently worn by the gentlemen (loose term) in the picture above? I can’t see their facial expression either.
Is this a slow waltz to the tune of Islamic dhimmitude, or does Dave Thompson have a point? – after all, if every woman in a burka could be a police officer concealing a baton then he has just recruited thousands of pseudo-cops to the streets…
Debate at your leisure; I’m going to paint today.