Rod Liddle

Rod Liddle: How I was bullied when I wore a burka

People look at you differently — just as they would if you turned up at the Guardian with pink cords and tweeds

2 November 2013

9:00 AM

2 November 2013

9:00 AM

I dressed up in a burka to wander around the streets of Canterbury recently, to see what level of Islamophobic abuse and discrimination I suffered from the infidel locals. This was a groundbreaking piece of campaigning journalism done at the request of the Sun newspaper, which had bought me an XXL black nylon burka just for the job. I still have the burka and wear it on occasions, when nobody else is in the house. It frightens the dog. It yaps and yaps at me, with an uncomfortable expression on its face, exactly the same expression it uses for wasps. Wasps the insects, not Wasps the ruling and oppressive hegemony: it doesn’t mind them.

Anyway, the burka thing went OK until the police got involved. Up until that moment, the infidels of Canterbury had done nothing more Islamophobic than look at me funny, a bit like the dog does, and on occasion step out of my way with exaggerated deference as I lumbered along the pavement. So when the patrol car approached and I was asked to identify myself I thought, look, here’s a proper story, Muslims can’t even walk the streets without being given the once-over by the plod, it’s a scandal, etc. I started to make my liberally inclined protestations to the copper and he explained that someone had rung them up saying there was 15-stone transvestite northern bloke in a burka, carrying a bright yellow Prada handbag and stamping around the centre of town on the very day Justin Welby was to be enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury, something’s going on. I forgot to mention that, the enthronement bit, didn’t I? And also the handbag — which I’d thought was the final, utterly convincing touch to my disguise. All about detail, journalism, you see.

But it occurs to me — and in fairness, it occurred to me at the time — that this was the reason people looked at me funny. Because I appeared absurd. Not because I was a Muslim, but because I looked more like someone taking the piss out of Muslims — which really hadn’t been the intention. ‘Probably be better if you took that thing off,’ the copper said, patiently, while some armed monkey from the anti-terror unit hovered in the background in a macho manner, walking about bow-legged like he was constipated.


All these slightly embarrassing details came back to me when I watched a local BBC documentary on the programme Inside West, which is produced in Bristol but is no less a prisoner of the cringing bien-pensant London mindset than the BBC’s national output. In the edition I saw the team claimed that they had uncovered horrible Islamophobic discrimination in Bristol and linked this, in the intro, to lower levels of employment among youngish Muslim men than among youngish infidel men. What followed was, of course, arrant crap. They sent two similarly aged journos, one dressed normally, the other kitted out in Muslim hat and Muslim beard and Muslim robes, but with identically fabricated CVs, to chase a bunch of jobs and claimed that the disparity which resulted — the infidel got offered more jobs than the Muslim — was evidence of grotesque discrimination. The first job, as I remember, was working in a bar, serving alcoholic drinks. If you ran a bar and someone who seemed to be an observant and pious Muslim came in for a job, you’d have your doubts, wouldn’t you? Uh-oh, I thought, as the documentary unfurled: next it’ll be a post in a pork-pie packing plant, followed by a job as security guard at the Israeli embassy. But in fairness, the next bunch of jobs involved working in supermarkets or driving vans and the result was pretty much the same — the Muslim bloke was dealt with politely and not offered a job. The clean-cut young non-Muslim was, in most cases, hired almost on the spot. But still, but still.

You see, while some regional journo might be forgiven for believing he’s stumbled across a great story, just like Woodward and Bernstein, I think this is less a case of institutionalised Islamophobia than — as one of the Bad Racist Employers actually explained it later — a simple case of employers finding it easier to get on with the bloke who wasn’t dressed in a manner which set him apart from 97 per cent of the population. Because whether we like it or not, appearances matter in job interviews, especially interviews intended to select people who will be dealing with the general public.

