The most common line of argument I've heard against banning the burka is that people fear of living in a country that says what people can and cannot wear. Newsflash, we always live in it.
I have in the past been asked to take me hood down when in a shopping centre by security. Not even when I was among a group of lads which I can understand would appear intimidating, but was simply out shopping with family. The fact is that certain practicalities of our society exist and the burka is not only a severe impairment for identification purposes, it has more serious implications.
Some have tried to criticise UKIP for taking up the "BNP mantle" on this issue. Bollocks. The reason that support for racists like the BNP grows is because people become fearful, partly through visually striking images such as Muslim women wearing the burka. The garment is so striking that I have seen many heads turn when a group of two or three women walk down the street wearing it. People immediately take an "us and them" view of those wearing it as they view, logically, that these people are cutting themselves off. People question why are they doing this and resentment can then build towards Muslims locally, especially in areas that are heavily racially segregated in terms of their being "white areas", "Asian areas" and "black areas".
While I have total respect for those who wish to practise any religion, the burka is not an essential part of Islam. If it was, the situation would be slightly different. The fact is that the burka as a symbol causes separation within our society and when separation occurs, it is only the racists who benefit from fear, bewilderment and anger.