Are ‘Burkas’ The New Bandanas?

When I sat down to start my stint of volunteering for EBF Friday, little did I know that I would still be sitting there 15 hours later, still trying to write a post.

Thursday, 18th June, 2015, a man dressed in a burka was arrested and a package that he had allegedly left in a doorway was safely detonated by a bomb squad. Well, of course, they SAY it was a burka but the photographs show that it was not a burka but a niqab.

In fact, there have been NO crimes committed wearing a burka in the UK, some have been committed wearing a niqab but, as the word ‘burka’ is commonly incorrectly used to describe the niqab and it is the burka which Biffers want banned, I will use the word ‘burka’ in place of niqab.

There are still very few details about what happened yesterday. We don’t know anything about the man or whether or not there was an explosive device in the bag he allegedly left. What we do know is that our police and armed forces collaborated quickly and calmly to evacuate the area, seal off Watford to ensure everyone’s safety and that the man was arrested. And, yes, he was wearing a ‘burka’.

Not surprisingly the incident started a foam fest over on Britain First and now it seems that ‘burkas must be banned’ and ‘all Muslims must die’ once again – because of the alleged actions of this one man, despite not yet knowing what he did or whether the bag which was detonated contained explosives.

So I thought I would have a look around to see if we really need to be so anxious about women wearing burkas, because ‘it could be anyone in there’ and therefore burkas are a security risk.

I didn’t anticipate that this would be an easy task and I was right.

I started out by looking at press reports of crimes committed while wearing a ‘burka’ and I found 21, dating between 2002 – 2014. Nine jewellers had been robbed, one travel agent, one Post Office, two banks, one Securicor van and one phone shop.

There was one case of embezzlement by a woman who normally wore a hijab, changing into a ‘burka’ to carry out her crime, and there were four assaults. One assault was committed by a woman who ALWAYS wore a ‘burka’ and didn’t don it for the purpose of the assault, and one case involved pickpockets in ‘burkas’ targeting the very wealthy.

Robbery seemed to be the most common crime committed in a ‘burka’. That being the case, I thought I’d have a look and see how many robberies occur in total to work out a percentage of ‘burka’ wearing robbers. I found figures for April 2015 at which show that there had been 4,104 total cases of robbery UK wide.

I then looked through the press for robberies committed wearing other disguises and, of course, there were a variety, including mask variations from Scream to monkeys and skeletons and even one man with underpants on his head (no, it wasn’t Paul Golding at the Cenotaph this time). And I found 19 reports of robberies where disguises were used between 2009 – 2015.

However, only using the press to research the subject seemed unscientific so I decided to go to to investigate the results of court cases in England and Wales. I searched for ‘robbery’ (the most reported crime) between 2008-2014.

There were 1209 cases – but how to narrow this down to see how many ‘foreigners’ were committing crimes – Biffers are always telling us that it’s the immigrants who commit the crimes (I’ll get back to the ‘burka’ in a bit).

Since the Law Pages don’t record people’s religion or skin colour, it was going to be quite difficult to ascertain how many ‘Johnny Foreigners’ had been convicted of robberies. I did what I suspect lots of people do, not just Biffers, I looked at people’s names and put them into categories according to their name. I must stress that I know this is far from ideal but I needed detail, not simply numbers. There is something to be gleaned from estimating nationality of origin from people’s names, although we don’t know if everyone called, say, ‘Stavros Popoupolis’ is a Greek immigrant, is second, third or fourth (or more) generation Greek or if he is not Greek at all, but it’s my best guess that he’s not French.

Of the 1209 convictions for robbery between 2008 and 2014, origins or backgrounds of names suggested that 91 seemed likely to be Asian, 10 likely to be Sikh, 31 likely to be East European, 39 African, two Jewish and six ‘other’, Far Eastern, for example. Of course, as I stated earlier, they could all be British, although one was known to be an asylum seeker who was given a jail term followed by a deportation order.

So, out of 1209 convictions, we have POTENTIALLY 179 foreign born people convicted of robbery in a six year period. That means that 1,118 convictions were for people called Murphy, McCloed, Bowman, Smith, Jones, Knight, Tyler, Grant and….Curtin.

I was quite interested in Curtin, because he had worn a ‘burka’ to commit a jewellry theft from Selfridges in London in 2012, with his accomplice Connor Groake (which sounds a bit Irish).

So now I had 179 names I could take back to the press reports to see how many of the POTENTIALLY foreign born people who had been convicted of robbery had worn ‘burkas’ when committing their crime.

I found reports about some of the convicted ‘burka’ wearing robbers in the press. 
I found that a jeweller in Burnley had been robbed by four MEN wearing ‘burkas’, Rais Atcha, Fahim Kola, Mohammed Asif Khan and Baber Khan, the phone shop in London had been robbed by Mohammed Sabek and Aneek Khan, dressed in ‘burkas’ and the robbery from Selfridges had been committed by Sam Curtin and Connor Groake, wearing ‘burkas’.

As for the crimes I found in my initial press sweep this morning, matching them up with my Law Pages search, three out of the nine jewellry store robberies achieved convictions, and the robbers of the phone shop were caught, as was the embezzler mentioned at the beginning.

So, there are some thieves out there who use ‘burkas’ as disguises to commit robberies. There are also three people who used Scream masks, one man in a green/yellow mask, and one in a pig mask.