This is no more racism and Islamophobia, I would suggest, than the same sort of thing which you read in your daily newspapers about the brain-dead lummox from, say, Barnsley who complains that she was denied a job on account of all the tattoos on her face, or the multiple piercings, or her fantastic, almost magical obesity.

None of us, not even Guardian leader writers (try turning up for an interview there wearing pink cords and a tweed jacket and carrying a hunting horn) can put aside first impressions; it is how we as humans are genetically programmed to react. I think the proposal to ban the burka is a grotesque infringement of personal liberty; but by the same token, if you dress in a way to emphasise your difference to the norm, don’t be surprised if you’re afforded fewer job opportunities as a consequence.

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  • Eddie

    How many non-Muslims get offered jobs in Indian restaurants then?
    Most racism is fabricated, and Islamophobia is ALL fabricated.

    So the plods asked you to remove your burka? Well, as a burka is not a religious tradiation but a cultural one, you as a white Anglo-saxon man have as much right to wear one as any woman.
    Next time wodders, wear a Halloween mask permanently (that’s our native British culture dating back 5000 years) or just slap on the woad and run around naked – you can claim that is your ancient British culture, of course, and then bring a discrimination case against the plods are retire on the compo. Hoorah!

    • zanzamander

      Not all “Indian” restaurants are Indian – chances are that the majority of them are Pakistani and Bangladeshi. But don’t let complicated racial and national complexities of the real world spoil your otherwise good comment.

      • Icebow

        The vast majority, I’m informed, are Bangladeshi. I need to find a true Indian one within reach, so that I can resume enjoying curry.

        • crosscop

          Make your own. It’s easy enough.

          • Icebow

            I have a permanent inclination to do so, but am very lazy.

          • ROBERT BROWN

            Since learning that a pets identity chip had been found in a meal by a customer of a local Indian restaurant, i have never been back to one since, five years now, make your own, the meat will be better quality anyway from what they use. Third world savages.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Oh come. Most Indian restaurant owners are a good deal less savage than you appear to be. The most savage people I meet on our streets are from the white underclass who would kick you to death as soon as look at you.

          • Icebow

            Hmmm. Diced Underclass Jalfrezi…. Waste not want not!

          • ROBERT BROWN

            Of course, of course, i agree. But…..those same thugs will quite happily scoff down a curry…….and one of the last ‘establishments’ i visited, seemingly upmarket, a chap complained about his dish, the management actually argued with him, the guys wife joined in, a perfectly reasonable couple, the guy refused to pay because of the hassle, next thing, six asians come out the kitchen with knives and cleavers and force by intimidation payment. Seeing this i left my meal and walked out with my companions, and so did a few others. A report to the police resulted in……..no action. I consider these places to be a hotbed of illegal immigrants.

      • george

        They let it spoil mine: see above.

      • tjamesjones

        actually as obscure as this is, that must have been @disqus_b9Bvx6NOA7:disqus’s point, as most Indians aren’t Muslim either, but most Bangladeshi’s are, it is in fact the basis for the division.

      • Robert Kaye

        I thought that was why he’d made the reference. Given that only about 12% of Indians are muslim – compared with 5% of the English – it would have been doubly silly to have expected strictly “Indian” restaurants to employ only muslims, whereas if the phrase was intended to include Bangladeshi restaurants, as people commonly use it, then it’s quite possible that most staff would be muslim.

        • zanzamander

          In which case (and as is normal in these cases particularly in the media and politics), lets call it “Asian” to imply Muslim but not quite saying it e.g. “Asian” rape gang.

          • Eddie

            But the rape gangs in northern England WERE all Muslim, non? Though our media hardly ever referred to the fact that there was a definite ethnic factor at work here – south Asian men targeting white girls who they see as loose and therefore fair game.

      • Eddie

        ‘Indian restaurant’ is the generic name for the establishments.
        I assumed that people would know that the vast majority in the UK are actually Bangladeshi – which was, of course, British India – for it was indeed the British who united India as one country and introduced (with other white Europeans) lots of food too – chillies, potatoes, tomatoes and even tea-drinking (it was never a daily habit until the British started it!). British Indian food is its own special creation!
        Pakistan and Bangladesh were India – and Indian restaurant means one selling food from the Indian subcontinent – anywhere there, basically.
        My point is valid anyway. It seems acceptable when those of ethnic and religious minorities are prejudiced and discriminate on racial or religious grounds. Only white natives ever get challenged on this, however.

  • Jim

    People say that we should not stereotype others by the way they dress but people dress in a certain way in the knowledge that they will be stereotyped. It is what they want, which is why they do it. Such as those men who will purposely dress like a thug or ‘gansgter’. They do so, often, not because they are thugs but because they are anxious to be left alone by real thugs. Like creatures which emulate the appearance of more deadly creatures as a defense mechanism. I think it is silly to pretend that people take no thought in how they come across to others.

  • Austin Barry

    I suspect that most of us find burkas and brillo-bearded, berobed Muslims disturbing because they are sending us an unequivocal message: “F**k you and your infidel world”.

    It’s an approach hardly likely to commend itself at a job interview.

    • TheLiberalArms

      My understanding is that the Koran requires ‘modesty’ but for some reason this is interpreted as only applying to women (I regularly see Muslim men in T shirts) – somewhat hypercritical no?

      Incidentally I just read this article on Katie Hopkins which made me laugh http://theoccasionalpigeonuk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/katy-hopkins-is-invited-on-this-morning_29.html

    • dave

      You mean unlike wearing an altogether more fetching and eye catching outfit in public in the colour of blood, with a red hat, red trousers, big black boots,all trimmed with a bit of white fur – oh yes plenty of white facial hair to cover the face.

      With just eyes showing it could be anyone……

  • The_greyhound

    A phobia is an irrational fear of something.

    There is such a thing as a perfectly well-informed and rational dislike of Islam, and it would be better therefore to avoid the expression ‘Islamophobia’ which is merely a meaningless slur being promoted by the likes of Owen Jones.

    • The Laughing Cavalier

      There is also a perfectly well-informed fear of Islam.

      • Abi Tayn

        I’ve never been frightened of the lion in “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”.

        • Brimstone52

          Agreed, but I think the lesson of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” is that one should be cautious about entering large wardrobes.

        • Ron Todd

          Those who read the lion the witch and the wardrobe at least know it is fiction.

    • Abi Tayn

      It’s a pity that few people actually understand the meaning of words in our language. “Homophobia” means “fear or hatred of men”, but it has come to mean “fear of homosexual men”, because we are too lazy or too dumb to go to the trouble of saying “homosexualphobia”.

      • mjohnm

        You’re confusing your Greek and Latin. In the context of “homosexual,” homo means “same” (from the Greek). Lesbians are homosexual women.

        • Cornelius Bonkers

          Phew, you got in first, well done. Sounds to me like Abi Tayn has already disappeared through the back of his/her wardrobe. What shocking ignorance…

      • rob232

        It doesn’t matter what the etymology might be. Usage is the supreme arbiter of the English language.

        • Fergus Pickering

          No it isn’t. Homophobia does not mean hatred of men anywhere. If you think that it does you are ignorant.

          • Blazenka Hudson-trograncic

            ‘Phobia’ means fear , nothing to do with dislike or hatred.
            We need a better term than islamaphobia for those who dislike islam but do not fear it.

    • Cornelius Bonkers

      Excellent, I hate that little shit too. Is he as stupid as I think he is? Have you read his “book”? A piece of A level sociology which if he were lucky might get him a D grade on a good day. You obviously don’t have to do much to get a job at the Independent these days. But the norf London liberal fundamentalists love him as much as they love Mr Choudrey…May God have mercy on all of us…And now Tommy Robinson has deserted the ship: where do I get my Burka?

    • bengeo

      “Let a man be judged by the content of his character”.

