In a news article published in The Washing Post on October 6, it is reported that Jack Straw, the former Foreign Secretary in the Blair government, suggested that the veiling of Muslim women causes racial separation in British society.
In his remarks, Jack Straw, who now serves as the leader of the House of Commons, criticized the Islamic custom of women wearing a full facial veil. Straw urged Muslim women to remove the veil when talking to him. According to Straw, the veil is “a visible statement of separation and of difference” which can put in jeopardy social harmony in British society.
The following is an excerpt of the news report published in The Washington Post:
Britain has been plunged into a debate over Islamic integration after revelations that former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw asks Muslim women visiting his office to remove their veils and a Muslim policeman was excused from guarding the Israeli Embassy.
The uproars have left many questioning whether Britain's multicultural ideals can withstand the strains of a cultural divide that is increasingly tormenting much of Europe.
Straw said in a newspaper column published Thursday that he believes the veils favored by some Muslim women inhibit communication and are a sign of division in society. At his constituency office, he said he asks that veiled women reveal their faces, adding that the women have always complied, and a female assistant is always present. On Friday, British media quoted Straw as going further _ saying that he would prefer that Muslim women not wear veils at all.
"I just find it uncomfortable if I'm trying to have a conversation with someone whose face I can't see," Straw told the British Broadcasting Corp.
Read the complete article by clicking here.
The veiling of women has already caused problems in American society. In Florida, a judge has allowed Muslim women to wear the veil while taking their picture for their driver’s license.
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Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary