Friday, October 06, 2006

Under the Veil

Should we support Jack Straw's comments on Moslem women wearing the veil or condemn them?

The Islamic Human Rights Commission called Mr Straw's views "astonishing" and accused him of discrimination

Is the veil a cultural statement, a political expression, a statement of devotion or perhaps all three and does it, as Mr Straw suggests, reinforce "separateness" in a British society already under cultural stress from its attempts to co-exist with Islam?

What do you think?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

For almost 1500 years since the time of the Prophet Mohammed, women did not wear the veil we see today. It is an interpretation / invention, born of the last half of the 20th century through fundamentalist Islam , spread largely to Pakistan by Wahabi Islam and funded by Sauda Arabia and an equally fundamentalist Shi'a Islam out of Iran through the creation and funding of many thousands of mosques, a great number of which we now see in the UK.

The great majority of Moslem women are happy with the interpretation of modest dress that Islam lived with for many centuries.

To defend the veil against Mr. Straw's comments is an irrational argument. Islam does not demand that women wear the veil, ipso facto it is not a religious choice rather, it is a cultural statement and as Mr. Straw says, it stresses the divisions of two cultures in our society. Arguably, it represents an inflammatory fashion statement under the present social circumstances.

The Prophet simply instructed women to draw their out garments around them in the presence of men, an eminently sensible statement and it is only through the Taliban-like suppression of woman under fundamentalist Islam and the cooperation of those women who wish to make a social fashion or cultural statement

After all, if nobody can point accurately to the Prophet saying that is was compulsory, then it is simply a matter of personal interpretation and cannot be defended on simple religious grounds.

Holy Smoke

Anonymous said...

Despite what you just said, I'm much for the idea that if muslim want to wear them they can. It's personal choice and causes no harm.

Anonymous said...

Holy Smoke's comments are spot on. If it is a personal religious preference to wear the niqab as opposed to a religious requirement, then those doing so have no grounds to attack Straw's balanced and mild comments. The response that has been generated is just part of the concerted effort by many segments of the Moslem community in this country to exert political influence to promote militant islamic ideals. Any criticism of or comment on Islamic issues is met with a hysterical response from Muslim spokespersons whose real agenda has nothing to do with harmonious relations and integration within British society. Such excessive and hostile response to what is a reasonable comment is rather more likely to antagonise the average Brit and make him perhaps think that the BNP has some attractiveness. Militant religious fervour of any denomination is by its nature intolerant and therein lies the danger within British society.

Dane Valley Ted said...

While I agree that it is personal preference to wear the veil-
what happens when the lady in question applies for a passport or a U.K driving licence?.I am asking this out of curiosity,not to cause a problem or arguement.

DrMoores said...

My understanding from the BBC News tonight is that while a woman may wear Hejab, the head covering for a Passport photo, she may not conceal her face and as such must display it in the approved manner found in the instructions for the taking of passport photos. Before 7*7 I vaguely recall the government was close to caving in to demands that women be able to opt out on religious grounds but that all changed with the London bombings

Anonymous said...

Part of the act of conversation face to face is interpreting someone's facial expressions. This cannot be the case with a telephone conversation or email and both mediums loose something because of this. I hate talking to people wearing sunglasses because I want to read their eyes. It's all about effective human interaction. It has been jumped on by some radical muslims as an excuse to have a go at Jack Straw and the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
I think, that if the women are ugly, then they are welcome to wear a veil...... that goes for our Western Ladies too!

Anonymous said...

Name and address withheld but known to the site owner and withheld for reasons.

I am the host father for a Muslim student from another country. He is actually in agreement with Holy Smoke.

So like some of the people from Iraqi lets listen to the people of the country rather than those whom chose to interpret what they think the people of these countries think they are all individual and have their own thoughts.

We have a debate most evenings instigated by the students of varying ages these being from Japan, Thailand,Ivory Coast, UAE. The debate raised today (raised on his own instigation) from the Muslim, was sex.

What shocked us all (3 male and 3 female) was the fact that it is considered by the Muslim and considered O.K. for incest and family group sex. Mother & Sons, Fathers & Daughters, Brothers & Sisters, Sisters & Sisters, Brothers & Brothers. It is also considered the Mothers and Fathers right to have sex with their children. He asked what was the attitude in England. Don't worry I advised him of what would be the full extent by law to the families actions if this were to occur in England.

The issue was raised concerning the men only wishing to marry virgins. This is no problem. Before the girl is married the Hymen is stiched again so the the husband to be thinks that he is marrying a virgin. To prove (deceive) the husband that she was a virgin, the wife conceals chicken blood within the bed and uses this to deceive the husband that she was a virgin. Albeit that not every woman/girl bleeds on first sexual intercourse. Both the husband and the wife deceive each other into letting their partners believe that they are virgins. It is common knowledge that the mother will have sex with the son to give him sexual experience and likewise the father with the daughter.
The son is encouraged to have sex outside his country. If he can find a European (especially English) girl then this is better because they are considered an easy lay or a whore.

This is only a brief part of the discussion.

Before we let the few consider the majority to be barbaric let the few search their own conciences and put their own house in order.