  • Colin

    That was a pretty funny article. I’m still loving the image of the dog in my mind.

  • greggf

    What’s wrong with Islamophobia Rod?
    Is it a new taboo?

  • allymax bruce

    Liddle, you make me laugh; and your dog bark; apparently!

  • zanzamander

    Look, the fact of the matter is that almost in each and every Muslim country on this planet, non-Muslims are persecuted, harassed, killed, forcibly converted, denied jobs, medical needs and basic education – all in the name of Islam.

    Why don’t you for once in your miserable life investigate and write about that than waste yours and everybody else’s time feeding Muslim paranoia?

    And why this fixation on Muslims, are they the only minority that is being discriminated and picked on by the plod? Where a Sikh turban and then go looking for a job in a pub, see what happens. Or, more importantly, dress up as an orthodox Jew and dare to walk in any Muslim ghetto in Bradford, Birmingham, London or Leicester – no, better still, aplly for a job in a Mosque dressed up like that.

    And who in their right mind would employ someone who dresses up like a camel herder and will, in all probability, demand special treatment from me for his/her religious observance? As an employer, I’m far too busy filling in all the forms for my immigrant workforce than worry about that!

    • Brimstone52

      Do camel herders have an identifiable form or style of dress, in the same way that some followers of some faiths do?

  • zanzamander

    How were you exactly “bullied”? Unless it is a ploy, your headline does nothing but feed Muslim propaganda and victim hood.

  • Pootles

    I larfed, Rodders, I larfed. And it’s nearly the end of the week!

  • Chris

    Shock horror, employers in Bristol decide they would rather not hire some one dresses like the Taliban.

    Left Wing bed wetters really do have to give up the fight and admit that this is not unreasonable.

  • edlancey

    “I think the proposal to ban the burka is a grotesque infringement of personal liberty”

    When I can go for a pint in the Mecca Arms I’ll dry my tears.

  • sarah_13

    Brilliant. Just love Rod.

  • Jez

    “I started to make my liberally inclined protestations to the copper and he explained that someone had rung them up saying there was 15-stone transvestite northern bloke in a burka…..”

    Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

    Was it can of Tennants that gave it away!!

    • Jez

      Sorry, you’re Millwall…….. I meant glass of Pinot Noir.

  • Mark Steven Conway

    A braver action would be to dress openly as a Jew or for a gay couple to walk hand in hand around Muslim areas of many British towns and record the results.

    • Excellent point.

    • allymax bruce

      Got to agree with you there!
      Yeh, Rod-the-saud didn’t actually risk much, other than getting hit-on by some greasy Sun-reader male-factor tourist from Saudi Arabia!
      Try that in Tottenham ya big eejit!

      • JackyTreehorn

        Have you ever been to Tottenham? If you take a walk down the high road, you will mainly bump into Somalians and other assorted Moslems. The Jewish population resides mainly in the southern part of the town, even there they have to watch themselves against an ever increasing Moslem population. Your attempt to portray Jews as violent against Moslems in this country is laughable.

        • allymax bruce

          Jacky, yes, I actually have been to Tottenham; nothing much different to most factions of London. Are they Moslems, or Muslims?? I wasn’t attempting to portray anything; my point was to fulfil the main theme of Rod Liddle’s article; to have a luagh! Seems, you think so too; you think it’s all laughable! So, laugh, and stop trying to make implications that only exist in your head; Mate!

          • JackyTreehorn

            I apologise.
            I dunno why I have taken to spelling it that way, perhaps I saw it somewhere.
            I was born in Tottenham, it’s so sad to see how it’s changed.

          • allymax bruce

            That’s alright, Jacky, no need to apologise; I was only doing the ‘mate’ thing because that’s how they all referred to me when I was in London. It’s just a wee joke, that’s all; no malice intended.
            Yeh, it’s amazing how words, and their meanings get changed; political abrogation is what it is. But the real thing is, I don’t know either; I really don’t know if it’s Moslems, or Muslims. I mean, it doesn’t really matter to me which it is; I’m not bothered, I only wanted to know if the spelling had been changed as part of ‘that’ political abrogation I was referring to. So, Jacky, what’s Spurs like without Bale?

