CONTROVERSY: Boris has caused a storm over his burka comment
The Tory caused a “civil war” within the party when he wrote that Muslim women wearing the veils looked like “letter boxes” or “bank robbers” in a newspaper column.
However, a ComRes poll in The Sunday Express showed support for Mr Johnson.
Sympathy was much higher among the older respondents, with 77% of over-65s and 63% of 55-64 year-olds saying he should not face discipline, while 62% of 18-24 year-olds and 55% of those in the 25-34 age-group said he should.
The poll also found Theresa May, who criticised Boriss comments, only just edges above him in popularity, with 26% preferring her as the Conservative leader versus 24% for Boris Johnson.
Although Boris said Britain shouldnt follow suit with Denmark and outlaw the burka, a debate has been sparked over his column.
“The burqa and niqab are hideous tribal ninja-like garments that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim.”
Imam Taj Hargey
Senior Church of England Bishop, Michael Nazir-Ali, said he believes burkas should be banned "for reasons of national security" in an interview with the Mail on Sunday.
The Pakistani-born cleric said: ”We have all seen how even male terrorists have escaped arrest by donning a burka and making an effective getaway.”
"For reasons of national security, there will be places like Parliament or Whitehall or town halls and council chambers where the burka should not be allowed."
A respected British Imam and scholar also waded into the row.
Imam Taj Hargey, from the Oxford Islamic Congregation, described the burka as a “hideous tribal ninja-like garment”.
FREE CHOICE: A woman in a burka protests in Uxbridge
Writing in The Times Dr Hargey said: “The burqa and niqab are hideous tribal ninja-like garments that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim.”
He also said the burka was “nefarious” and a “trendy gateway” for militant Islam.
A niqab is a veil that covers the face but leaves the area around the eyes clear, whereas a burka is a one-piece veil that can just leave a mesh screen over the eyes to see through.
Islamic feminists often debate if full covering of the face is a symbol of subjugation or the right of a woman to choose what she wears.