There are several reasons why burkini bans like the one currently being enforced in Nice, France are a seriously bad idea.
One, is that they inevitably lead to ugly, embarrassing, unhelpful stories like this one involving a hapless Muslim woman being fined on the beach and forced by uniformed officers to expose her arms. You can see why locals might feel very strongly about Islam after the Islamic-State-inspired massacre of 85 innocents in the Bastille Day truck attack. But unfortunately it has the doubly negative effect of making the local authorities look petty, vindictive and helpless, while serving to exacerbate local Muslims’ sense of grievance, alienation and victimhood.
Another – as Douglas Murray eloquently argues here – is that it’s just a silly distraction from the real issues. Burkinis don’t pose a public safety threat – unlike, say, a burka you can’t hide an AK 47 under them because they’re too tight fitting. Picking on an item of clothing enables the authorities to give the false impression that they’re really getting tough when actually they’re brushing the real problems (mass immigration; Saudi-funded Wahabist indoctrination etc) under the carpet.
But easily the worst is that it gives progressive blowhards like James O’Brien the chance to demonstrate how inclusive and caring and unIslamophobic they are with virtue-signalling analogies like the one he inflicted today on listeners to his whiny-bitch LBC radio show.
O’Brien, a privately educated leftist with a fake-proletarian accent, brow furrowed permanently in a state of baffled rage and righteous concern, had this to say on his show:
“How would you feel if a nun at gunpoint was told to take off her habit?”
“Sister Mary Frances was my headmistress when I was six years old. I would find that so outrageous, so absolutely outrageous that Sister Mary Frances would be told to take off her habit when she took us on a school trip to Wales. How would you feel, hand on heart if nuns were being told in France to take off their habit on beaches?”
Yes, of course we can all see the flaws in his argument. (You only have to ask yourself who you think should get more scrutiny at an airport check in: a nun or a woman in a burka). At the same time, though, O’Brien does have a point.
Enough of a point, certainly, to confirm in the minds of all his liberal-lefty and Muslim listeners that, yes, the West does have an Islamophobia problem and here, just to prove it, is a story about an otherwise blameless woman being hassled on the beach because of her religion.
Whenever I listen to useful idiots such as James O’Brien – or his even grislier CNN lesbian version Sally Kohn – explaining away the problems of Islam with another of his “don’t cut me, bruv. I’m on your side” rantettes, I can’t help being reminded of Cicero’s glorious Enemy at the Gates speech.
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.
The last thing we want to be doing is giving self-hating liberals like Kohn and O’Brien fuel for their breast-beating, anti-Western narrative.