          • JackyTreehorn

            Well I think they now have a much better squad but lack the explosive winning x factor that Bale supplied.
            I’m just getting ready to watch the match now. Come on you Spurs.

          • allymax bruce

            Jacky,I agree. Spurs are a much stronger team now; but like you say, that explosive, fantastic, genius from Bale has gone. Top 4?

          • Fergus Pickering

            They used to be moslems. They are now muslims. The ways of Allah are inscrutable.

          • allymax bruce

            Thanks, Fergus, that really helps.
            I’m still confused.

          • ProperDave

            It’s an Arabic word, so in Latin script you can write it however you like. See also Mohamed/Mohammed/Muhammad, Koran/Quran, Gadaffi/Khadaffi etc.

          • Blazenka Hudson-trograncic

            What happened to ‘mohammedans’?

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think that would be foolhardy, not brave. And most jews do not dress openly as jews. They dress normally.

      • Mark Steven Conway

        You are right Fergus, as do many (a majority in this country) Muslims wear ‘traditional’ costumes. However, as you allude to, foolhardy or brave, the fact that such a move would almost certainly illicit a violent, anti-gay, antisemitic response demonstrates a huge problem that the establishment have refused to deal with over the last thirty years. Dealing with bigotry within the white population has never (and rightly so) been a problem. However, it sometimes seems that many on the left have actually become active supporters of right wing reactionary groups from immigrant communities.

        • ROBERT BROWN

          Bigotry?…..the British,white,anglo-saxon etc people would have liked to have been asked before the wretched politicians opened the gates to millions of immigrants and i know what the answer would be, as they did, which is why they allowed it anyway, through spite and malice.

          • Mark Steven Conway

            The problem is Robert is that people were asked, voting for Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats politicians which have wanted mass immigration. I find it frustrating when I hear many of the supporters of these parties bemoan mass immigration and would like to see it cut but still vote for these very same parties. Anglo Saxon types have voted by the tens of millions for fifty years for it and still are. My own father, solid Conservative that he is, moans everyday about immigration, guess what, he will still vote Conservative. Thus, Anglo Saxon that he is perpetuates his own grievance and the cycle continues.

            I want to see immigration substantially cut and will not be voting for any of them because of it. That is why I will be voting for UKIP in the European elections and will consider them for the general election.

            And yes there is white bigotry. In my opinion those who vote for Nationalist Socialist or racist parities like the BNP defile what my grandfathers generation fought against. A stand against Islamic extremism and bigotry cannot mean we become the mirror image of what we stand against or we are no better.

          • ROBERT BROWN

            No Steven, mass immigration was not in any of their manifestos, never has been, and if it was, they would have been trounced. I have not voted for mainstream parties for the last four elections, and intend to vote UKIP, even then with reservations. So those people did not vote for mass immigration because the parties never said they were going to implement it, clear now?

      • pt12

        The logic of your argument suggests that you believe the majority of Muslims to be anti-semitic, homophobes…

  • Augustus

    All that garbage was only about not getting sand in your hair, and against the heat of the desert sun. Everything else about it was just made up. Why don’t people get that?

  • Terry Song

    How much respect does the Islamic world show to us? How many churches have been built in Islamic land since second world war? How many westerners have been able to practise their lifestyle and spread their faith, Christianity or others, in the Islamic controlled area?
    Bullied? That is simply reciprocating a small fraction of the treatment non-Muslims receive from the Muslims. If anyone feels bullied when dressing up like a Taliban in the western world, I strongly recommend moving back to the home land of Islam so one can wear the suffocating burka at every waking moment.

