Sunday, October 08, 2006

The veil furore in Britain

Jack straw, the former foreign secretary and presently the leader of the House of Commons would normally give out carefully-worded statements and speeches.

In a free and open democratic society, Jack Straw has the freedom of expression to say what he wants.

He feels uncomfortable talking to a woman whose face is largely hidden and in his constituency of Blackburn where the muslims are a minority, he has asked women to remove their veils when they come to talk to him.

Jack Straw wrote in his local newspaper column that the wearing of full veils was making “better, positive relations” between communities “more difficult”. Concealing a face was “a visible statement of separation and of difference”.

Straw's statement has unleashed a racist backlash from the muslim community. They say that the Muslims should be able to wear whatever dress they want to dress, same as anyone else is entitled to wear what they want.

Jack Straw wanted a debate, he's got one though it isn't a very intelligent one.

Wearing the veil is regarded as a religious duty by those who wear it.

Many forms of social behaviour create discomfort to different people. Some people may take offence at navel-baring women while others may get offended to see women in body-hugging skimpy dresses, while still others may find it it offensive to see gory images tatooed on human flesh.

In a multicultural society, different communities will have to be sensitive and respect the other's way of life, so long as it does not infringe on racial harmony and security of the community.

Technorati tags: veil, social behaviour, freedom of expression

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