UK: Parlamentsmedlem politianmeldt for burka-uttalelse

Nina Hjerpset-Østlie

Et bri­tisk par­la­ments­med­lem ble politi­an­meldt av en men­neske­ret­tig­hets­or­ga­ni­sa­sjon og etter­fors­ket for å ha uttalt at “burka er den reli­giøse ekvi­va­len­ten til å ha en papir­pose over hodet”. Den offent­lige ankla­ge­ren fant imid­ler­tid at det ikke var noe grunn­lag for påtale.

Utta­lel­sen falt i en par­la­men­ta­risk debatt, hvor den kon­ser­va­tive Phi­lip Hol­lo­b­one opp­ford­ret Under­hu­set til å seriøst vur­dere et for­bud mot de reli­giøse plag­gene burka og niqab (som begge dek­ker hele ansiktet).

Now it has emer­ged police rece­i­ved a com­plaint about the Ket­te­ring MP a few days after his com­ments from the Nort­hamp­tons­hire Rights and Equa­lity Coun­cil (NREC).

Offi­cers rang Mr Hol­lo­b­one to say a com­plaint had been made but the Crown Prose­cution drop­ped the case a few days later as there were no grounds for prosecution.

Deba­tes in West­min­ster are pro­tected by par­lia­men­tary pri­vi­lege but Mr Hol­lo­b­one said the com­plaint could have related to com­ments made inside or out­side the Commons.

He bla­s­ted the ‘hypocri­ti­cal and ‘patro­ni­sing’ NREC today for championing free­dom of speech while attemp­ting to have him prosecuted.

Last month the orga­ni­sa­tion sent the out­spo­ken MP a let­ter cri­ti­ci­sing his stance on Mus­lim women who chose to wear the burkha in public.

Mr Hol­lo­b­one said: ‘It’s com­p­lete hypocrisy. They talk on one hand about free­dom of speech and expres­sion and then wit­hout even making con­tact try to get me prosecuted.

In this coun­try you should be able to have a debate about con­tro­ver­sial sub­jects wit­hout the threat of police action. That’s how democracy works.

I am not going to be silen­ced by the threat of prose­cution when all I am doing is speak­ing out about the con­cerns of my constituents.

If this had gone to court I would have defen­ded myself.

I don’t blame the police at all, they are obli­ged to investi­gate reports of crime. That’s their job. But I am dis­gus­ted that the NREC should seek an MP’s prosecution.

I have been in cor­re­spon­dence with them and offe­red to meet repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of local Mus­lim groups but that invi­ta­tion is still outstanding.

The issue here is the cove­ring of ones face in pub­lic. the nihab and the burkha are not legal requirements.

There are large num­bers if immi­grant women who will not be able to inte­grate into the Bri­tish way of life if they cover them­sel­ves up.’

On March 11 Mr Hol­lo­b­one used anot­her Com­mons’ debate to mark Inter­na­tio­nal Women’s Day to reite­rate his views on the burkha.

He said: ‘This is Bri­tain. We are not a Mus­lim coun­try. Cove­ring your face in pub­lic is strange and to many people both inti­mi­da­ting and offensive.’

Det er anslått at rundt 100.000 kvin­ner blant Stor­bri­tan­nias 2,4 mil­lio­ner mus­li­mer bærer burka eller niqab.

Daily Mail: MP quiz­zed by police after say­ing ‘wea­ring burkha was like having paper bag over your head’




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