Dear New Zealand – let’s be honest about the Burqa


TVNZ are plucking duelling banjos with a bit of good old fashioned culture baiting with this wee gem aren’t they?

Let’s be honest about the burqa.

It’s startling isn’t it when you bump into it on the street?

So much of our Western identity and value is in the appearance of our individualism, the clash of removing that is intrinsically difficult for us to accept.

That cultural shock wave is followed up by the physical shock of seeing it. We aren’t used to on these far flung Isles to seeing women covered head to toe. We also immediately attach mainstream media stereotypes of extremist Islam and have strong philosophical and feminist critiques of such cultural practices which have every right to be acknowledged.

So let’s agree it’s an issue that causes some fright on our behalf. It pushes a lot of buttons and we should be honest about that.

But above all, we need to be tolerant.

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Let me re-wind a fortnight.

I believe the first week of this year taken up by whether or not Peter Leitch was racist was a terrible blunder by progressives because while the cultural elite know what a micro aggression is, the majority just trying to pay the bills each week would see it as a distant academic debate as far removed from their reality as the winery it happened in. It caused a backlash which Bill English exploited with his decision on not attending Waitangi Day at Waitangi.

But that doesn’t mean the pain Lara Wharepapa-Bridger felt wasn’t legitimate or justified in articulating (the mainstream media picking it up and making it a headline is another matter altogether). How we interact with each other in our public spaces is crucial to the quality of life and autonomy we freely give each other in a liberal democracy. Lara Wharepapa-Bridger’s anger and distress was a sharp reminder of our need to show each other civility and respect in public.

I mean we aren’t going to be civil or respectful towards each other in 140 characters, so we may as well try and do it in the real world.

Which leads me back to tolerance of Burqas.

First, let’s deal with the legal argument. Under NZ law, any law enforcement offical who needs to be able to recognise a persons face for identification purposes must be allowed to see under a burqa. So the arguments about safety and identification just don’t have any legs.

Secondly, let’s deal with the religious argument. Muhammed was asked how men and women should dress and he replied, “Modestly”. Now Do I personally think that when Muhammed said ‘modestly’ that he meant a glorified bed sheet with a veil? No, I don’t think he meant that at all, but you know what? This isn’t my bloody religion, and what I think about it doesn’t mean jack shit.

Freedom of religion is just that folks. Freedom of religion. Now I don’t believe in any of this religious business, but as long as they don’t impact me or stop me from enjoying and practising my values, they can wear whatever the bloody well like.

Which brings us to the third issue, isn’t it sexist to force women to wear the Burqa and if we allow it to happen aren’t we all in fact participating in that abuse? It’s a solid concern and a valid question.

But here’s the reality.

It doesn’t really matter what we think.

I can’t tell you what to wear each day and you can’t tell me what to wear each day. We live in a  free society, that means whatever you choose to wear is up to you. We don’t want to live in a society where the bloody Government is so authoritarian that it tells us what to wear. The irony of listening to westerners saying that we must ban the Burqa is that in telling women what they can and can’t wear, we are as bad as the bloody Taliban!

When you consider the awful amount of verbal abuse and cat calling women have to put up with in public in NZ, you actually appreciate why a Burqa might actually be a wonderful thing!

Civility and tolerance in public are essential if people are to feel free in our community. No one deserves to be harassed in public, and we should all as good citizens feel that it is our obligation to step in when something does occur.

Admitting that the burqa is a bit scary is fine and human. Using that fear to justify a harsh and authoritarian crack down on what others wear is not fine (but is sadly pretty human).

Let’s appeal to the better angels of our nature, more tolerance and compassion for each other on the street and less hate.



  1. Well said Martyn. The idea of openly and honestly acknowledging and confronting our discomfort about something, before deciding how to deal with it is valuable. Probably, we should take the same approach with a whole range of issues, not just the burqa.

    (For example, wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear someone say something like, “I grew up in a homophobic society and have to admit that men kissing still makes me feel uncomfortable, but I acknowledge their right to do it and am working on becoming a more tolerant person.”)

