Shopkeepers predict a rise in niqab sale after Boris Johnson’s controversy

Belittled by burqa row, British Muslims fear rise in hate crime

Source: The Guardian

When people attack you, you feel like the only thing you have to cling on to is your religion’

Amina Patel, who works at Hijab Centre, Blackburn.
 Amina Patel, who works at Hijab Centre, Blackburn. Photograph: Phil Tragen for the Guardian

“I mean just what is his problem? He comes out with disgraceful stuff like this all the time. It’s not funny, it’s dangerous. He is peddling this rightwing rhetoric and shrouding it in humour.” Waqas Siddiqui is exasperated and fears yet another rise in hate crime in his home town of Blackburn after Boris Johnson’s controversial remarks about the burqa.

But another thing that Siddiqui predicts is the rise in sales of the full veil over the next few weeks. The Siddiqui family own the Hijab Centre in Whalley Range – an area with a large Muslim population. For 17 years, they have sold every kind of Muslim headscarf conceivable. Rows of mannequin heads line shelves. They are adorned in intricately embroidered scarves of fuchsia and turquoise. Nadeem Siddiqui and his wife, Amna, make regular trips to Turkey, Egypt and Jordan to bring back luxurious cloths and silks.

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