I AM writing in response to Boris Johnson being cleared of breaching the Conservative Party’s code of conduct in regards to his ridiculing comments about Muslim women.

I’m absolutely appalled by the Tory legal experts’ judgement on the matter of Mr Johnson mocking Muslim women. I fail to understand that how on earth is equating someone to bank robbers and letterboxes ‘respectful and tolerant’.

Covering hate speech behind the notion of free speech and expression is utter hypocrisy. A neo-Nazi couple was sentenced by Birmingham crown court just days ago. Why is Nazi expressions like Nazi salute and naming your baby Adolf Hitler, not considered freedom of expression? Because it perpetrates hate, prejudice and violence in the society. Then why in God’s name calling Muslim women ‘absolutely ridiculous’ and regarding them as a ‘letterboxes’ just for choosing to wear a niqab is considered to be okay, even when Tell Mama reported how there was a rise in Islamophobic attacks on women after Mr Johnson’s remarks. Even goes against Mr Johnson’s own statement quoting Lord Justice Sedley that provocative speech is okay ‘provided it does not tend to provoke violence'. It surely did incite violence against Muslim women.

Only recently the same Tories were calling Jeremy Corbyn a sexist for allegedly calling the PM a ‘stupid woman’. Now they come out saying that Mr Johnson is ‘respectful and tolerant’ for saying that he would refuse to speak to women at his surgery unless they removed some of their clothing. What a perfect code of conduct!

I am fortunate to live in Britain which gives me freedom of religion but that hasn’t fully protected me from hearing nasty comments shouted at me. I wonder if we’re ever going to see the time when we will be completely okay with women choosing to wear or not wear whatever they want.

Basira Ajmal