    Back to the issue, I feel you’ve covered most of the angles here and arrived at a conclusion that I share. But, for me the concern remains that many women may be forced to wear the burqa, rather than choosing it freely for themselves. Thus, a government ban would actually liberate such women from the burden of having to wear it. To what extent are women in NZ being forced (by their husbands, fathers, community leaders etc) to wear the burqa? I suspect that most women are, but I honestly don’t know (and, for sure, it’s a hard thing to measure).

    But, if there is going to be a debate on this issue, then this is a legitimate angle to consider. Allowing women a free and equal space in society is an important NZ value. Forcing women to take off the burqa would encroach on those freedoms, but so would standing idly by whilst the men in their lives forced it upon them.

  2. Completely disagree, Martyn. I have had to ‘interact’ with burqa-clad women in this course of my employment (OK, not often), and I can tell you it is a creepy experience. Our face is the most obvious feature of our identity, and one of the means by which we communicate and express ourselves. Talking to a letterbox slit with eyes in it is weird and, by our (OK, my) standards, abnormal.

    It is an insult if someone comes to our country — or let me say less stridently — if you come to a new country, it is a courtesy to respect the local custom. Here, we face each other. Vice versa, one wouldn’t wear skimpy shorts/bikini at Mecca, or get drunk at a Buddhist shrine.

    You speak of tolerance — what about migrants’ tolerance for our way of living, and when in Rome, doing as Romans do? If integration is seen as desirable, how is cutting oneself off from normal communication integrating? Are such people not coming here, and then existing in their own sealed-off bubble?

    Covering up in a Darth Vader outfit so that other men than her husband won’t be seized by an uncontrollable passion — apparently one of the grounds for the burqua — is medieval thinking (and apologies to the Knights of the Round Table and the writers of the Magna Carta).

    No Martyn: you are tripping over yourself attempting to justify the unjustifiable. Get real. Ban it.

    • Completely agree with you Tom. It has nothing to to do with OUR tolerance of their “custom”, it has more to do with THEIR intolerance of ours. Ironically, if you immigrate to their countries (even the “free” ones) you don’t get an inch of tolerance. You are expected to conform, and rightfully so imo.

    • Mecca and Buddhist shrines are places of worship.
      I’m not sure where you work but unless its at the Papal City or a monastery you need to get some perspective and loosen up on the dress code.

    • I agree with Tom Gardner.

      On many points. And as well , – there have been cases of assassinations done by women in burqa’s overseas. It is an easy disguise for a male in a burqa .

      Historically , in the west ,… if two knights met and had full face visors on , the handshake was to prove there was nothing concealed regards hand weaponry . The modern day police take mugshots and ask people to remove head gear – as well as customs … and a question is this : how do these people get into this country regards customs wearing a burqa?

      Are they asked to remove it for their passport photos?

      Whether we like it or not – in the west it is important for identification purposes in general – its no accident that lawbreakers use balaclavas and the like to conceal their identity – especially their faces to avoid detection of identity by CCTV .

      And with the constant robberies of small family businesses occurring , – facial identity – especially becomes of even greater import.

      There is an unwritten thing about concealment and suspicious acts – even though nothing may be occurring at all . And that should be acknowledged by recent immigrants to this country. It is a matter of respect towards the people already inhabiting this country that recent arrivals get up to speed on whats acceptable or not – and the onus is on them – not us.

      They chose to migrate here – not the other way round.

      And the same reciprocal response is asked of any New Zealander travelling to any foreign country that they observe local custom and strive not to be offensive in behavior or dress.

      And that same standard of respect needs to apply with recent immigrants to this country in observing our customs . Period.

      Its no use trying to have a double standard here – we are not dogs body’s to be treated with either contempt or flippancy – we are New Zealanders with our own valid and unique culture and culturally accepted norms. People need to accept that . Equally as valid as anywhere else on the globe .

      For us to suddenly start bending over backwards and negating our own strong western heritage – and even our laws – and making exceptions for recent arrivals simply because they are from another culture and because we want to prove to ourselves we have a ‘ heart’ and are ‘ tolerant’ – is wrong .

