LETTERS to the editor are not accompanied by a photo of the writer – why should they? But here I am engaging with you, and hopefully you’ll keep reading. We’re communicating. And all you have is my name at the end.

I understand that some people might make assumptions, but I promise you, I am neither a letter box, a bank robber nor an apologist for women who decide their own dress code. Politics of identity, gender, culture and religion, when undertaken in the name of Western democracy, seem to have become some totem that supersedes choice and self-determination.

No-one would want to see or condone the oppression of women, be that being told what to wear, where to go, or any of the other tyrannies that deny us our rights and opportunities. There are so few women here wearing the full covering, we do not know how many choose to do so. It would seem though that the imposition of a ban, full or partial, even extending to burkinis, in other parts of Europe, is meant to bring some “freedom” to previously oppressed women. Either way, the assumption is that women, and now it’s Muslim women, don’t know what’s good for them and they need to be told by others.

Then there is the diversionary tactic of “integration” into society and if you’re still reading, we know face-to-face isn’t always required. How much do we accept via social media with nothing more than a click on a mouse and the trust that the “profile” we exhibit, the information we share, is true? But if we are talking about the need for integration – and I believe it’s a diversion – I am reminded of my Jewish friends who tell me of their families fully integrated within Germany in the 1930s, but who didn’t survive that Holocaust. I remember the Bosnian Muslims and their integration prior to being hunted, put into camps and their extermination.

But why just Muslim women in this instance? How would women, any women, all women, show they are integrated? And into what? Whose opinion, whose dictate would prevail? In this day and age (as in the past) women are objectified constantly and possibly, universally.

I have never watched Love Island, but wonder due to all I have seen in the press if that programme is meant to represent what younger women here should aspire to: physically, emotionally and with career potential in mind? If copied, would that be a sign of integration? Funny then, that Muslim women have been targeted before to demonstrate their integration by being the eyes and ears in communities, scoping out possible terrorists and maybe bank robbers whilst assisting the Prevent strategy.

Boris Johnson is quick to ridicule Muslim women for their appearance, but presumably he found Prince Charles, all dressed up, complete with sword, swaying to drums acceptable since it was to support rUK’s Saudi allies and, oh yes, help with trade deals. Did he go out to ridicule women in Saudi Arabia and their dress code? Is Boris cozying up to the Trumps, Bannons and Robinsons of this world since he feels that the far right wing is the future, or that their supporters here will vote for a like-minded candidate either in a leadership bid, or worse, as Tory leader going into a General Election?

Picking on any minority, and the weaker members within any minority, is not the sign of a leader seeking to create an inclusive society. Nor will holding minorities up to mockery create a safer society. But it is a demonstration of persecution.

When aided and abetted by media, social platforms, and worse, perpetuated by politicians and their parties, you have to query the mindset that can generate such “debate” and dogmatic beliefs.

And I truly fear the long-term motives and vision for the future as envisaged by Boris and his supporters.

Selma Rahman

READ MORE: Boris Johnson to be probed by Tory bosses over burka comments​

HAVE you noticed how our politicians are partial to wearing thick cotton white shirts and heavy dark suits? Not to forget that ever-so-practical neck attire: the tie. They accompany shiny, black, leather-soled shoes. Just the ticket for your 35-degree London, Mr Johnson! You do not have far to look to see “silly” clothing! Burka or just burk, Mr J?

Peter Barjonas

I WAS so impressed and enlightened by David Crines’s well-informed response to Jim Fairlie’s letter (whose letters, by the way, I also so enjoy reading).

But as David explains, the UK can hold a referendum and as a result, invoke Article 50 to leave the EU and it is that easy! The EU complies and respects that decision, despite its inevitable negative impact for all.

However, the Scottish Government requests (cannot inform) to hold a second referendum to leave the equal group of UK countries and is refused. It says it all.

Kate Reid

READ MORE: Letters: The EU’s sovereignty is limited and clearly defined

I HAVE read the National since day one with no complaints concerning front page headlines or photos. However, I must rebuke the paper regarding your front page line-up of pictures of assorted British politicians (August 7). To inflict mug shots of the gaggle of ne-er-do-wells on the public with no prior health warning bordered on irresponsible, given the possible psychological impact on Scots who who had blotted out the memory of puffed-up hypocrites like John Reid, Helen Liddle, wee Dougie Alexander – aaargghhh – enough!

As the pictures rendered me incapable of writing this without the timely assistance of some medication and a lie-down, if you plan a similar montage of infamy in future, could you please give prior warning? This would enable me to take a couple of calm-me-down pills before perusal.

Malcolm Cordell
Broughty Ferry, Dundee