What do I get out of all this at the end of the day? What I can say is that if you’re a robber, wearing a ‘burka’ seems to be on a list of potential disguises. It’s not top pick though. The majority of the cases on the Law Pages chose balaclavas and ski masks, some chose leggings, some chose hoods and scarves. Wearing a ‘burka’ is down the list and doesn’t seem to have any greater a ‘success’ rate than other disguises.

I’ve also learned that I never want to own a jewellers shop and there are some VERY nasty people out there. Most of them are not wearing ‘burkas’.

16 thoughts on “Are ‘Burkas’ The New Bandanas?

  1. I’m sure much more crimes are committed by people wearing tights over their heads and hoodies: I wonder if they think those attire should be banned too? Sod it, it’s a fact that all if not most crimes are committed by people wearing any clothing – ban all clothes!


    • ebfblogger please delete ASAP my post of 21 June on 6.22 pm.I have just posted an amended one leaving out the first-and offensive-paragraph!!


      • Either your comments are subject to some sort of random delay, David (unlikely) or you are playing some sort of elaborate game. I strongly suspect the latter. Stop this silliness now.


        • Frankly ebfblogger I am becoming understandably pissed off with your attitude! I am by a long way not sufficiently au fait on a computer to mess about with my posts in order to annoy you,and anyway all I ever wanted to achieve was to get them passed. Elaborate games to mess people up is not my style I am far too ancient for that.

          I am definitely NOT being silly,in fact I feel extremely hard done by and apart from taking up a lot of your time I have wasted a lot of mine just getting done hours ago what could have been done then. I suppose that you would never think that I was owed an apology??


          • That’s it, David – you’re gone! I will delete all your future posts unread. I have had more than enough of your abuses, your games, your accusations and above all your ridiculous assertions that after all your immature and abusive behaviour you warrant some sort of apology from me!

            I have been extremely patient with you.
            That’s it now.

            Last week the EBF team decided to offer you ONE more chance. I told you that was the case on Thursday or Friday of last week. You have abused that one chance for several days now. I have put up with your abusive game-playing because I value freedom of speech and have no wish to remove it from you. But this is the last straw.

            I will not waste any more of my time moderating your comments. I will simply delete them all unread.

            You are no longer welcome on this blog.


    • Carol, modern technology is now SO brilliant that professional thieves might invent robots to do their work for them.


    • Carol, I am fervently hoping that ebfblogger will at long and weary last allow my lengthy comments on this blog to be seen

      I do believe that having a woman’s opinion of the wearing of the Niqab and Burka would be very important on here . It is certain that virtually all “modern” muslim women, often secular or non orthodox are very much opposed to such veils but the opinion of a non-muslim lady like you would be most welcome..


  2. In the hope that ebfblogger will post my comments as she has promised I will continue to comment on various aspects of this blog.

    It is generally acknowledged by muslim scholars and “experts” in the west both muslim and non-muslim, Robert Spencer,Professors Sam Harris,Bill Warner and women former muslims, Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish and Ayaan Hirsi Ali that in almost all European democracies, the wearing of the Niqab and Burqa shows that the wearer comes from either an ORTHODOX or ultra-orthodox household or community and wears one to comply NOT with the Qur’an which only requires a woman to wear a Hijab(as is very common today) but with muslim “experts” of 1400 years ago. So as the Qur’an is the perfect word of God there is no OBLIGATION or even justification for today’s wearing of those two veils. Actually, it is generally considered just to be worn as a symbol of total commitment to Allah and a repudiation(in the UK and France especially)of the law and culture of that country. A similar example is exceptionally long beards worn by orthodox muslim men. In such households and communities women still abide by the ultra conservative “rules” for wives in Muhammad’s time Sura 33.33 A woman can only leave her house in case of real need. The exit must be authorized by her husband. She must walk in a chaste and modest manner.She must walk at the side or behind men.She must not go beyond a thirty kilometre limit without being accompanied by her husband or a relative.She must not shake the hand of a man etc,etc.

    To my mind the attitude to those veils has been perfectly expressed by former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy “We cannot have in our country women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life,deprived of identity. That is not the idea that the French public has of women’s dignity”


  3. The whole subject of the variety of veils goes right back to the days when Muhammad was inventing the Qur’an and Hadith and the earliest jurists were laying down rules and guidelines on face coverings. Since then a growing number of women in Islam have been doing their very best NOT to wear them or at the very least those which which completely cover the face,the Niqab with an opening to see the eyes and the Burqa with a mesh to see out with. Originally, most muslim “experts” seemed to agree that wearing a veil-especially the niqab and burqa was a symbol of women’s servitude and still is in ultra-orthodox Islamic countries like Iran,Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Qatar,Kashmir and Afghanistan. On the other hand there as been a real struggle for the liberation of the Muslim woman especially in 1923 when the President of the Egyptian Feminist Union Ms Houda Cha’araoui and her colleagues defiantly threw their veils into the sea.In 1927 there was a “de-hijabization” in communist Turkestan .No less than 87,00 Uzbek women publicly repudiated their black cowls but not before 300 had been killed for betraying Islam.Q24 v 30-31 states “Enjoin believing women to turntheir heads away from temptation and to preserve their chastity: to cover their adornments, to draw their veils over their bosoms and not to reveal themselves except to their husbands.

    From a purely personal view I deplore the the wearing of the niqab and the burqa in ALL western democracies because it is not part of the general Judeo-Christian culture and prevents integration by the muslim communities which espouse them and other muslim and non-muslim communities and is a thoroughly unpleasant and unwelcome relic of 1400 years ago.In France especially they are forbidden public places as is perfectly reasonable by the secular government as it is a blatant disregard of its law.


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