Open season on Muslims

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It seems to have been open season on Muslims in the media the last few days, with three inflammatory anti-Muslim stories becoming front page news in either the morning or the evening papers in as many days. First it was the Pc Bashar story, which turns out to have been exaggerated anyway, but nonetheless made the front pages of the tabloids and was the lead story on Vanessa Feltz’s phone-in, with the host branding it “pick-and-mix policing”. Then there was the “Jack Straw on veiling” controversy, and then the petty incident of the Muslim cab driver who refused to carry a blind woman with a guide dog. I’m not suggesting that these stories were co-ordinated to appear in quick succession, but the fact that any petty story involving Muslims makes the front pages, and do so three days running, is starting to distress me somewhat.


The Pc Bashar has already been exposed as an exaggeration, but it still did not stop Vanessa Feltz discussing it on her three-hour phone-in, inviting a former Flying Squad officer to give his opinion, without knowing the full facts of the case. The Telegraph today made a big thing of Bashar’s marriage being conducted by Omar Bakri Muhammad; one has to actually read the article to find out that OBM did not know that Pc Bashar was a policeman; we all know that he was violently opposed to Muslims voting, much less joining the police and enforcing the “kafir law”. It has been made clear that, were there an incident at the Israeli embassy, Bashar would attend if necessary, but as others have pointed out, it would certainly have been controversial to have a Muslim with Lebanese and Syrian connections standing with a gun outside the Israeli embassy.

Jack Straw’s statement that he found it uncomfortable talking to a Muslim woman with her face covered was made in a local newspaper, and would quite possibly have stayed local, but as ever the London tabloids love an excuse to bash so-called radical Muslims, or at least those who look a bit radical or strident. When it became a national “debate”, he upped the ante by saying he’d prefer that women stop wearing the niqab altogether. As regards women who insist on wearing the niqab when actually dealing with men, such as when doing business or, perhaps, when consulting their MP, Islamic scholars – I mean real ones, such as Imam Ahmad Quduri (source: Reliance of the Traveller, section m2.8) – have given the opinion that it is permitted for men to look at women “because of the necessity of her need to deal with men in giving and taking and the like”. He said he only requested that women remove their veils, rather than demanding, although as Rajnaara Akhtar pointed out, these women were in need of his assistance and therefore were unlikely to feel themselves in a position to refuse.

Mike Marqusee, also at Comment is Free, noted that there are many people who make others feel uncomfortable with their appearance: women with bare midriffs and a ring in their navel (personally, I find women who show their cleavage make me more uncomfortable, particularly if they insist on calling me “darling” when I hardly know them), Chassidic Jews with shaved skulls and side-locks, large white men with Union Jack tattoos, none of whom are being asked to change the way they dress. Personally, I find no discomfort in talking to Muslim ladies in niqab whatsoever. The only time I’ve ever found it frustrating was when I was talking to a sister about marriage and she refused to unveil for the whole session (presumably because she had already decided against marrying me).

The Evening Standard showed breathtaking ignorance in its choice of commentators: Jemima Khan (what an authority!), Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and the usual suspect, Patrick Sookhdeo. Sookhdevil, a media darling with a long record of hostility to Islam and of peddling distortions and outright untruths about Islam and Muslims, said that “in addressing the issue of the full veil, the nikkhon (sic), he has shown that pseudo-religious practice must not conflict with the rest of society”. Where on earth is a veil called a “nikkhon”? Certainly not in any Muslim country that I know of – it sounds like a make of camera. The veil is called a niqab, something Sookhdeo, or whoever quoted him, could easily have found out. He continues, “and there is a further discussion of how much men can get away with abusing women and then covering it up”, as if that is in any way relevant to this issue. If a woman wears the niqab of her own accord and has a happy marriage, who is abusing her?

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a regular writer for the Standard and the Independent who is of Ismaili background, gave the opinion that “Muslim women constantly talk about how Western women dress so why shouldn’t society discuss how they dress?”. The answer is that Muslim women generally do not have access to the mass-circulation media; their opinions are expressed in conversation, on internet fora and blogs and, sometimes, in low-circulation magazines. Cricitism of western women’s dressing habits in the mainstream media is very often done by westerners, in fact. She alleges that the veil came out of the desert and was intended to protect people’s faces from sandstorms, an assertion which does not stand up to any scrutiny. In countries where women veil, men don’t, except perhaps by wrapping their turbans across their faces in the event of an actual sandstorm. In one desert region of west Africa, men cover their mouths all the time, and women don’t veil, sandstorm or no sandstorm. The fact is, the niqab is a religiously-motivated modesty garment. End of story.