      It smacks of either political motive or gross inferiority complex.

      I find the burqa offensive. And so do many other New Zealanders. And just because we do , … doesn’t mean our opinion isn’t just as valid as those who don’t have a problem with it.

      I find the burqa offensive for two main reasons :

      That of concealment , – and because it is an absolute insult to the plight of women who have struggled relentlessly for decades in this country and other western nations to win equal rights in a male dominated society. And I’m sure Kate Sheppard would feel the same deep down if she were alive today.

    • Tom, if I understand you correctly, your argument amounts to “we should ban the burqa because I don’t like it”. I think Martyn’s point was that this is simply not a strong enough reason. Rather, we should be challenged in our comfort zones and tolerant of other people’s practices. Many people used to feel very uncomfortable around gay people, was that a good enough reason to continue their oppression?

      That said, there are legitimate concerns about the burqa, which can be identified if you shift the focus of the discussion from “how it makes me feel” to “how do affected women feel about it?”. Many women are forced to wear the burqa and we should speak out against this. I doubt, though, that a burqa ban would actually have the desired affect – more likely it would only lead to greater repression.

  3. Now look Martyn you write damn good articles, but you watch far too much telly and as a result your brain has been saturated with political correctness.
    The burqua is goddamned ugly and sinister looking. Their culture is incompatible with ours. They don’t approve of us. Their men regard western women as whores , immoral and fallen. ( mind you, they could have a point).
    The word “tolerance” is a cultural marxist buzz word and there you go using it against us. Hey, this is OUR country. These alien creatures with their belief in burquas and sharia law should go back to where they came from.

    • ‘ The burqa is goddamned ugly and sinister looking. ‘

      Totally .

      I did a year of ninjutsu and a fair bit of the study into it.

      The similarity of the ninja outfit and what that was used for and the burqa is quite revealing … justified by religion in one case… stealth assassinations and intel gathering by the other.

      At the bottom line it is both one of concealment.

      I would say ban it.

      Then again… in that case.. we would have to also ban other costumes and balaclavas for the same reason.

      Therefore… the onus is on recent immigrants – not us- to seriously consider such issues and whether they feel justified by treating popular disapproval in their new country with open contempt .

      Which begs the question – why did they choose to come to New Zealand in the first place ? – or are they and their menfolk just too bloody minded and contemptuous of our values and culture to give a damn in the first place?

      • Lol no, that’s movie ninjas. You are talking about kibuki stagehand garb. If you want to be stealthy, you don’t wear a ninja uniform, you dress like the guy next to you – peasant, soldier, servant, whatever. If you want to be ignored while walking across a live stage, you wear all black. Do some more study bud.

        • Soz mate – regarding ninja it was night time stealth gear as you well know . And back to the books for you to have a read you go.

          Do you really think they dressed in fluorescent day glow at night and do you really think it mattered if they were trying to use the gray man technique and pretend they were farmers or pheasants at night?….

          Im sure some might have preferred to wear lolly pink or canary yellow in your fantasy’s but it wouldn’t have been long before they were advised that it wasn’t quite the bomb for night time operations… eh.

          Bit like asking a silly question and getting a silly answer …

    • “They don’t approve of us.” Evidence for this vast generalisation?
      “Their men regard western women as whores , immoral and fallen.” Again, evidence?
      “( mind you, they could have a point).” I know many women, none of whom are as you describe. Your comment is as offensive as it is ignorant.
      “These alien creatures with their belief in burquas and sharia law should go back to where they came from.” Oh dear. How about “These alien creatures with their belief in the bible and westminster government (feel free to insert other structures and systems of western civilisation here) should go back to where they came from.” It was quite a popular sentiment in these parts around 160 – 170 years ago.
      I’m not even going to try to explain the concept of tolerance to you. You are just not ready to receive it.

      • Ever lived in certain areas of the middle east ?

        Did you impose your western dress, attitudes and beliefs there? If so, how long was it before you started to run into problems with certain individuals ?

        And do you agree with Sunni attitudes that Shiites are heretics and deserve the death penalty ?

