UK's May says Boris Johnson should apologize over burqa comments

But the survey for the Sky News found people are split as to whether the former foreign secretary should apologise for his remarks - 45 per cent think he should do so, 48 per cent think he should not.

Other than Armeena Khan, the former United Kingdom mayor had received responses from many other personalities including former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, Theresa May, Brandon Lewis and Ruth Davidson.

Critics have accused him of stoking Islamophobia to boost his Tory leadership ambitions but his supporters have said he was speaking up for "liberal values".

Baroness Warsi repeated her calls for an investigation into Islamophobia within the Conservative party in a piece in the Guardian, and noted there had been a 26% rise in hate crimes against Muslims previous year, according to figures from monitoring group Tell Mama.

He faces claims that he broke the party's code of conduct with the remarks he made in an article for the Daily Telegraph.

And Munira Mirza, a former deputy mayor of London, said: "There is a political fight here".

Sahar al-Faifi, who has covered her face since she was 14, said that negative rhetoric is making Muslim women feel "unsafe".

Such fundamentalist interpretations of Islam were once fairly fringe even in much of the Middle East, with full-face veils and putting hijabs on young children decidedly outside the mainstream - but they have become increasingly common in the multicultural West, pushed by foreign governments and Islamist institutions with deep pockets.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said Mr Johnson's comments would not "reach the bar" for a criminal offence.

Ms Davidson said: "This wasn't an off-the-cuff slip, he wrote a column, he knew exactly what he was doing and I think it crossed from being provocative and starting a debate and actually it became rude and gratuitous".

"You're forgetting that there's a human being behind it", she said on ITV's Good Morning Britain.

"The way she described it, it wasn't just Islamophobic.

I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes".

"If a woman wants to wear a short dress, it is her right and freedom to do so".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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