There are a number of popular misconceptions about niqab. One is that it is connected with radical Islamic politics, which is partly true in that people adhering to such politics often have wives who cover their faces (or do so themselves, if they are female). However, women who veil can be found in just about every mainstream grouping of Muslims – I encountered at least three among Shaikh Nazim’s followers in London. A lot of those who wear it follow what one might call “Saudi export Salafism”, the strand of Wahhabism found in places like Brixton which is very much opposed to political agitation of all kinds; there are others who are entirely mainstream Muslims and wear the veil, sometimes against the wishes of their family, because they think it is the best thing for a Muslim woman, particularly a young woman, to do. The second is that there is a link with abuse of women, alluded to here by Sookhdeo. In fact, abuse of women such as honour killings and domestic tyranny goes on everywhere, not just in places where there are a lot of women who veil their faces and, indeed, not only where Muslims live. There is ample evidence that a lot of women do wear the veil on their own initiative and not under spousal or other family pressure. In fact, some women stop wearing it because of spousal objection.

And it has to be remembered that niqab has never been associated with terrorism in this country; in fact, I can’t think of anywhere where it has been. There are places where it has been used as a disguise by violent criminals, but this country is not one of those places. While a few women have been charged with such offences as concealing information about terrorist attacks they are accused of knowing of in advance, not all of these women have covered their faces anyway. While a lot of people dislike the custom, the fact remains that veiled women are not associated with trouble, which is why they were not included in the anti-hoodie rules introduced at Bluewater a few months ago. Hoodies cause trouble; veiled women don’t. They mind their own business, and in this country we are awfully good at bellyaching and busybodying about things other people do which don’t affect us.

(By the way, a woman wearing a veil was attacked in Liverpool today according to this report; her veil was forcibly removed by a man who shouted racist abuse.)

The last of these stories – so far – was that about the Muslim cab driver fined £1,400 for refusing to carry a blind woman’s guide dog in his minicab. I happen not to be of the school of thought which would make an issue of the dog’s presence (the Shafi’i school, which is mostly found in south-east Asia, east Africa and parts of the Levant and Yemen), but if the cabbie accused in this case is of that school, I can perfectly understand his reasons. There are other reasons why someone might object to being in a confined space with a dog, such as an allergy to them; if such a person had turned up to pick up this lady and had refused, she still would have been just as wet and cold as she was in this case. I would suggest that, in such cases, it is made clear to the cab company which sends out the vehicle (and, by the way, you cannot hail a minicab; by law, they must be arranged, and the drivers cannot solicit hirings, which is intended to cut out cowboy cab drivers who, among other things, pick up women and rape them) that a guide dog – or any dog – is to be carried so that, if possible, a driver is sent out who does not mind. I appreciate that guide dogs are invariably better behaved than pet dogs, but no Muslim who is of a Shafi’i background would, for example, want a wet dog in the back of a normal car.

In this particular case, leaving a woman, especially a blind woman, stranded at night would have exposed her to great danger, and I believe the man should have carried her (perhaps he should take a plastic shield of some sort with him so that the dog does not come into contact with his car’s interior if he is concerned about the impurity issue). However, I don’t think Muslims have such a control over the minicab industry that an arrangement whereby a cab driver can opt out in advance, for whatever reason, of carrying dogs would make it much more difficult for the blind to get a cab.

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  • Faramir

    Salam

    As regards m2.8 from the Reliance, the permissibility is for the man to look at a woman’s face. Does this translate into a man’s RIGHT to see the face? I think that if the woman does not want to show her face, then she doesn’t have to!

    Wassalam

  • Thersites

    Jack Straw felt uncomfortable talking to someone he couldn’t see. Muslims and other believers presumably are used to it.
    There are circumstances when wearing a mask would not be acceptable- driving a car, working with small children- ‘though most people who do it believe the obligation to hide only applies with adults- for instance. Equally, if people aren’t permitted to enter banks with their faces hidden by crash-helmets, wouldn’t the same apply there?

    As for the cab-driver he will regret following his prejudices, i think- DSS, H+E, income tax and immigration officials are likely to be visiting him soon.

  • wardytron

    Cab drivers are obliged by law to accept guide dogs. In order to get a licence you have to accept this. You’re not allowed to “opt out” of carrying blind people with guide dogs, and I don’t think you should be allowed to. If you don’t want to allow guide dogs in your cab, don’t have a cab; don’t be a cab driver.

  • http://neurocentric.blogspot.com/2006/10/its-friday.html Tim

    It is Ramadhan and Allah may well put tests in our way. Personally I think this is all media hype, which we’re better off ignoring. These discussions already exist in my household and amongst friends: I don’t need BBC Online to set the agenda for me. In Ramadhan we know that Shaitan is chained — and so we really find out about ourselves at this time. When we act in rage, we cannot blame Shaitan — it’s our Nafs. In Gaza this week, Palestinian militants have been turning on each other in running street battles which have claimed the lives of innocents — this in the Blessed Month of Ramadhan. I have long defended the “media” against the accusation that it is anti-Muslim, since I know that there are Jews that consider it anti-Semitic, West Indians that consider it anti-Black and Englishis that consider it anti-white — but for the last few weeks I have not been able to help feeling that it is — as you say — open season on the Muslims, promoted in part by a government that thinks it has had its day and is therefore appealing to mankind’s basest desires: emnity to one another. It’s Ramadhan: let’s focus on our devotion to God, be patient and leave the controvasists alone. That’s not to say it doesn’t matter, only that we have greater priorities just now.

  • Shamil

    Mr Straw was right. People should wear what the locals wear. When in Rome etc.
    And if Mr Straw goes to West Papua, I have no doubt that he would wear a cod
    piece. Similarly, any females in his family would go topless in the Pacific
    Islands.

    Yet, in this same week in which these oh so vital issues are raised in the high
    profile manner we see, the police in Burnley (which for the geographically
    challanged is just up the road from Jack Straw’s Blackburn consituency) find the
    largest haul of chemical and bomb making equipment they’ve ever found in a
    domestic property. Including a rocket launcher.
    Where are the high profile wall to wall news items about bomb factories? The
    dramatic revelations from “police sources”? Where ar the reams of newsprint and
    blogger comment on the issue of “seprateness” this demonstrates?
    Zilch. Sweet FA. nothing. Bugger all. You wouldn’t think it had happened. Why?
    BecTthey are white. They are, allegedly EX-MEMBERS of the BNP (That EX is very
    convenient).
    And the police comment. Oh its not a bomb factory. You can put your mortgage &
    pension on the table that if they had been Muslim or non-white this would have
    been been high profile and certainly would have been decribed by “police
    sources” as a bomb factory.
    Ditto for the attack on a mosque in windsor. Hardly showed up on the radar. Why?
    Well its more fun and more “interesting” to fixate and scapegoat “others” at
    every opportunity.
    That’s the context Martin. And that why Jack Straw and you are talking bollocks.
    Jack & yourslef are picking and choosin g to suit your own agendas. Its called
    scapegoating. A popular pastime in Germany during the 1930′s I understand.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1889747,00.html

  • synonym

    In a human society, our blind should be led by humans, not dogs.
    If not by their immediate families: wife, husband, sons, daughters, uncles, aunties, etc, then by a qualified carer funded by the social services. …instead of spending all those money on bombs and missiles that have still failed to enrich the life of anyone.

    If the aforementioned category of peoples do not have time for the blind, why should a random cab driver.

  • http://www.pendletoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=8&ArticleID=1806619 Abdullah

    Indigo, please do a post on this,and why this does not seem to have been reported in the national press… It definattely seems like there is something going on and targetted sluring of Muslims. It seems that the are trying to make the public have a negative opinion of Islam and Muslims.


    Chemicals found:

    http://www.pendletoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=8&ArticleID=1806619

    “The 22 chemical components recovered by police are believed to be the [B]largest haul ever found at a house in this country[/B].”

    “a search of Jackson’s home had uncovered rocket launchers, chemicals, BNP literature and a nuclear biological suit.”

