Former Blackburn MP Jack Straw stands by view on full veil 10 years on

FORMER Blackburn MP Jack Straw said his opinion has not changed 10 years after he called on Muslim women not to wear the full veil.

Mr Straw prompted an international debate on the issue when he wrote in his Lancashire Telegraph column in October 2006 about asking Muslim women to remove their veil when they visit his surgeries.

At the time he said the veil could be seen as a “visible statement of separation and difference” and was concerned “that wearing the full veil was bound to make better positive relations between the two communities more difficult.”

Speaking a decade on from the column, he said what sparked it had been an interaction with a constituent in his surgery.

He said: “A lady I knew but had not seen for a few years came and she said ‘it is so nice to see you again face-to-face’. I smiled and thought she was the lucky one. Now I talk to her about it. At the time she decided to remove it so we could have a proper conversation. [Lancashire Telegraph]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] The veil is worn to be a devisive instrument that sticks two fingers up to the British way of life and cohesion, and has nothing to do with religion or the womans rights to wear! How come that in a predominantly Muslim country like Saudi with it’s strict intolerance towards the breaking of religeous rules, that the majority of women do not wear the veil ? It is only worn here and in other western countries by muslims who want to stand out and not intergrte with their fellow countrymen. By wearing it, it gives them a platform to jump on the islamaphobic bandwagon if you complain.

[ANOTHER] This is England, whats the matter with you jack straw.

Each & everyone should can & will have their own faith but when you see drivers with this said veil on and only looking out through a small oblong gap, that is what should be stopped, not only is it not visually safe, when it comes down to them having an accident how can they be identified if they leave the scene or will not give you details, does`nt mean that they drive their own car does it. The veil should be kept for their praying and indoors only. Not out amongst the public when they cannot be identified.

[ANOTHER] I think it is time the full veil was banned in public really as it is probably a security risk as well and when you see a woman with a small child – well how is that child supposed to see the mother’s expression when her face is covered up. As for driving wearing that – words fail me at the stupidity of it.

[ANOTHER] Part of British culture is that women are free to chose to dress as they please.

But the women who wear the niqab have deliberately chosen to put up a barrier between them and me and also to make insulting assumptions about my behaviour. So they are free to chose to dress as they please but I am free to want to have nothing at all to do with them. [Lancashire Telegraph] Read more

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