Local Time

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jack Straw broke the Camel’s back!

Written by Peace Now http://peacenow.blurg.co.uk/

8 October 2006 “…a young Muslim girl wearing a niqab in Blackburn was confronted by three angry youths on Friday night. One of the trio threw a newspaper at the terrified girl and shouted at her: “Jack has told you to take off your veil.” And in Toxteth, Liverpool, a 49-year-old Muslim woman had her veil snatched from her by a white man in his 60s. Inspector Saied Mostaghel, of Merseyside Police, said: “She was left feeling shocked and upset.”

Commons Leader Jack Straw said he would prefer women not to wear full veils because they hinder communication. About 10 000 readers of the Daily Express phoned or SMSed in to the newspaper’s survey, which found that 97% of respondents wanted a ban on the veil to “help safeguard racial harmony”. The Daily Star tabloid ran the headline: “Get ‘em off!” Several newspapers published pictorial guides explaining to readers the different styles of Muslim veils, such as the niqab and the burqa.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed support for discussion of the issue. About 93% of people who took part in a BBC radio survey of listeners on Friday supported Straw’s comments. Britain is home to about 1.8 million Muslims but Rajnaara Akhtar, chairwoman of the UK Protect-Hijab organization, said fewer than five percent of the women wore a full veil. I wonder why is it such an issue for Jack Straw and co to push this issue? Why would Jack pick on Muslim women who wear a veil? The quote of the day however goes hands down to the The Sun Newspaper which says Mr Straw’s “is right to ask his Muslim constituents to remove the veil”. What a surprise! I am sure they would be more than delighted for more and more to be removed, for all to see!

Communication Issue
Politicians seem to communicate ever so well behind a door or Niqaab when they are canvassing for a vote - now, why is that not an issue then? E-mails, telephone, chatting on the internet rarely involve face to face communication. I think that Jack is the one being divisive here. Regularly interviews take place using satellite technology, where parties can only hear the voices not see the faces, they can communicate without any problem. Jack himself has been communicating with Muslim women niqaab and sans Niqaab for years now. I can see many other external factors which may obfuscate communication. Iram Hussain an IT Teacher in Manchester, wears the veil doesnt seem to think so at all.

http://tinyurl.com/ecxpc

Just an Asian Tradition?
From the time of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam the women from then, until now have assiduously wore the Niqaab, hence the Niqaab (veil) is not simply an Asian cultural tradition but a commandment of Allah. Whilst there is difference of opinion amongst the Islamic Scholars about the details of the veil, there is not a difference of opinion as to whether it is an Islamic practice. It certainly is. What one must realise is that the Qur’aan is supported by the traditions of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam. Allah has purposely not detailed everything in the Qur’aan. For example, one cannot pray simply by reading in the Qur’aan, but Allah refers us to the Sayings of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam for a practical elucidation and explanation of the Qur’aan. The Quraan is the Manual of Islam, and Prophet Muhamad Peace be Upon Him is the Instructor who taught s the Deen.


Status of Wearing a Jilbab
http://tinyurl.com/qrkuo

Peace Now’s View on the Issue

No doubt Jack is entitled to his opinion and point of view - no one is denying that especially the papers . However the view that covering faces could make community relations more difficult is something I cant understand, and even for arguments sake even if it was, how would this be bottomed by targeting a group in this manner. Surely this would only further alinate communities. I can say with certitude that such comments inadvertently muddy community relations, erecting more barriers physical, virtual or otherwise to sprout up. In the UK, despite disparate opinions and walks of lifes, we have a diversity we can be proud of. The diverse colours, cultures and opinions are what make this country a fantastic place to live. The fact that we respect all communities, though not necessarily agreeing with them thus increasing harmony and amicability. Sure, there is always room for improvement. My personal opinion is that we should further this great work, and not dismantle with statements which undoubtedly only serve to unfairly pinpoint a small minority. The bottom line is this, people can disagree with how one dresses, but every person is free to dress as they wish.


Protest this attack on a fundamental segment of our faith.

1. Make Du’aa that Allah strengthen Islam and save our Imaan. Allah include us amongst those who help the Deen, and not amongst those who do not aid the Deen. Make Du’aa for the Ummah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam. Never forget ever to pray to Allah to protect our Imaan in these difficult times.
2. Write to your local MP and Jack Straw detailing why you think the comments made were divisive, anti community relations and anti Muslim. Ask for a retraction and apology. You may perhaps considering voting for another party. Most importantly, sisters should put their views down, whether they wear hijaab, niqaab or nothing, at least one should defend the faith to the best of one’s ability.

Local MP
http://www.writetothem.com/

Jack Straw:
http://tinyurl.com/kzxbe
3. read up from authentic Islamic sites and from authentic Islamic Scholars and educate one and all on these issues, especially the Muslims. Please do read from Ma’ariful Qur’aan, Ma’ariful Hadith, Tafsir Uthmani to find out what the Qur’aan says on this subject.
4. Noble Scholars are humbly requested to contact radio stations and write articles for newspapers, especially if they are media trained. Al-hum-Du-Lillah, we have a plethora of Muslim Scholar journalists in the UK, so lets take advantage.
5. Report any racial harassment or otherwise to local police authorities and IHRC http://tinyurl.com/q5f4d


REPORTS

A Muslim woman was left “extremely shocked and upset” after a man snatched her head veil as she waited at a bus stop yesterday in Liverpool. The 49-year-old victim was subjected to racial abuse before the offender pulled her veil off. Merseyside Police are treating the incident as a “hate crime”. http://tinyurl.com/mqm6j
Jack says he prefers the Niqaab not be worn
http://tinyurl.com/qszxn
Anger and headscarves on streets of Blackburn
http://tinyurl.com/rr67s
UK Muslim panel on the veil row
http://tinyurl.com/emxn4

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