Jack Straw is in trouble, not for helping Tony and George start a war, but for saying that Muslim women should remove the veil. His reason? It prevents cohesion in the community.
Well, yeah, but have you noticed who wears the veil? It isn't Muslim men, and they aren't any better cohesed in the community than Muslim women. The real problem with the veil is that only women wear it, not men.
I have no problem if your religion wants you to wear something odd. Go ahead; look ridiculous, I often do. But the wearing of the veil is meant to keep women in their place, out of sight, literally. How does a young girl feel, knowing her face isn't fit for public exposure?
Yes, I know many—most—Muslim women don't wear the veil or even the hajib, especially in America, where Muslims are indeed better integrated into society. But if you walk down Edgware, you'll see plenty of women who do. The man has a point.
Today Jack Straw is busy defending his statement, calling the veil a "statement of separateness and difference". (I wonder, has he met any Amish people?) He says he's asked female constituents to remove their veils in his office (during his "surgery", as office visits to your MP are called here), and they've complied. I wish they'd gone all the way, and thrown off the yoke their religion imposes on them.
But then ever since I found out my religion didn't allow me to "speak in the Church" I knew we weren't a match made in heaven.
At least Jack didn't do anything really stupid, like draw cartoons of women in veils—oh wait:
Uh oh. Somebody's toast. Or is it only male prophets who can't be portrayed in ink?