Somehow a Tory MP manages to outdo Boris Johnson while trying to defend his burqa comments

Andrew Bridgen and Boris Johnson
Avatar

Somehow, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen managed to outdo Boris Johnson while trying to defend his burqa comments on Sky News.

Johnson provoked widespread media coverage after penning a Telegraph [paywall] article comparing burqa-wearing Muslims to “letter boxes” and a “bank robber”.

The excuse that’s even worse

While a senior Conservative peer accused Johnson of making “hate crime more likely”, Bridgen claimed Johnson can’t be racist because “last time [he] looked Islam wasn’t a race”.

Yes, the word ‘Muslim’ does not directly mean one ethnicity. The thing is, neither does the phrase ‘Black people’, which can relate to many ethnicities and cultures around the world.

But no one is going to go on national television and say it’s impossible to be racist against black people. Because it’s obviously bullshit, and we can say the same when people claim that for Muslims:

Here is the exchange on Sky:

Viewers are unimpressed

Viewers were far from impressed at Bridgen’s defence:

It deteriorates further…

Bridgen also said that the former foreign secretary should be defended on “freedom of speech” grounds. This echoes a response from other Conservative sources who said Johnson is ‘free to express his opinions’.

“What has he said that’s wrong?” the MP for North West Leicestershire also lamented.

But Johnson is a high-profile lawmaker, and Muslim women have said they “feel unsafe in the street”. Niqab-wearing molecular geneticist Sahar Al Faifi added:

We are already facing triple discrimination against our faith, our race and our colour

We must shut down the normalisation of anti-Muslim prejudice at every opportunity. Johnson’s comments give a green light to racists and those disposed to bigotry up and down the country.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from responsibility for what you say. Along with the ‘Islam is not a race’ idiocy, Bridgen somehow managed to outdo Johnson on Sky News. Quite the achievement.

Get Involved!

– Take action with Hope not Hate.

Find out more about Islamophobia in the UK with Tell MAMA.

Read more from The Canary about Boris Johnson.

Featured image via Sky News/ Twitter and Think London/Wikimedia Commons

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed