Across Europe, moves are underway to ban the burqa and similar Islamic face coverings. French and Belgian lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly for bills that, if enacted, will ban the wearing of full-face veils in public. Politicians in the Netherlands and Spain are considering bans on burqas in public buildings (a more widespread ban was narrowly rejected in Spain), while bans have been introduced by local authorities in several other countries.
A notable and shameful exception is Britain. Last weekend two leading members of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government spoke out against any ban on the burqa. Immigration Minister Damian Green said a ban would be "rather un-British" and run contrary to the conventions of a "tolerant and mutually respectful society." Green failed to explain how Muslims who want women to cover up can be part of a "mutually respectful society" when time and again those same Muslims have made it clear that they have little respect for British laws and values.