CS

DrMoores said...

CS comments on incest have very little to do with the subject of the veil I fear. Islam condemns rape and incest harshly and what I read here suggests the presence of another culture which may claim to be "islamic" but - like the BBC series 'Tribe' has introduced it own cultural traditions; female circumcision being one.

To quote an Islamic source on |The subject:

"Prohibited for you (in marriage) are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, the sisters of your fathers, the sisters of your mothers, the daughters of your brother, the daughters of your sister, your nursing mothers, the girls who nursed from the same woman as you, the mothers of your wives, the daughters of your wives with whom you have consummated the marriage - if the marriage has not been consummated, you may marry the daughter. Also prohibited for you are the women who were married to your genetic sons. Also, you shall not be married to two sisters at the same time - but do not break up existing marriages. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

This includes your foster parents, siblings and children.

Al Hasan reports: ‘If somebody commits illegal intercourse with his sister, his punishment is the same as for any other person who commits such a crime’.

Thus, these same laws mentioned above in cases of rape would be equally applicable, and incest can be prosecuted as a crime within the bounds of Islamic law.

According to Islam, all aspects of life, ie: the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, are sacred and must be respected. No gender or relationship has been given the power or right to hurt or harm the other. Domestic violence, rape and incest are all violent and criminal abuses that are outside the bounds of what is permitted in Islam and there is absolutely no justification for it whatsoever. "

Anonymous said...

Anon of 11.34 - This boy is either winding you up or has some serious family problems. None of this is allowed and could only happen in totally dysfunctional families.I don't believe its the norm in any Muslim country.
Anyway its got nothing to do with wearing of veils which I believe is segregating and undesirable in a Western country where immigrants should be trying to blend in and get on with people.
I can't wear my full face motorbike crash helmet in a bank, can these women wear their veils? I bet they do, so they are "more equal" than I am!
That can't be right.
No, if they want to come here and live then let them integrate, and that means dressing as we do and behaving as we should. No veils, no long robes, nothing which makes a statement which seperates them from us.
And they should try to speak English at home as the norm otherwise their kids will grow up feeling "different", and at work they should have to speak English otherwise their colleagues who don't speak anything else but English will become distanced from them and suspicious of what is being said.
It was their choice to come here, what did they expect? All the benefits of peace and wealth and they can go on living in an separate cultural environment to the original inhabitants?
Get real!
Good for Jack Straw.

Anonymous said...

We all accepted the myth of a multicultural society and now, when this has been exposed for the nonsense it was, belatedly we talk of integration. There can be no integration unless the immigrant population wishes to pursue such a course. As I grew up on the outskirts of Southall, West London, in the sixties, there was clearly no attempt to integrate but rather to establish a bastion of Sikhdom with the intent to follow religious, family and social customs of the homeland and make few concessions to the host community.

We should not be surprised that an equally strong and more intolerant faith like the Muslim one can make no concessions to believers to integrate. What we are asking our non-christian immigrant communities to do is thus impossible for them. Integration has historically only occurred with a shared faith; to put it simply, either they become christians through time (or hedonistic atheists) or we become muslims.

We have centuries ahead of us, as a country, of conflicting religious and moral differences and the sooner we accept that, the better. The issue of the veil will become just one of many issues that the minority will pursue relentlessly to further political change and to gain concessions to their advantage.

Perhaps it is time to disestablish the C of E and become a truly secular society affording equal religious and cultural rights to all citizens at their own expense. We should make no concessions within our overall legal structure for any religion or cultural group but ensure that they can all have freedom to practise and live their faith without fear or molestation.

A muslim Jugoslavian under Tito, could never have believed he would find himself a target for ethnic cleansing after 500 years of peaceful coexistence. The Serbs and Croations quickly disabused him of that misconception.

Sadly the only way forward is for us all to become hedonistic aethist Brits.

Anonymous said...

I think Politicians should inform people they are liars before they start talking to the public.

James Maskell said...

Jack Straw was right. His comments were blown way out of proportion by the radical Muslims as happens everytime someone makes a comment about Islam or Muslims. He didnt demand that the veil be removed permanently. He requested that those coming to his surgeries remove their veils while they are there, so he can se their faces. A lot of communication is in non-verbal communication and he'd prefer it if they werent covered up. Hes absolutely right.

If they want to wear a veil, no one should tell them they cant wear one, but to react to a justified personal comment like this is ridiculous. I see the MPAC, despite calling itself moderate, is leading the calls for Jack Straw to be punished. Another case where the radical Muslims dont actually read the comments themselves and just go nuts as they do everytime.

Anonymous said...

No wonder 11:34 is anonymous what a load of old Bull, I don't beleive his story for one second.

This whole debate is frankly long overdue but clearly getting way out of hand particularly when people start spouting complete nonsense.

Plain and simple, the wearing of the veil is little more than an insult to the established norms of dress in this country.

The inference of wearing the veil is to suggest that men are likely to lose all control at the sight of a womens nose or chin, islam takes modesty to extreams, of near madness.

If a bloke going to get that excited over a womens face surley wearing a tent or the Berk er, is no defence.