  • Rtd Colonel

    15 stone, Rod – you’re only cheating yourself by your denial

  • Keith D

    Should have attached an egg whisk and a sink plunger. Gone for the full Dalek look.

    And, as with our burka clad slaves of Davros, repeat the mantra “Exterminate”.

  • Raw England

    “I think the proposal to ban the burka is a grotesque infringement of personal liberty…..” – Rod Liddle

    What?

    • Icebow

      Put it this way. Nothing wrong with Islamophobia, once you realize that the identification of –phobia with irrationality of fear is mere psychiatric appropriation, in turn appropriated by English-subliterate (or if literate, cynical) Mohammedans. Be Islamophobic. Be very Islamophobic.

      • Daniel Maris

        Couldn’t we just call it Taqiyya-Proof?

        • Icebow

          95° proof?

    • Brunhilda

      “What?”

      Yes the burquh sucks, yes it is the realisation of a “slut-shaming” philosophy where women have to desexualise and degenderize themselves in public to be respected and safe while paradoxically being over-sexualised; yes glamour modelling sucks, yes it is a “frigid-shaming” philosophy where women have to over-sexualise and hyper-genderize themselves to be respected while paradoxically being under-sexualised, but who do you think should decide what parts of their bodies women cover? Women? Men? The state?

      • jatrius

        The skyfairy Allah’s messenger decides. Disagree? I’ll cut your head off in the name of peace and equal rights.

      • dave

        There is a very good point hidden in this post that I had not previously thought of. As much as I detest the wearing of the burka, I can see that some men could equally detest women walking around in London in November wearing hot pants, face covered in make up designed to make them look sexy – eyes and mouth emphasised as painted objects of desire, and hair also dyed to ridiculous unnatural colours. Looked at dispassionately and analytically, western female make-up and much of their clothing and shoes is totally impractical and degrading, as is the burka and other items of Muslin apparel. We can hardly claim our culture to have a superior position, one which obliges our women (but not men) to go out decorated like Christmas trees wearing six inch heels, false eyelashes, with layers of coloured gunk based on rendered animal fat on their skin.

        • Lala

          I agree Dave. And it’s not just some men who may dislike how a lot of our young women look these days, and how much flesh they are prepared to show (it’s a rather poor apology for female liberation if there ever was one) but also some women. But let’s not forget how the ‘buffed’ body of young men is now ever-present in the media, and in the gym – mostly ‘posing’ as a healthy lifestyle. I am all for the body beautiful, and it has been depicted in Western art for centuries (of course some of it was also bought for pornographic leisure pursuits) but its almost ubiquitous presence these days, does bring converts to the more fervent interpretations of Islam.

          • dave

            There is an old saying “When all the world is clothed in gold up goes the price of shoddy”.
            This means that in our highly sexualised western society – yes both men and women portrayed as sexual objects – we have to go further and further to the extremes of dress to make a statement. Women reveal ever more to get noticed.
            The same thing in reverse is happening to Muslims. Many now wearing the burka are daughters and grand-daughters of immigrants who did not wear the burka. To be noticed, they now cover.

          • Fergus Pickering

            That saying is only as old as W.S. Gilbert,(The Gonoliers). But of course he may have bee quoting something else

        • Fergus Pickering

          Our women are not obliged to do any such thing. My wife and daughters do not go out attired like sluts. Sluts do of course and I defend their right to do so.