    How come this wasn’t widely reported in the news? Did it make front page of the Guardian, the Independent or the Times? The Telegraph or the Mail? The Mirror or the Sun? Or any national newspapers for that matter? How come it was relegated to the local paper “Pendle Today”?!!

    Strange. Unlike the other recent ‘plots’ involving chemical weapons, such as the fictional liquid bomb plan, of which many of the accused didn’t even have passports or tickets, and unlike the botched Forest Gate raid where ~200 men raided a house and shot a man in search of a chemical vest — this plot actually found a haul of chemicals and weapons.

    How come there were no press conference from Reid this time? Why no press releases?

    Shows the hypocricy of the press. Imagine if these two people who were caught were Muslims? Imagine the outcry and the front page headlines then.

  • synonym

    Just to add to my previous comments above – before someone starts saying something about these mean muslims.

    ….when traditional/universal virtues such as keeping family ties, kindness towards parents, friendship, loving thy neighbour, etc are fast disappearing from societies many problems are going to arise and we are going to have to patch them…. and the patches aren’t going to be perfect… and you can’t blame anyone who doesn’t fall in line with the patch…. The argument that time has moved on we should all move on with it is frankly an arrogant one.

    I don’t understand legislating for everyone to accommodate guide dogs, yet not promoting by way of legislation or exhortation the obligation for people to help the blind in public space, etc

    …. we could spend most of our lives solving artificial problems….and never really getting a chance to live through the advantageous “problems” that have been designed (with the universe) to make us grow in humanity i.e ..we could actually be wasting our lives in a very profound way without really suspecting it.

  • Lopakhin

    And it has to be remembered that niqab has never been associated with terrorism in this country; in fact, I can’t think of anywhere where it has been.

    Russia?

  • DrM

    There were 2 cab drivers who refused a lady and her dog, difference is the other guy was a non-Muslim, so they didnt make a fuss about it. As usual thersites’ stupidity and patronizing attitude betrays sheer common sense. Apparently this idiot has no problem communicating his nonsense on the internet or a regular phone call.

  • http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/ Yusuf Smith

    Synonym: in this country there is a system of personal assistants for blind people, who help them with shopping and the like. However, for decades blind people have desired independence and the ability to go out for their needs or wants without having to impose on someone else, which is why many of those who cannot find their way around with a cane have turned to guide dogs instead – although I can see the case for mobility assistants for blind people who cannot manage with a cane and don’t want to have a dog around their house (they revert to being pet dogs when the harness is off; personally, the idea of a dog jumping round my house which I can’t see would drive me crazy, but clearly they don’t have that effect on others).

  • http://satiricalmuslim.wordpress.com/2006/10/08/jack-straw-to-muslims-this-isnt-about-you/ the satirical muslim

    Jack Straw to Muslims: “This isn’t about you.”

    Jack Straw, recently fired by the Bush Administration as British Foreign Minister, has sparked a controversy in the United Kingdom with remarks critical of the veil worn by some Muslim women. Speaking at a Labour Party conference, Mr Straw said that he…

  • Ann

    Thersites: “There are circumstances when wearing a mask would not be acceptable- driving a car, working with small children- ‘though most people who do it believe the obligation to hide only applies with adults- for instance.”

    I wear niqab and drive a car. It doesn’t cover my eyes and isn’t in my line of vision, so what’s the problem?

    And I don’t know anyone who thinks that they have to cover their face in front of small children. At my children’s school, there are teachers who wear niqab; they don’t wear it with the children unless a man needs to come in the classroom. So what’s the problem there? When I’m out in public, small children see me – and other women – wearing it, and it doesn’t harm them in any way.

  • Thersites

    Well, Ann, try turning your head quickly or looking from the corner of your eye- which motorists are encouraged to do. You may have a larger than usual eye slit, but I personally would be even more dubious about going near a motorist wearing a face mask than an ordinary motorist. Did you wear it to take your driving test? When you are out small children may see you with it, but even more than adults, small children use visual cues in their interaction with other people so except with children who know you well it would be a disadvantage.

    Yusuf smith: I use an assistance dog myself and have blind friends and I can assure you that they do not “revert to being pet dogs when the harness is off”. In fact, guide dogs are safer than canes and obviously detect obstacles better than a blind person with a cane. The other advantage of dogs over well-meaning fools is that dogs are trained to do what they do and know how to do it.

