Friday, 6 October 2006

Jack Straw's intolerance

Jack Straw wants female Muslim constituents to remove their veils when attending surgery meetings in his constituency. Apparently he finds the veil intimidating and repressive.

I'm not mad about veils either - to be fair all religion seem repressive to me, particularly the fundamentalist varieties . But then I am not an MP elected to represent all communities in a diverse constituency .

In fact, I'm a biker with a shaved head, a goatee, an earring and tattoos. Jack Straw might even think that I look a bit intimidating. But I would find it pretty offensive if he asked me to change my appearance just because I was going to meet him. Especially if he were my MP and I was asking him to take up some issue on my behalf. So would a Sikh asked to remove his turban, a Rasta to cut off his locks, or a Catholic nun to change out of her habit.

Of course there is a larger debate about multiculturalism or assimilation, but Jack Straw's insensitivity just looks like bad manners and intolerance.

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