          • dave

            Fergus

            You say rightly that women are not obliged to sexualise themselves when they go out but there is a very strong cultural pressure to do so – albeit to varying extents. I presume your wife and daughter wear make up and occasionally choose high heels. Both are designed to sexualise the female. I have certainly not suggested as you do that more extreme make-up and sexually revealing clothing or high heels makes a woman into a slut – it does not, anymore than wearing a bikini on a beach. Make up and clothing choices does not make a woman a prostitute or imply she has loose morals which I presume is what you mean by use of the word “slut”.
            The point I was making is that Muslim women may feel themselves under a similar cultural pressure to dress in their own totally impractical way – going to extremes. In Arab countries the burka or niqab is often felt as a necessary measure of protection against unwanted sexual advances from highly repressed males – there was once a time in England when the mere sight of a ladies ankle was thought to be highly sexually stimulating. I don’t think that style of dress is always dictated by their families – most evidence is that clothing is of free choice but affected by cultural pressures and traditions.
            I fail to see any strong argument for wearing the full burka in England and I’m with France in banning the burka. Face to face recognition is very important to the coherence and confidence of society – as well as our security through CCTV. It is hardly a surprise that there have been several bank robberies by people wearing burkas – their wearing allowed in banks – whilst the wearing of crash helmets have been long banned.

          • itbeso

            …but the cultural pressure can be resisted and there in no penalty such as a beating if it is.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Sluts was light-hearted. Of course women use make-up. I think cultural pressure is by nomeans as insistent as people like to think. By and large, women in England can do as they please. Which is more than can be said for muslim women, poor things.

  • Nick

    Hang on a minute.Is that a fat midget in a burqa behind the burqa babe?

  • Rilman

    Put a dress and make-up on, so you look quite transsexual. Or take another male reporter with you and hold hands.

    Walk through some Muslim areas and then report on that.

  • george

    Why do we always obssess about Western supposed Islamophobia (read: suspicion of those that hate our liberties and our fundamental way of life) rather than asking why Islam is so opposed to us, and on what plainly existential grounds? When you are attacked — and you know you are not playing to do harm — you don’t let the other guy determine the grounds of debate. Especially when you know that he doesn’t ‘do’ debate, only warfare and cynical manipulation.

  • george

    I’ll never forget the time I went to an ‘Indian’ restaurant in Tunbridge Wells, just over a decade ago — an establishment run, by their own admission, actually by Bangladeshis. Is it right that a quiet couple, identified by their accents to be probably American, should have politics brought up as they try to order from the menu, and have their president (Bush, for whom we voted and whom we still support to this day) insulted to their face? These people, they were bad actors. We usually give a debit or credit card; on that occasion, we paid in cash and left, never to come back.

  • george

    Rod: Don’t alarm your dog. It isn’t kind. Signed — the author of How To Train Your Human: The Dog’s Guide.

  • george

    Burka = beating. Therefore: ban it.

  • rubyduck

    What the f*** happened to “When in Rome …” ?

    I quite fancy wearing a burka when I can’t be arsed to wash, btw.

  • K991

    I can’t understand how, in the twenty first century, there’s still a place for religion in public life. Not just Islam, or Christianity, or Judaism but any religion’s weird superstitions.

    • Fergus Pickering

      You mean like the weird superstitions of scientists about global warming. No, I can’t understand it either.

      • Ridcully

        Or the fascination by so many supposed rational intellectuals for Marxism.

  • Bonkim

    Lucky you were not stopped by the Police and shot for a terrorist.

    • Simon Fay

      Lucky the zealous, scowling bastards didn’t have him up on some sort of “Hate Crime” in his satirically denigrating the passive-aggressive mode of Muzzie women in the West (and their toxic sponsors on ‘Woman’s Hour’).

  • anneallan

    Black Nylon? I thought only dominatrices (? plural) used the stuff nowadays. If the burkha is intended to keep off broiling sun, then the wearers must be right Sweaty Bettys in their own benighted lands.

    • Daniel Maris

      There’s room for an ice pack.

  • ant

    15 stone? Bollocks.

  • harman1

    It represents a violent radical ideology,but also is absurd.Two reasons for not employing!

  • keren coe

    you said it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! saying there was 15-stone transvestite northern bloke in a burka, carrying a bright yellow Prada handbag

    • Fergus Pickering

      I simply don’t believe it was Prada. If it was and is, then they are paying you far too much, Rod.

  • In2minds

    Rod Liddle and the burkha, “how I was bullied……” – would that have been on the terraces at West Ham?