        Don’t think that’s the case?

        Ever heard about a Shiite friendly outfit called ISIS – you know …the one that beheads , burns and cold bloodedly murders others because they held a different belief?

        Dont think that happens?

        Funny how Saudi Arabia , Morroco and Qatar were all shown to have funneled money through the Clinton Foundation to procure arms to supply ISIS – including the largest arms deal in history worth more than 80 billion dollars … and that’s just the problem when e – mails are intercepted by Wikileaks as irrefutable proof about your so – called tolerance among Muslims …

  4. You are a decent bloke Martyn. One day you and I will sit down for a cuppa.

    I am concerned why so many on the left direct hate at you. From my privileged position I know that there have been active and long-running attempts to infiltrate the union movement and just about every legitimate, independent movement so I am sceptical of their motives. Just as I am sceptical of those who have bagged Wikileaks from the beginning (recent fuck-ups aside). Why disparage leaks that reveal war crimes? Why try to continually shut down NZ’s most diverse left-wing forum?

    In any case keep doing what you are doing. Being privy to various sources I know things that I won’t repeat here – such as Generation Zero being an AstroTurf organization. And then there’s much more.

    It will all come out in time.

  5. ‘We live in a  free society, that means whatever you choose to wear is up to you.’

    Not true at all. There are huge restrictions on what people are allowed to wear or not wear. And we certainly do not live in a free society.

    Martyn, you seem to be getting more and more detached from reality as time goes by.

    It’s a worry.

    • how would one know that the wearer of the full face burqa was not a man?…he could easily wear falsies underneath to give the appearance of female form…he could be up to no good

      …personally I do find the full face burqa to be a threat in New Zealand society which is an open society where one can see who one is talking to…this comes from our Polynesian heritage

      …it is also a threat imo to women’s and girls’ emancipation. Once upon a time we Pakeha women had to wear hats and gloves and dresses which covered the ankles ( to church)…we had to fight to wear trouser-suits and jeans to work …as well as for votes and contraception and childcare

      New Zealand women have fought long and hard for this emancipation from religious and male restrictions on their rights

  6. so this means it is ok to wear a balaclava, or a ski mask, or skip around at night in a clown suit, or a halloween werewolf mask in public ?( if you can argue it is part of your religious belief?)

    …or run around topless , or trouserless, or in the nuddy ? ( Sun Worship ?…what about the early Maori?)

    …or have gay or straight intimacies and sex on the beach or in a public street? ( worship of Dionysus ?)

    imo these proclivities should be kept out of the public gaze at home if you feel they would cause offense…

    there are social mores that one should respect….and that means what the culture feels comfortable with ….particularly if it is your new adopted culture….otherwise it is an affront or offensive and indicates an unwillingness to fit in and a determination to impose one’s values

    eg I would not wear cut away shorts and a halter bra top in a Muslim culture or society because it would be offensive…I would show respect for the people and their cultural norms

    • Bomber’s point is that this is their “custom”/”religion” so it must be respected in the name of tolerance. Your examples aren’t those, so don’t count. No, think KKK outfits or Nazi uniforms if you want to make a closer comparison; would be interesting to hear if Bomber tolerance extends to that “freedom of expression” also.

      • @ NITRIUM…re…”Bomber’s point is that this is their “custom”/”religion” so it must be respected in the name of tolerance. Your examples aren’t those, so don’t count”

        (well thanks for that)…so your definition of religion is PATRIARCHAL MONOTHEISM!?

        …this definition of religion ignores the spirituality and culture of primal peoples, feminists, polytheists, pagans , neopagans, Gaia /Papatuanuku/Earth worshippers , agnostics, atheists

        ( statistically most New Zealanders in fact, and most of the world’s population if you count Buddhism, Hinduism and other forms of non monotheist spirituality)

        …your argument by implication is male supremacist and chauvinist in itself, if not imperialist and sexist

        ( actually , we can do without fundamentalist , male supremacist monotheistic religions…which argue “THOU shalt have NO other MALE GOD but me!..and advocate plundering the planet…and conquering the disbelievers! and trashing women and their rights…read Tariq Ali ‘Clash of Fundamentalisms’..or Richard Dawkins ‘The God Delusion’.)

