‘Ban Islam’ call
JEWISH LEADERS have condemned a former South London Synagogue minister for saying Islam has “no place” in Britain. After Boris Johnson’s remarks about Muslim women wearing burkas, Rabbi Menachem Lester disagreed with the former Foreign Secretary’s statement that the burka should not be banned.
In his Daily Telegraph Johnson had likened women wearing face-coverings to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers” but approved of women’s right to wear them. Rabbi Lester said countries that have banned the burka had done so for “good reason”.
In a letter to the Jewish News, he wrote: “I am among many who feel Islam has no place in Europe and certainly not in Britain.”
He said the burka “represents the imposition of Muslim influence over their surroundings. I disagree with Boris Johnson — the burka should be banned — but I agree with his attempt to lighten the atmosphere. The British were once known for their sense of humour and maybe the Jews also; only Islam is intolerant and has no sense of humour.”
Edie Friedman, executive director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality
Remembrance: Muslims pray at London’s Marble Arch ahead of the annual Ashura march