Muslim comedian Shazia Mirza on wearing burka and niqab

It is rare to see women in Pakistan wear the burka or niqab, but British women do so because of the weather, joked Shazia Mirza.

The comic reckoned women wore it as a political statement, or for fashion, and told Andrew Neil on BBC1's This Week: "A lot of these women choose to wear it, they are not forced to wear it."

And speaking about female genital mutilation (FGM), she said: "It's not a religious issue, it's not a Muslim issue, it's a cultural issue".

Panellist Michael Portillo said it would be "completely futile" to legislate how people dressed, while Alan Johnson said it was "astounding" there had been no prosecutions for FGM cases in the UK.

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