        …the original old Maori religion religion/spirituality of this land was NOT patriarchal monotheism…but pagan , primal , polythesim …where women and their bodies and spirituality were respected!

        ( Papatuanuku/ MOTHER EARTH was/is their GOD…and most New Zealanders’ GOD…a love of the land and egalitarianism)

        ….how about showing a little respect for New Zealand’s own spirituality and culture ?!…and women!!!!!

    • 100 +

      Well said , CHOOKY .

      And you cant tell me that those who choose to wear the burqa in this country are not fully aware of the general unacceptability of the burqa … it smacks to me of arrogance and self righteous to come here and knowingly and deliberately piss off the people who have been born and raised for generations in OUR country. With OUR cultural norms and values.

      They would be the FIRST to enforce their values and laws upon any New Zealander or any other westerner who decided to permanently immigrate to their home country – so much so that many from the west still languish in their jails – or worse – in many country’s for infringing on THEIR laws.

      Again – the onus is on them to consider just why they feel quite comfortable with flying in the face of the popular values systems and socially acceptable norms when they choose to migrate to a country that is known to be uneasy with certain aspects of their attire or belief systems.

      An example is in Japan – where the Japanese view tattoos as a mark of the Yakusa – and that caused problems with a Maori woman wearing the moko … and innocent as that may have been … it was still regarded as culturally insensitive – even though us Kiwis thought it was extreme.

      Others in other country’s feel it right and proper to impose their customs and values on us… therefore we should hold our heads high and have no feelings of duplicity or inferiority of imposing those standards on others.

      We are equally as valid as a people, a nation , and a culture as they are.

  7. Agreed.

    I wouldn’t want someone driving while wearing a burqa though – because of the loss of peripheral vision.

    • Andrew women who wear this piece of misogynistic medieval garbage are NOT ALLOWED to drive. Or to shop without a male escort or frankly do anything on their own. Sharpen up!

      • so…the harpy that nearly ran me down the other day whilst wearing full-face burqua,gloves and sunglasses was a figment of my imagination?

  8. “The irony of listening to westerners saying that we must ban the Burqa is that in telling women what they can and can’t wear, we are as bad as the bloody Taliban!”

    As bad? Only if parliament were to decide that the appropriate legal punishment of defying a Burqa ban is to have the offender flogged with electrical cords in the public square.

  9. The best way to protest one’s dislike of burqa wearing is simply to walk around in public wearing a balaclava. The “left” really needs to drop the identity politics BS and focus on living wages and affordable housing to the exclusion of all else, or just get used to the cross benches and sitting next to Gareth Morgan

    • What’s wrong with wearing a balaclava, or a scarf, or a motorbike helmet, or a smog mask, or scuba gear, or a mascot costume?

      • You don’t wear a motorbike helmet into a bank , you pull down a balaclava in cold conditions , a scarf does not cover everything except the eyes and scuba gear is used when you are in aquatic conditions.

        So whats all wrong with this picture as it pertains to the examples given above ?…

        Answer? … they are all situational and accepted if not essential for survival in certain conditions.

        The burqa is not.

        In fact… here’s how ridiculous it all is : imagine someone wearing a burqa in the freezing mountains and tripping all over those long flowing robes ,- or trying to go scuba diving in a burqa… sound ridiculous so far ? ,… or even trying to place ones hope in a burqa saving one from having a lethal head injury on a motorbike instead of a helmet ?

        Sound ridiculous so far ?

        It should do.

        As equally ridiculous as the examples given above.

  10. Wrong Bomber! All religion is superstition and superstition is ignorance.
    NZ is a free society?? If so those freedoms have been hard won. Our societal freedoms need to be respected , practiced and absorbed for ANY integration by migrants to occur.The Burqa is an obscenity. It is an insult our heritage as a freedom loving country to accept and tolerate this misogynistic garbage. When I see women in NZ clad in headscarves and black burqas I make a point of staring in utter disapproval. That is my right. I am a 6th generation kiwi and my forbears fought for me to have the freedom to choose. Such practises are anathema to me and our ethical values. They need to be upheld. The burqa wearers can Fit In or Fuck Off!

    • Im with you , Shona…

      ‘ When I see women in NZ clad in headscarves and black burqas I make a point of staring in utter disapproval. ‘

      I do the same.

      For all the reasons mentioned thus far ,… I find it an absolute affront to the culture I was born and raised in.

      And I make no apologies for that culture whatsoever.

  11. In a perfect world it would be up to the lady concerned as to what she wears but I am pretty sure with the Burqa that is not the case. I feel for them in a physical sense when we have sweltering days and even worse days in the Middle East and they are swathed from top to toe in robes. Even more irritating is when you see the little wife trailing behind her partner who is in jandels, tee shirt and shorts free of having to mouth breathe through dense cloth. It smacks of misogyny to me, power over women by men. It’s more middle ages than middle eastern, not religion and one would have hoped the Middle East would have progressed a bit since then.

    Martyn you are right its creepy and can be frightening and the other contributor with the driving situation is being practical as well. Also why, when Westerners have to abide by their laws when in their countries do we cave into them and allow them the freedom to do whatever they like when they are in western countries.

    Personally I think their wearing of the Burqa is more infuriating for NZ women who have fought a long fight for equality here and are still struggling with the power control situation with the males who inhabit it, than it is for men. Only my opinion of course.

    • ‘ Martyn you are right its creepy and can be frightening ‘

      I don’t find it creepy or frightening – I just find it downright bloody offensive to everything that we hold dear – such as it is after neo liberalism – about freedom and egalitarianism .

      Maybe I’m more French than Scots ancestry in another life but that crap makes my blood boil. My grandfathers and grandmothers from clan Gunn didn’t migrate here from the Highlands just to accept a 21rst century version of medieval totalitarianism in the guise of some middle eastern religion that imposes archaic servitude on women or anybody else that doesn’t fall in line .

      Hoots , Mon ! – we had enough of that garbage in the homeland !!!

      So Liberte !!! , Egalite !!! , Fraternite !!!

  12. I have always thought if somebody is causing no harm then wear what you like. But as there are constant horrific attacks on innocent people by the ISIS jihadi extremists along with their isolationist dogma within our western society, then we have to get our heads out of the sand and take action to reduce their ever growing influence. The Burka is used as a tool by the extremists to cause and cement the social separation. Banning it will help reduce their influence. Once the threat of ISIS extremists is gone, then we can relax the ban. Let’s not be paralysed by fear of appearing racist or causing offence. The moderate Muslims will welcome it.


    Absolutely. I have also had to deal with Burqua clad women. They usually turned up with a male, and every time I pointedly asked THEM a question they would look to the male who would answer on their behalf. Once when i insisted she answer for herself, the male simply terminated the application and they left. It was creepy, like dealing with a pet not a person. I have a culture to, one that has proudly and strongly championed the emancipation of women. We don’t need their regressive thinking here. Sorry, the welcome mat has been taken in.

    • 100+

      And don’t lets have any accusations of any redneck crap either – if deterrence and regression back into a theocracy was in vogue – we would have voted for it .

      The fact is , we don’t want it.

      And that’s something that those who wish to change that really need to understand and grasp BEFORE they choose to immigrate here.

  14. I am increasingly thinking that people shouldn’t be able to move here to live and wear a full face burqua head scarves etc are fine. I saw a woman on the motorway in Auckland driving with a fullface burqua I am honestly not sure how she could see prperly with this on. We have different rules and if I go their country I have to obey their rules ditto if they move here. I see full face burqua wearing as an insult to women. This does not make me racist at all.

  15. What is more disturbing than wearing a burqa or not, is that Moslem men and women are eligible for Superannuation after living here for 10 years.