  • Lsd

    Yesterday I flew from Miami to Toronto. In the lounge was a burka clad ‘individual’. I approached the gate agent and asked them to confirm that they had corroborated the face of the wearer with the picture on the passport. Had they not I would have taken another flight, and you wonder why we are aggressively opposed to these primitive people?!

    • Daniel Maris

      Yes, but what was the picture on the passport… a black piece of cloth? 🙂

  • MrDDavies

    Have you ever noticed that no one has a problem with Sikhs, Hindus, Jains, Baha’is or Buddhists?

  • Pembroke

    Let’s not forget what the Niqab/Burqa projects – support for Islam and the Quran as a book of wisdom. A book that contains many passages with a tone of belligerence towards non-Muslims. Why on earth should non-Muslims be expected to tolerate, or accept the discomfort of that? How can Muslims expect non-Muslims not to object?

  • Pembroke

    Routine masking of identity is not within the spirit of the notion of ‘freedom of expression’. That should be *obvious*.

  • terregles2

    If you are going to do research along those lines you really have to widen the experiment. A lady that I work beside has a son who was looking for a job. He had long hair and a beard and even when he got interviews he was never offered the position. Eventually he cut his hair and shaved off his beard and he had a job within the month. I agree that is unfair and his beard and long hair should not have made any difference but it did and he is not a Muslim.
    Equally a white girl who might like to have cropped hair and face piercings will most likely have fewer job offers than a more conventional looking girl. If a Scotsman turned up for an interview wearing a kilt or an Englishman turned up for interview dressed as a Morris dancer and they both said they always dressed like that because it is their culture would they get as many job offers as the man in the suit.?
    Perhaps the same programme might want to put it to the test it might give us a more accurate picture of racism in the jobs market.
    I am completley anti racism and I like the idea of people being able to look and dress in whaever way they want but unfortunately in the jobs market our appearance does sometimes depending on the job make a difference.

  • Ricky Strong

    “I think the proposal to ban the burka is a grotesque infringement of personal liberty”

    I personally think that we all sacrifice a little of our personal liberty very time we step out of our homes with regard to CCTV society. Why should those who wear the burka be exempt from this?

  • paulus

    To be honest after taking a look at you I would have thought it preferable that you were veiled.

  • Malcolm Jackson

    Good job the local sharia enforcers didn’t catch you. You could have been stoned to death for being gay.

  • Malcolm Jackson

    Good job the local sharia enforcement gang didn’t get you. They might have thought you were gay, and stoned you to death.

  • Agrippina

    You look just as elegant as the lumps on channel4 news when Douglal Murray was debating with them.

    Al Jazeera UK had a documentary – Citizen or Stranger, a very interesting prog, still available on their channel and you can leave comments on there too. Somalis over here, Holland, Denmark etc, me thinks you folks will enjoy it.

  • Daniel Maris

    OK Rod, the question you may have to answer to MI6 for is – was Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed’s escape ruse inspired by your account of your own “blag in a bag”?

    PS Don’t you love the spelling variation on Mohamed/Mohammed…if that doesn’t prove useful in confusing the authorities, I don’t know what will… 🙂

  • Beth Swain

    The burka obviously offers a great disguise. For example, think about the implications when it comes to taking exams.

  • Crankcase08

    I used to work for a company in Slough that had very many Muslim employees, and found that the ones with beards are nothing but a pain. They insist on praying at specific times, no matter what, and would report the slightest of discrepancies of us ‘kuffar’ to management, but never do the same with regard to the incompetence of other Muslim employees. They also appeared to gain pleasure when attempting to boss a ‘kuffar’ around in a virtually bullying manner.

    When I gave notice that I was leaving my employment with that company, I was asked to train my replacement, who happened to be a Muslim. Within one month of me leaving, I received a call from the depot manager begging me to return due to the bad feeling my replacement was causing.

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