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Friday, October 06, 2006

What Straw actually wrote

This will primarily be of interest to UK residents who are hearing about Straw's alleged call to cease-requiring/start-prohibiting the wearing of veils by muslim women in the UK. Here is what Straw actually wrote to the Lancashire Telegraph.

Needless to say he is in reality neither advocating a ban, nor implying that any muslim women in the UK are currently required to veil. He is instead asking a question about whether full veiling is
bound to make better, positive relations between the two communities more difficult.
Most of the mass-media reporting and responses have been about rather more headline-grabbing distortions of his claims, and only those activist organisations who are speaking with the most venom are getting airtime.

I don't have a clear opinion either way about Straw's question (how does one definitively balance a conjectured improvement in relations brought about by ending veiling with the antogonism that would be engendered by rendering socially unacceptable an ancient cultural practice?), my point in posting is merely to provide a pointer to what Straw actually said.