Berk in Burka Row

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Nick Griffin has slated Cambridge for allowing students to graduate in burkas

Nick Griffin has slated Cambridge for allowing students to graduate in burkas.

The Uni is relaxing the strict dress code. Students can now wear burkas, military uniform and kilts (as long as "dark undergarments" are worn underneath!)

A Cambridge University spokesman said: “Religious dress and cultural observations are allowed. We would allow the wearing of the full burka if that’s what the student wore day to day. So far we have had no requests to wear the burka.”

The BNP leader reacted badly to the news: “It is no surprise. There are a disproportionate number of Muslim students in our colleges and universities already. In 20 years time it will become compulsory for all women students to wear the burka.”

Griffin, a former Cambridge law graduate, has been in the media spotlight recently. After his disastrous appearance on Question Time he bizarrely ranted that London has been "ethnically cleansed" of "English and British people".

The burka is no stranger to controversy. French public schools have banned students from wearing it.

Last week an 18 year old girl in Burnley was caught up in the row when she was told that she had to remove her burka if she wanted to enrol at college.

  • Jim

    Griffin constantly confuses religion with national identity. There is no reason that an English woman could not be Muslim and wear the Burka, so his already questionable (wrong) opinion seems to trip over its own feet.

    • Stig of the Dump

      Would Cambridge have allowed a Nicky G to attend a graduation ceremony with a KKK wizard uniform on (if they were to graduate imminently… [for sentence pedants])?

      Double-standards methinks!

  • Helen Judd

    Actually Jim, there is. Culture, traditions and national identity are very closely related.

    I believe people who choose to live here should try to adapt to our society and not demand we all adapt to their way of life….. I like England as it is, I don't want it to change.

    I lived in Iran for 4 years and still have some good (Iranian) friends there whom I often visit – yet when I'm there, despite being a white western-woman, I don't refuse to wear a head-scarf or demand an alcoholic drink in the name of 'multi-culturalism'…. because I respected the local traditions and culture which has helped make the country such a lovely place.

    Identity is not about colour of someone's skin but their actions and someone choosing to wear a burka is doing something alien to English culture – and for you to claim otherwise makes you look stupid.

    • Stig of the Dump

      Would Cambridge have allowed a Nicky G to attend a graduation ceremony with a KKK wizard uniform or SS on (if they were to graduate imminently)?

      …what about wearing fancy dress, if it's part of your belief system?

      To Jim… I disagree… Nationalism is a form of religion…. just as Communism is… just as Environmentalism, Multiculturalism, Veganism, Hedonism, Masochism, Trainspotting, being a student <insert ideology here> is.

      I think you are confusing civic nationalist identity (e.g.: USA) with ethnic nationalist identity (e.g Japan): your location along that ideological axis determines your perspective on this issue.

      Notwithstanding that, wearing a burkha is a political statement, and an ethnic nationalist statement; not a religious one. There is no instruction in Islam to wear a burkha, so anyone doing that and claiming it's for religious reasons is possibly ignorant of the religion they profess; being disingenuous; lying to themselves; or lying to you… it's a political statement of (often, but not exclusively of ethnic) apartness and moral superiority.

      The problem with this is that what's stopping everyone from starting their personal religion with it's own rules that must be observed? There's no official register of religions or clear criteria… it's a wonder everyone doesn't use the religious discrimination laws on a daily basis to complain about absolutely everything that ever happens to them that they don't like!

      I should use it if I don't get the degree class I want – you're discriminating against me because I'm an idiot!

  • Frances

    Erm – I picked up my MA in about 1993 in my Army uniform – and as far as I know, burkas weren't banned then, either.

  • Martin

    Nick Griffin is talking out of his arse, but generally it's an interesting point. If burkas are allowed then surely other religious groups clothes should be allowed, however odd they might be. Jedi and Pastafarians come to mind. There is no difference atall between Christianity, Islam, and them. So I'd hope that someone challenges this policy if it comes to it, if you have a rule it has to be fair for all.

  • MuslimBritishStudent

    All this man seems to do is come out with ridiculously outlandish statements, such as "In 20 years time it will become compulsory for all women students to wear the burka."

    Griffin has not asserted why he thinks this is a bad idea, he has simply made a statement based on nothing but his own distorted perspective. The argument of whether or not allowances should be made for culturally different religions in this country is very relevant and it would be more than possible for Griffin to state his concerns elegantly, however he chooses to continue down the path of making comments based upon seemingly arbitrary 'facts'. He simply doesn't deserve most of the coverage the media gives him, and to be honest, The Tab can do better than this meagre 'story'.

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