    The minimum period of residence required varies for particular benefits and pensions. For example, if you apply for New Zealand Superannuation the minimum time you must have spent resident and present in New Zealand to qualify is ten years, five of which when you are aged 50 years or over. Source:

    ACT and National and United Future and the Maori Party are considering raising the Superannuation Age for people who have worked for 40 years + of their lives in New Zealand, because all four parties in the coalition say it is unaffordable. How many Maori, living below the poverty line can afford to fund their own Supernnuation? Why is the Maori Party still supporting National, ACT and United Future on this race issue?

    It is a no-brainer to not be granting Superannuation to immigrants after 10 years, unless the country where they are from subsidises fully the NZ government for looking after their elderly emigres/ex-residents.

    Why should Kiwis, who have worked for 40 years here, suffer so that a new residents can claim the same full age benefit after 10 years here.

    Where is Winston Peters on this issue? Why isn’t he all over this issue?

  16. Ooh er! What a can of worms you’ve opened up here Bombarino…

    But just clear up a small point for me would you please?

    Would you apply this ‘cultural acceptance’ thing to genital mutilation and if not, why not?

    The reality is we each have our own ‘line in the sand’ for cultural acceptance.

    For you the burqa is fine but FGM and or honour killings is not (I’m guessing that! Maybe you are okay with them).

    For some even the burqa is not acceptable.

    For others the presence of that religion is unacceptable.

    Me? I can’t stand papists but the shady buggers are here to stay and I certainly can’t murder them as my ancestors once did…

    But the real issue is whose call is it?

    • Comrade Bark

      I find genital mutilation, particularly female genital mutilation to be a crime of the utmost cruelty. It can not, must not be allowed to continue and the best way to overcome that terrible practise is a huge social investment into womens rights in the countries and cultures that occurs in.

      Egypt has a huge cultural issue with it.

      In terms of the thrust of your argument, if I won’t accept Genital mutilation, why do I accept the Burqa. I think that you have to conflate wearing a Burqa several times over to have it equate to the brutal removal without aesthetic of the labia and clitorous.

      What if a woman chooses in free will to wear a Burqa? It’s not impossible to see that as reasonable (the same can’t be said about genital mutilation) and the damage that would occur by forcing these women to remove their Burqa in public would actually radicalise more people.

      Tolerance doesn’t extend to every practice, that’s a place where we as citizens need to decide it should be, I’m trying to highlight that imposing our values on something as petty as how we dress in public hurts our sense of freedom as much as it hurts theirs.

      There are your people in Exclusive Brethren communities right now in NZ whom I think are being brainwashed, do we send the Army in to break up those cults?

      Tolerance is not a weakness, it is a principled and well argued strengthening of our commitments to our values.

      NZ is a liberal democracy, the values enshrined in that liberal democracy are more important to stand for than ever before.

      • No Martyn. “tolerance” is a weakness. I’m talking about the new modern GIVEN (political) meaning of “tolerance” = to tolerate ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is dictated to the public they “MUST” accept- even if it goes against commonsense and natural laws
        Cultural Marxism has infiltrated every aspect of our culture. It’s Communism by subversion. Everybody has to be “tolerant of the NEW Reality they’re shaping..and anyone who doesn’t is vilified and shamed.
        Notice how DELIBERATELY flooding western countries with 3rd world immigrants,(falsely called “refugees” by the Media) such as is happening in Europe is NOT allowed to be objected to, because doing so gets one labeled as -horror!!!- “racist” or “xenophobic” (also modern communist buzz words) and can cost you your reputation and even your job over there. WORSE- it can bring criminal charges. These are “thought crimes” !
        Just you wait- NZ is next. Slowly but surely.
        In London, it’s gotten so bad that there are Muslims patrolling the streets – DICTATING to British citizens what they can /can’t do as soon as they walk within range of any Mosque- eg drinking or women wearing shortskirts.
        Just you wait. The burqua signifies FAR more than just “garb”. When there are enough of them here They WILL take over.
        I have already heard personal accounts about Muslims in West Ak canvassing door to door and offering bribes.

  17. Our armed forces would sacrifice thousands of troops to keep this country safe. As such it is incomprehensible that a few thousand women (are there even that many?) should be permitted to compromise the safety of our nation.

    It’s an insult to all those who try to keep us safe.

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