"But with all the caveats, yes I would rather (women did not wear full veils)."
— Jack Straw, the former foreign secretary
The fundamental reason given by Jack Straw for his controversial comment on the Islamic veil (Niqab), which cover the face is that: it constitutes a "visible statement of separateness" that is "a barrier to social integration". He went on to state that watching facial expressions was an important part of communication. After serving as an MP (Member of Parliament) for the last 23 years in Blackburn, he now discovers that the Islamic veil is a problem! If facial contact is that important, then he should have advised his blind colleague David Blunkett to resign!
Jack Straw also expressed concerns about the growth of “parallel communities” (multiculturalism), implying that he prefers assimilation of Muslims and other migrant communities. Accordingly, he argues that removing the veil would help towards “social integration”. Jack Straw is not alone, the Conservative leader, David Cameron, also alluded negatively to the same point of “parallel lives”, as did the Commission for Integration and Cohesion, Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.
We get the message, but why only the Muslims are being singled out? Surely one could argue, the Jewish code of dress, the turbans worn by the Sikhs, and the symbols of other religious and non-religious groups are also a visible statement of separateness that prevents integration. This selective demonisation of the Muslims is a form of racism, but this is technically challenged by the overt and the closet racists, who argue that Muslims are not a racial entity but a religious one. Of course that is true, but the Muslims are also largely distinguished by their foreign racial origins. This definitely provides a motive, especially for the closet racists that are littered in the mainstream media, and the government to vent their hatred.
The selective demonisation of Islam and Muslims is a current fad in the West, and the competition is growing fierce. Recent examples of this demonisation includes: the ban on the Islamic scarf (Hijab) in France, notorious laws introduced in Germany targeting Muslims, the filthy anti-Islamic videos produced in Holland, the disgusting Danish cartoons, Pope’s hypocritical anti-Islamic comments, and the constant vilification of Islam and Muslims by the mainstream racist-fascist media.
Apart from the daily verbal assaults, physical assaults are also on the increase. This growth in intolerance towards the Muslims is reminiscent of the Nazi era in Europe. Indeed, the Muslims are the new Jews of Europe. All the above mentioned examples are unprovoked attack on Muslims and Islamic values, and have nothing do with ‘terrorism’ (Islamic resistance against occupation and neo-colonialism). Therefore, it is time for everyone to acknowledge that “war on terror” is clearly a war on Islam and Muslims and Jack Straw’s comment also fits in appropriately.
Jack Straw and others are beginning to demand that the two communities (Muslims and majority non-Muslim) should integrate, but why is the path to integration a one-way track. We Muslims would like to see the majority non-Muslim population integrate with us on this issue, as our dress codes are far more civilised. Because, semi-nude and scantly dressed women are like the nude animals that roam the jungle; constantly agitating the sexual instincts of the opposite sex.
Another pertinent point that is never asked about integration or assimilation is: how keen are the majority native white population on the issue. A significant 10% of them  believe that you have to be racially white to be British. The real figure I believe is higher, because the label of ‘racist’ has become socially unacceptable. Hence, many would actually not state their real views on the matter. Likewise, we see the society demonising ‘terrorism’, but this has not stopped their Governments from delivering terror and killing innocent civilians. Terms may become unfashionable, but not what the term really represents.
Let us hypothetically answer Mr Jack Straw –” we would be willing to consider our position on the Islamic veil (which is not obligatory according to the majority of the Islamic Scholars of the past and present), provided Mr Straw can also ask the majority non-Muslim population to consider a modest dress code. He can start by proposing to ban the offensive adverts on TV and billboards, and suggest a dress code that does not revolve around agitating the sexual instinct of the opposite sex. However, I doubt he has the backbone to do this.
Jack Straw may find it uncomfortable in dealing with women in Islamic veil after 23 years, maybe he has developed a curiosity, but we as Muslims find it even more uncomfortable in dealing with semi-nude women! Mr Straw should consider this: is it the woman in a Islamic veil or the women in a mini skirt, whose entire body is vandalised by metal objects, who is living on the streets, carrying all sorts of sexually transmitted disease and regularly consuming drugs is likely to be the real burden on society?
Then comes out the closet racists, they will state, if you don’t like it here why don’t you go back to where you came from. I often get asked that question when I criticise the “foreign policy”, another convenient term for mass murder, theft and invasion. Well I thought we were free citizens living in a democracy with the freedom to express our viewpoints. Perhaps this is like the real example of ‘freedom’ which the Iraqis are being bombed into, and rest of use are constantly being lectured about!
I thought freedom dictates that women have the right to wear what she likes. The chivalrous knight, Jack Straw, was fighting the war in Afghanistan for bringing that ‘freedom’ to the Muslim women, so that they can discard the veil. Of course it did not work out that way. Now, he is hypocritically acting against the notion of freedom, and applying political pressure to ban the Islamic veil, thereby setting a precedent for further future action.
Like his view on assimilation, Jack Straw also sees freedom on this issue as a one-way track: it really means the women have the freedom to wear fewer clothes as possible. If it is modern and enlightening to appear like a babe in a micro-mini-skirt, then why is there a lower limit that prevents complete nudity? There is a minimum standard enforced in all societies, and the choice is restricted by that. Having the freedom to choose is futile, if one does not posses the knowledge as to how to exercise that choice correctly. According to Islamic philosophy, knowledge precedes action. Those who rant about women having choice should see the consequence of giving that choice without the correct instructions.
It is perplexing that Jack Straw is more concerned about the dress code of Muslim women, rather than the welfare of the majority non-Muslim women in this country. They are unable to pursue stable relationship as the gender roles and responsibilities have become vague, and constantly changing. Erosion of traditional values has been replaced with carnal based values like sexual freedom. This has resulted in divorce rates rocketing, children born out of wedlock, single parents, increase in sexually transmitted disease, rape, and abortion, complemented by a rise in depression, suicide and domestic violence. The fact that the recent UK research has shown that Muslim women in the UK have the lowest levels of depression, and suicide rates, is something that Mr Straw should reflect on.
Why did Jack Straw speak out on this issue, given that 30% of his constituency are Muslims? Perhaps he is confident that those ‘Muslims’ will re-elect him, because if the mass killing of Iraqis, Afghanis and Palestinians did not bother them, such comments are hardly likely to make a difference. Many are speculating that he is positioning himself ahead of any future contest. So he is seeking support, and votes by appealing to the anti-Muslim sentiments. This is the disgusting nature of democracy, and these Machiavellian politicians will sway with the wind to gain power, rather than stand for principles. Their German cousins did the same in 1939 by swaying with the anti-Jewish sentiments, as did their ancestors in the US, Australia and South Africa who committed genocide against the native population. Remember, a precursor to genocide is demonisation, so that one can mitigate the guilt arising from their crime.
His comments also shows his utter contempt for those Muslims who treacherously campaigned for his re-election and rightly so! Nobody respects people who sell-out their brothers and sisters for their personal gains. This is a big slap in the face of the moderates. If these people have any shame, they would veil their faces and contemplate their self-serving-treacherous action of re-electing a mass murderer! I wish for once, the Muslim community would direct their anger towards the real culprits, Mr Jack Straw is a non-Muslim, and we should expect such views from him.