    “…. we could spend most of our lives solving artificial problems….and never really getting a chance to live through the advantageous “problems” that have been designed (with the universe) to make us grow in humanity i.e ..we could actually be wasting our lives in a very profound way without really suspecting it. ”
    If I were not a kindly man Synonym, I would wish you to acquire an advantageous “”problem” to help you grow in humanity”. However, if you really suspect you are wasting your life “in a very profound way” I could come round and rearrange your physiognomy and physiology drastically so that you can really live and “grow in humaity”.
    I won’t be surprised if you reject my kindly offer though.

  • synonym

    Thersites,

    However, if you really suspect you are wasting your life “in a very profound way” I could come round and rearrange your physiognomy and physiology drastically so that you can really live and “grow in humaity”.

    Oh, no. Thank you for the kindness. I have read quite a few of your posts, I wouldn’t want you to do that for me. Let me spare you of the bother.

  • Thersites

    A pity, Synonym. I could do with the exercise and you think it would be good for your soul…

  • DrM

    I’ve got a better idea thersites, why dont you get off your pedantic posturing, climb onto that Special Needs BNP tricycle of yours go chase an ice cream truck?

  • Thersites

    Fasting doesn’t seem to be doing your temper or your ability to think much good, Dr. Mabuse.

  • Ann

    Thersites: “Well, Ann, try turning your head quickly or looking from the corner of your eye- which motorists are encouraged to do. You may have a larger than usual eye slit, but I personally would be even more dubious about going near a motorist wearing a face mask than an ordinary motorist.”

    Thersites, I’ve been driving with niqab for 15 years and never had a problem. The niqab is not covering the eyes, and I wear it with a very narrow eyeslit – but covering my eyebrows or nose doesn’t have any effect on my vision. I know this might be hard to understand unless you’ve worn one, so I encourage you to try one on. It’s not at all in my line of vision.

    On the other hand, the frames of my eyeglasses are in my line of vision, and I do see them when I look out of the corner of my eyes. So are various kinds of hairdos and hats that people might wear, so you might want to steer away from those people.

    Where I live, it’s not that unusual to see women in niqab, so children aren’t afarid when they see it. The point being that the niqab itself isn’t a problem; people’s reactions to it are.

  • ummabdulla

    Oops… I typed that wrong. I’ve been wearing niqab for 12 years, not 15.

  • Thersites

    “There were 2 cab drivers who refused a lady and her dog, difference is the other guy was a non-Muslim, so they didnt make a fuss about it.”
    Actually, Dr Mabuse, there were two incidents and both involved muslim cabbies. The first, Basir Miah, probably didn’t get much coverage because it was thought to be an isolated incident rather than an outbreak of bigotry.

    Ann: the courts are full of motorists who never had a problem because other people kept out of their way.

  • http://www.firaushah.com JDsg

    Ann wrote: “I know this might be hard to understand unless you’ve worn one, so I encourage you to try one on.”

    Like Thersites’ “physiognomy and physiology” offer to synonym, I doubt this is an offer that will be readily accepted. What’s that saying about learning about another person by walking a mile in their shoes?

    “The point being that the niqab itself isn’t a problem; people’s reactions to it are.”

    Bingo! I long ago came to the conclusion that people who write against Islam largely suffer from culture shock. It is truly a shame that so many people around the world suffer from this condition. The world would be a far better place if people could accept cultural and religious differences and respect them for the choices they have made.

  • Thersites

    “The world would be a far better place if people could accept cultural and religious differences and respect them for the choices they have made.”

    Including the right to stop being a muslim, perhaps?
    The important thing is not respecting cultural and religious differences- after all, religious people believe that nonreligious people will probably go to hell unless they take up the True Religion, and nonreligious people think religious people believe absurd nonsense. What matters is respecting the right of people to choose to believe absurd nonsense or ideologies that will lead them to hell and to inflict the consequences of their beliefs on themselves. They have no right, however, to force or even expect other people to conform to their prejudices.

  • Ann

    Right, Thersites… We drive around blissfully oblivious to all the accidents and chaos that we leave in our wake… Honestly, it occurred to me that your response might be something like that, because it’s what I used to hear about women drivers in general (from men who had to pay higher insurance rates) – but I thought you might be above that.

