The hoo-hah caused by Jack Straw’s remarks about Muslim women wearing veils is perhaps the biggest storm ever to rage inside a tea cup.
The Leader of the House of Commons is an MP for
Judging by the reaction in some quarters, and the shameful hysteria being whipped up by the media, you’d think that he goes around
Asked on Radio 4’s Today programme whether he would prefer to see veils discarded completely, Jack Straw said: “Yes. It needs to be made clear I am not talking about being prescriptive but with all the caveats, yes, I would rather.”
That’s one of the great things about this country: Muslim women can choose what clothing they wear, and everyone else is free to have their opinion on it. That is Jack Straw’s opinion. I happen to share his view. I would go further and argue that a cultural requirement that all women cover themselves from head to toe amounts to subjugation (although whether or not the Koran explicitly requires that women wear these garments is a matter of conjecture). I would rather people did not dress this way but, as long as they choose to do so by their own free will (and I would be interested to know how many Muslim women dress this way out of community pressure rather than personal religious conviction) I don’t particularly care one way or the other. For the record, I would also prefer it if people didn’t wear gold jewellery, tracksuit bottoms with Reebok trainers,
But that’s just my opinion.