Hundreds respond to Christa Ackroyd after former Look North presenter defends burqas

Hundreds of people have aired their views after former BBC Look North presenter Christa Ackroyd penned a piece defending women's right to wear the burqa in the Yorkshire Post.

In her column for the Yorkshire Post, Christa said in response to Boris Johnson's column, in which he compared Muslim women to letter boxes: "Today I feel sad. Sad for my friend, sad for women, and sad for my country. And cross at myself.

"Last week I chose deliberately to ignore the rabid comments of Boris Johnson, who if we are talking about appearances could do with combing his hair and taking a long hard look in the mirror at himself.

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"I wrongly presumed his column in another newspaper would be seen for what it was, a desperate attempt to reclaim the power he has lost whatever the consequences, a cheap shot attacking a small minority in a minority, because of how they look. The best response, I believed, was to maintain a dignified silence and not fuel the publicity he craves. I was wrong.

Reader Glynis Winestein said: "Its a good article in which she neither agrees or disagrees with the wearing of the burqa but is questioning whether anyone has a right to tell a woman what to wear, whether that be a partner, or that be the State.

"We are talking about 300 women here in total, who wear the full veil, minute in the big scheme of things. Many culturess in this country still have men telling women wear whether that is to dress more provocatively or to dress down.

"Should the State interfere in those situations? Boris Johnson didn't actually say he was in favour of banning the Burqa in fact quite the opposite but his derogatory comments made the headlines and got the response he would have anticipated.

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"BoJo is all for Boris. It isn't the first time he has made unacceptable comments.

Clearly people have concerns, and those concerns need to be.addressed perhaps by talking to people directly instead of going in the opposite direction. I'm a practicing Christian and I chose to wear my cross and chain. If people ask me why, I tell them, if I was told to remove it I would likely become very un-Christian before refusing Its my choice."

Greg Lunn said: "Fact if I walk in a bank wearing a crash helmet I would be asked to remove it.

"We all need to be identified the rules need to be the same for everyone that is what people are fed up about it needs to be spoken about without fear of retribution. Free speech is what we are all about."

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Alex Lacey replied: "They are the same. If you were a Muslim woman. You would be allowed to. Otherwise. Go form your own crash helmet wearing religion. Then maybe you could call it discrimination. But even from a non-religious person, I do not see how the burka and a crash helmet are similar."

Ann Drake added: "I'm not anti burqas or the wearing of the veil, as long as the woman wearing it is doing so by HER choice alone. As for entering banks etc, I see no reason why her face should not be revealed on entry then replaced afterward.

"The men who demand that women wear B & V are the ones who need an attitude adjustment.

"They need to learn self control not blame the fact that they find someone attractive as an excuse to defile women.

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On a lighter joking note, I bet there isn't a woman alive who hasn't had a "wish I had a burka" moment when looking in the mirror"

Sahrah Batul Khan said: "Thoughtful and well written article."

Andrew Haigh added: "Ever notice a theme with Christa's columns? They are all about Christa......

"Although to be fair she can write, makes some good points (not saying I agree with them) and was found not guilty of any wrongdoing concerning her taxes.

"Gets a reaction too.....which is the point I suppose."

Simon Trippett said: "What I want to know is ... what does Harry Gration think?"

Read Christa Ackroyd's column in full here