Some people are critical of women wearing burqas, does that make them into racialists? Many in politics and the media say so. But how do they know? You can't see someone's skin colour in a burka. There's a woman who regularly shops in the Perry Barr Asda (Birmingham) wearing a burka. One day she lifted her veil up and she was definitely WHITE, a local lass with a brummie accent. So if someone had've tried to snatch her burqa off (People do that - sad) - that would hardly be a racial assault. (Well, unless it was a black woman who did the snatching, then I suppose it could count as a racially-aggravated assault, black woman assaults white woman). These clothing items are not about race - they're about religion, to be more precise certain strands of the Moslem religion. Maybe we need a new term 'Religionist-aggravated assault' ?. Yes OK most people do find the burqa a bit scary, and they can be upsetting for small children, but that is NOT a reason to ban them, and certainly no justification for people pulling them off.
We seem to forget, in the Middle East in recent times, some Moslem governments discouraged, or partially banned, burka wearing among women. This happened in Nasser's Egypt, Gadaffi's Libya and Saddam Hussein's Iraq; they saw burqas as being backward and out of place in a modern country. OK, some of these were ruthless dictators, but are we really saying these famous Moslem leaders were racists against their own people ? Hardly!
At the other end of the spectrum, the 'Hijab' - a head-covering worn by Moslem women. This is no different from the veil or shawl or headscarf, whatever you want to call it, worn right up to the post-war years, by MILLIONS of women in Eastern and Southern Europe, when they were outside the home. Even today, you will still see this: Not in cities maybe, but in the countryside - in the Ukraine, in Greece, in Russia, in the South of Italy, nowadays confined to older women. Not a SINGLE ONE of these millions of women is a Moslem. They're ALL Christians - Orthodox in most of Eastern Europe, Catholics in Italy and Bosnia. In Ireland right up to 1970, women had to cover their heads with a hat or a scarf, to go into church. People get uptight about Moslem women covering their heads - but no-one ever talks about these millions of Christian women who do exactly the same thing. It's never even been a subject for comment. At a recent public meeting in a Pakistani area of Bradford, the men and women were sitting on opposite sides of the hall and a Labour politician complained about this as "sexist behaviour by Moslems". But in the Far East - in Japan and parts of India - you can still find this pattern in Catholic churches. These practices are NOT specific to Muslims they're just old traditions in many societies.
Mainstream's advice to those politicians and journalists who keep spouting that women's head wear is about 'race':
(a) take GCSE European History, to learn some FACTS.
(b) chill out, shut up.