Muslim women are pictured at the Whitechapel market in east London. Former foreign minister Jack Straw has defended his call for Muslim women to remove their veils despite a storm of protests — and went further, saying he would like veils not to be worn at all.
AP: Rushdie: Veils take power from women
Prime Minister Tony Blair and author Salman Rushdie praised a British official on Tuesday for raising the difficult issue of whether Muslim women visiting his office should remove their veils.
The comment by Jack Straw, a former foreign secretary who now is leader of the House of Commons, has plunged Britain into a debate over Islamic integration.
“It’s important these issues are raised and discussed, and I think it’s perfectly sensible if you raise it in a measured and considered way, which he did,” Blair said of Straw during an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. television outside his office. “I think we can have these discussions without people becoming hysterical either way about it.”
So Tony Blair and most folks in Europe would think – a discussion. But, the English-living Muslims think otherwise.
Rushdie, whose book “The Satanic Verses,” once led to death threats against him by Islamic clerics, told BBC radio that Straw “was expressing an important opinion, which is that veils suck, which they do. I think the veil is a way of taking power away from women.”
Straw said in a newspaper column published Thursday that he believes the veils favored by some Muslim women inhibit communication and are a sign of division in society. At his constituency office, Straw said he asks that veiled women reveal their faces, adding that the women have always complied, and a female assistant is always present.
On Friday, British media quoted Straw as going further, saying that he would prefer that Muslim women not wear veils at all. “I just find it uncomfortable if I’m trying to have a conversation with someone whose face I can’t see,” Straw told the BBC.
Many Muslims in Straw’s parliamentary district of Blackburn, in northwestern England, reacted with outrage.
Islamophobe is what Jack Straw is now being called. And Straw is being challenged by the RIGHT for the absurdity of the Labour Party’s immigration policies.
This is a discussion/argument about assimilation of cultures. But, do the Muslims living in England and who immigrated from the British colonies wish to assimilate into English life?
Muslim women wearing veils out doing their shopping in Blackburn, England Friday Oct. 6, 2006. Britainâ€™s former Foreign Secretary Jack Strawâ€™s preference that devout Muslim women visiting his office remove their veils ignited a heated debate Friday about cultural isolation and tolerance in Britain. Straw is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Blackburn.
The political correctness here is ridiculous and absurd.
Rushdie, who was forced into hiding for 10 years after Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini served a fatwa on him over his book’s alleged criticism of the Prophet Muhammad, said the veil can be used to suppress women.
“Speaking as somebody with three sisters and a very largely female Muslim family, there’s not a single woman I know in my family or in my friends who would have accepted wearing a veil,” he said.
“I think the battle against the veil has been a long and continuing battle against the limitation of women, so in that sense I’m completely on (Straw’s) side.”
Flap is amazed that modern day women would tolerate the BS of the Veil. Whatever happened to the Feminist Movement and Womens’ RIGHTS? Where is the LEFT?
Flap guesses for Allah an exception is made to be treated not as an individual but as chattel.
Sort of RETRO.
Robert Spencer has The Straw that Broke the Burqa.