In the wake of France’s controversial decision to ban burkinis, a national poll has revealed that over 50% of the British public are in favour of banning the Burqa.
The survey, which was conducted by YouGov, shows that 57 percent of participants supported the ban of the burqa – in public areas – in the UK, while just 25 percent were opposed to a ban. In addition to the Burqa, the same study also found that almost half would support the prohibition of burkinis, too.
France’s highest administrative court have already countered the ban on the Islamic swimsuit, although numerous mayors across the country are determined to defy the ruling. The subject has been a topic of contention in France and beyond since the nation became the first in Europe to ban the Burqa. The 2011 ruling sparked debate that spread into Britain, and over the past 5 years discussion on whether or not the full-face veil should be banned has only intensified.
A significant number of those in favor come from older generations, with 78 percent of those aged 65 years or older supporting the ban. Meanwhile, only 34 percent of those aged 18-24 were in favor. According to the data, there are just two demographics who are more likely to oppose a ban: 18-24-year-olds, and Remain voters.
As surprisingly large as the number of those in favor may seem, this study actually indicates a shift towards greater cultural acceptance of the Burqa. A 2011 YouGov study posed the same question, and found that 66 percent of participants wanted a UK ban. This number would drop to 61 percent in 2013, before arriving at 57 percent in this year’s data.
While the decline in numbers shows some promise – 57 percent is still a very, very large number of people. At this rate, it could take over 30 years before the UK completely accepts the cultural garment, which tells a much bigger story than a matter of fashion. Some view the burqa as a representation of misogynistic oppression, others view it as cultural liberation, and many still aren’t quite sure what exactly a burqa is…