Register a free account today to join our community
Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site, connect with other members through your own private inbox and will receive smaller adverts!
At last a voice of reason!I cant see the problem.If you have a motorbike helmet on and go into a bank you have to take it off.They used the Jewish skull cap and Sikh Turban as an example.You cant use these as they dont obscure the persons identity.Get em Off!(veils that is)
Mr Straw says covering faces makes good community relations difficult
Jack Straw, the ex-foreign secretary, has angered Muslim groups by suggesting women who wear veils can make relations between communities more difficult.
The Blackburn MP says the veil is a "visible statement of separation and of difference" and he asks women visiting his surgery to consider removing it.
The Islamic Human Rights Commission said the Commons leader's request was selective discrimination.
But the Muslim Council of Britain said it should be up to women to decide.
Muslims make up about a quarter of the population of Blackburn, and Mr Straw said he had carefully considered his remarks.
Would those people who do wear the veil think about the implications for community relations?
UK Cabinet minister
He wrote in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph that he feared "wearing the full veil was bound to make better, positive relations between the two communities more difficult".
Asking women to consider showing the mouths and noses could lead to true "face-to-face" conversations with constituents, enabling him to "see what the other person means, and not just hear what they say".
He said he made sure he had a female colleague in the room when asking someone to show their mouth and nose - and his constituents had so far always agreed to do so.
Later Mr Straw, who has defended the right for women to wear headscarves, asked BBC Radio Lancashire: "Would those people who do wear the veil think about the implications for community relations?"
The remarks attracted an angry response from some organisations representing Muslims.
It was "astonishing" that Mr Straw chose to "selectively discriminate on the basis of religion", said Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission.
Halima Hussain, from civil liberties group the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, asked BBC News 24: "Who is Jack Straw to comment on negative symbols within a religion that is not his own?"
Rajnaara Akhtar, who chairs the organisation Protect-Hijab, suggested the "appalling" comments showed "a deep lack of understanding".
Mr Straw was putting women "into a very awkward position by compromising the faith they believe in and that is ill-placed", Council of Lancashire Mosques chairman Hamid Kureshi told BBC Radio Five Live.
Even within the Muslim community, the scholars have different views on this
And a political rival - Liberal Democrat constitutional affairs spokesman Simon Hughes - questioned whether it was Mr Straw's place to question the way that members of the public dressed.
"I don't think it's the job for somebody who represents the whole community to say to somebody who comes through the door, 'Do you mind if you dress differently in order to talk to me?'," Mr Hughes said.
But Dr Daud Abdullah of the Muslim Council of Britain said individual Muslim women could choose to remove part of their veil.
Who is Jack Straw to comment on negative symbols within a religion that is not his own?
"Even within the Muslim community, the scholars have different views on this.
"Our view is that if it is going to cause discomfort and that can be avoided then it can be done."
Dr Abdullah added, however, that covering hair remained "obligatory" for Muslim women.
Mr Straw was home secretary from 1997 to 2001, and then foreign secretary until 2005, a period which included the build-up to, and invasion of, Iraq.
For a sighted person, it must be very difficult to have a meaningful discussion with somebody when you can't see their face. Jack Straw is, like most of his political contemporaries, a waste of very valuable oxygen, but this was a perfectly reasonable request. If the ladies involved did not wish to comply, they were not forced so to do, unless there is something we have not been told.
As per usual a simple request/statement has been blown out of all proportion by radical and vocal minorities and our so called free press (just remember who owns what and what editorial comments are made).
I am no Labourite and have no love for the left but well done JS stand by your guns and donâ€™t let the bastards of all descriptions wear you down and keep speaking your mind.
dt018a9667 wrote: As per usual a simple request/statement has been blown out of all proportion by radical and vocal minorities and our so called free press (just remember who owns what and what editorial comments are made).
Not just the press though. Although the average Muslim is as decent as the next guy, what really pisses me off is the fact that it is all right for the extremists to tell us what we can and can't do but we can't even make a simple suggestion (not an instruction - perish the thought) to them. They fcuking rant and rave about burning the Pope for comments on Mohammed, our Politicians for the "murder of their brethren" & unjust war in Iraq and the Danish for a few cartoons and yet they completely disregard our laws, our traditions, etc. :evil:
Everyone owes them a living, everyone should pander and apologies for being an infidel and convert immediately ... don't think so. All this and they can't wait to leave their own side of the planet to come here in the first place. If it's all so fcuking good - they know where the bloody door is. :evil: :evil:
Shame a few more of our politicians aren't able to find their voices & backbones. Good for Straw - for once. :!:
I have to start by saying that I don't understand the Islamic position on veils at all - from what I've heard there is some debate within Islam as to whether they are necessary/compulsory, but every religion has some people who follow additional rules so I don't see an issue with that exactly.
What I am really puzzled by is that I've seen 2 women representing the Muslim Council interviewed on TV. One had no head-dress at all and the other had a head-scarf that surrounded her face but did not cover it. Rather than all shouting about Jack Straw who, after all, only made his comment in his regular column in his constituency local paper, why doesn't someone actually explain why the veil is so important?
I would prefer to see people's faces, but how can I begin to understand their reasons for keeping them covered if the best the Muslim Council can come up with is a political rant against the Government, rather than a rational explanation?