Poll shows British public heavily in favour of burka ban
Twice as many British people support a ban on women wearing a burka than oppose one, with a majority also in favour of outlawing the burkini, according to a poll published last Thursday.
Some 57 percent of the 1,668 adults polled by YouGov said they supported "a law that bans people from wearing the burka in the UK", with 36 percent "strongly supporting" the ban compared to only 10 percent who were "strongly opposed".
The poll comes following a row in France about the banning of the burkini in around 30 coastal resorts in the Riviera. The country's highest administrative court later suspended the ruling after it was challenged by rights groups.
Belgium: Burkini meets bikini
Muslim women in Belgium organised a different kind of protest. They gathered in Antwerp to celebrate at a beach party, dressed in burkinis, bikinis or bathing suits. Their motto was: "We are women and we are free". By Greta Hamann
Against the burkini ban: it's not a real beach and not France; nonetheless, it was a symbolic gesture against the now-overturned burkini ban on some French beaches. "Women and men should decide for themselves what they want to wear," said a woman wearing a bikini at the event
Celebrating together – no matter what clothes you wear: some wear burkinis, others wear bikinis - and everyone is happy. That is the message the protesters want to convey. Organisers had originally expected 300 people; over 1,000 people expressed their interest on Facebook
Completely covered at a beach party: the young women proved that you don't have to show lots of skin or wear beach attire at a summer party. Some came completely covered in a niqab and others came with a headscarf
'Ridiculous ban': "The ban is ridiculous. I want to wear what I want to wear. Women and men everywhere should be free to dress or undress themselves, depending on what they prefer," the young woman in a blue burkini (left) told Flanders News
We don't wear tents: the party was also a statement against the mayor of Antwerp who, according to reports in the Belgian newspaper "Gazet van Antwerpen," said that veiled women "wore tents"
Demonstration of solidarity: in Belgium, Muslims have the second largest religious community after Christians. Most Muslims are immigrants or the children of immigrants. Unity is something seldom seen in the country divided by the Flemish and Walloons
Right-wing protest: during the peaceful beach party, a few far-right anti-Islam demonstrators protested against the event. They chanted, "No jihad on our streets!"
Pro-burkini protests elsewhere: "Wear what you want" beach parties were held in London and Berlin. Activists brought sand to the French Embassy in London for their celebration
Some 46 percent of British people would support a similar ban on the burkini, against 30 percent who were opposed, with 18 percent neither for or against.
Support for the ban on the burka, worn by women in some Islamic traditions to hide the body and face, was uniform across supporters of all political parties, although strongest among Conservative and UK Independence Party backers.
The only demographics to oppose the ban were 18-24 year-olds – by a margin of six percent – and those who voted to remain in the European Union, but only by a margin of three percent.
The ban was also supported across the regions, with 51 percent of Londoners and 63 percent of northerners in favour.
A similar YouGov survey in Germany found 62 percent in support of a burka ban, but another in the United States found that 59 percent believed "people should be allowed to decide for themselves what to wear." (AFP)
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