If nothing else Boris Johnson and his ill-advised comments on the burka have shown how Britain is changing. Not for the worse as some us believe but for the better.

The language used by Boris Johnson was childish and stupid. The former foreign secretary wrote an article in a national newspaper in which he said women wearing the Muslim face veil looked like ‘letterboxes’ and ‘bank robbers’. He went on to ridicule niqab wearers.

Yet at the same time he did not agree with an outright ban.

Without a doubt the comments have shown a wider and deeper level of anti-Muslim feeling. How and why national commentators and newspapers have been able to defend his comments might surprise some people.

But was it really so alarming? If you have engineered readers and viewers to fear a particular race and people through a constant stream of racist articles and posts then should we really be surprised when people begin to agree with him?

Since Jack Straw first raised the issue publicly in 2006, the veil has been a polarising and has been an emotive issue for parts of the media. It has been used constantly to portray Muslims and women in particular as downtrodden people who are intent on imposing Shariah law across Britain.

For all his criticism back then Mr Straw raised an issue that was of concern to constituents and did not look to use language that was more likely to be used by a right-wing commentator.

There is a familiar theme that is repeated over and over again. Features concerning segregation and Muslim extremism are normally associated with pictures of women wearing the veil.

When you subject people to these images and this narrative then it was not at all surprising when a senior politician makes such shocking comments about a person’s religious dress and people begin to agree with him.

There are Muslims who will not agree with the burka. They will not see it as obligatory.

Some of us may well see it as a way of showing our belief in an outward manner when we believe that it is the inner self that matters more.

We also tend to want to hold women wearing the veil with a higher moral compass than anyone else. So, when we find out they are just as human as us we are quick to call them hypocrites.

Like many other religions around the world there are those who wish to dress a particular way to show their faith in a different way.

But when comments lead to further incidents of hate crime and a case of further instilling fear into already paranoid parts of the media then we have to stand up for what is right.

If a woman wishes to wear a veil then it is her right to do so and racism must be tackled no matter who it is targeted at, may that person be a Hindu, Sikh, Jew or Buddhist. When we start to appease this racist narrative in the hope of scoring political points then we have failed.

There is also a point that Muslims are in fact easy targets.

If Boris had said anything about the Sikh turban or the Jewish Tichel (scarf) would we still be here talking about Boris Johnson the MP?

We must also look at how Britain has reacted to this latest attack. There has been a great deal of support for those who wear the veil even from those who may not agree with it.

The growing feeling is that Britain is changing in how it perceives its minorities. Many non-Muslims have called out this recent attack because they are unable to ignore those who want to use Muslims women in veils for their own political purposes.

This is Britain changing.