James O'Brien is Leading Britain's Conversation.
27 August 2016, 12:30
Maajid: The Burkini's Wrong, But So Is The Ban
Maajid Nawaz says the "medieval" burkini is wrong - but so is the ban.
This is the most intelligent analysis of the entire Burkini ban issue that you'll hear, as Maajid Nawaz lays out why both sides are getting it wrong.
The LBC presenter explained: "The burkini is indeed a sad symbol of Islam today going backwards on gender issues.
"I cannot personally, as a self-described reforming secular liberal Muslim...endorse the notion that there is something to be ashamed of in the female form.
"Within my own Muslim communities, men can perfectly walk down the beach taking their tops off and feel absolutely no shame in the male form.
"So I feel somewhat disturbed at the medieval notion that the female form, a woman's hair, a woman's legs, are something to be ashamed of...and that modesty equates to covering up the female form.
"As if a woman who doesn't cover up her hair is being immodest."
But Nawaz had a follow-up point to make: the ban is just as backwards.
"Here's the but.
"France's ban on this burkini is also a sad symbol of liberalism today going backwards in response.
"There's an intelligent position here for liberals to take.
"That is to continue on the march of progressive views - to say that a woman should have the right to show her body without feeling ashamed."