Sunday, October 08, 2006
Absurd: The Veil Controversy
Storm in a tea cup
It is almost funny to see British politicians, media and the Muslim community doing their bit over Jack Straw's remarks about veil-wearing women. Nothing he said called for such over the top reaction.
It is a sign of the times when thin-skinned Muslims feel slighted by little or nothing and politicians bend over backward to appease them.
Ruth Kelly yesterday defended the wearing of the veil as a 'personal choice' by Muslims that must be respected. She made her comments as the Cabinet began distancing itself from Jack Straw's disclosure that he asked women attending his constituency surgery to uncover their faces.
Kelly, the Women's Minister and Communities Secretary, also warned that more serious threats to female freedom must not be 'swept under the carpet', citing the refusal of some Muslim families to let their daughters go to university for fear of exposure to undesirable influences or the failure to confront domestic violence in the Muslim community.
Her repositioning of the debate followed three days of uproar over Straw's disclosure. Kelly told The Observer she changed her own views about traditional dress being repressive after speaking to high-profile Muslim women.