    Sorry, but most car accidents are caused by young men, not women in niqab.

  • DrM

    Wrong as usual Thersites, only one of the two cab drivers was a Muslim. Get your facts straight clown.

  • Thersites

    You really should know more about statistics, Ann. I didn’t say “most car accidents” are caused by women in niqab. I am perfectly willing to accept that some forms of niqab are safer than others and possibly even perfectly safe when reliable evidence is produced that that is so. However, the experience of one person for a few years isn’t reliable evidence.

    In that case, Dr Mabuse, there are three cabbies who have refused to take blind passengers with guide dogs and been fined and required to pay compensation: Abdul Rasheed Majekodumni and Basir Miah, both muslims, and your unnamed third driverof unknown religion.

  • Ann

    What you said, Thersites, was that you would be dubious about going near a motorist wearing niqab, and I’m just pointing out that you’d be safer being dubious about going near motorists who are young men. (Yusuf excluded, of course – I’m sure he’s a good driver!)

  • Thersites

    Young men are involved in many more accidents than niqab-wearers because there are many more young men than niqab-wearers. As young men are also involved in a statistically disproportionate number of accidents they may well be more likely individually to be involved in accidents than niqab-wearers. However, the question is whether niqab-wearers are involved in more accidents than comparable motorists without niqabs. Until we know about that i will continue to think that face-masks in general and some forms of niqab in particular make motorists more dangerous than they would otherwise be.

    As for Yusuf- and muslims in general- I don’t know of any British statistics, but road safety levels in muslim countries, especially in ramadan, are notoriously low and- for example- i would be very wary if I knew someone believed that everything that happened was god’s will was approaching me at a crossing.

  • Ann

    Well, Muslims aren’t the only ones who believe that everything happens according to God’s will, so I guess you’ve got to size up every motorist and try to determine his or her religious beliefs.

    Believing that whatever happens is God’s will doesn’t mean that we should go around doing dangerous things, without caring. If I cause harm to someone, it’s still my responsibilty and I believe that I’ll be held accountable. So to get back to the question of whcih motorists you should avoid, maybe you should avoid the ones that DON’T believe in a Hereafter where they’ll be held accountable.

    You’re right; unfortunately, where I live, there are a lot of auto accidents. And I hate to keep repeating myself, but they don’t usually involve women wearing niqab; they usually involve young men driving recklessly.

  • Thersites

    That doesn’t mean that there aren’t auto accidnts caused by people wearing niqab and not seeing properly though. As I said, the rate of accidents in muslim countries and the increase in ramadan suggests that there’s something about muslim attitudes.

  • Ann

    I’d be interested to see statistics about the rate of auto accidents (or fatalities) in different countries, and whether the number goes up in Ramadan in Muslim countries. Do you have that kind of information?

    In any case, accident rates in Saudi Arabia are very high, and that certainly can’t be blamed on women drivers with niqab.

  • Thersites

    The embassy’s advice in Ankara was to show extra care in driving in ramadan and not to drive between noon and darkness if you could possibly avoid it and to stay away from taxis. I came across a survey which showed that there were much higher accident rates in ramadan in the gulf satates, especially in the evening rush hour. There are UNESCO surveys of accident rates- there are a lot of variables of course, but muslim countries seem to have very high rates.

  • Ann

    I wouldn’t be shocked to find out it was true, since there are some crazy drivers just before sunset – when they’re late getting to wherever they’re going to break their fast. It’s just that the newspapers always have reports of traffic accidents and fatality rates, etc., and I don’t remember seeing anything that singled out Ramadan.

  • Thersites
  • http://www.firaushah.com JDsg

    Thersites wrote: “…and the increase in ramadan suggests that there’s something about muslim attitudes.”

    Having read your Country Brief on Turkey, the report points out that the increase in traffic accidents is due to levels of alertness, probably either just before or just after breaking the fast in the evening, when blood sugar levels are either very low or overloaded. The accidents during the month of Shawwal (the month after Ramadan) mentioned in the report are due to the home-and-home visits Muslim families do.

    None of these things have anything to do with your so-called “Muslim attitudes.” Try doing your research first before spouting off your personal prejudices.

  • Thersites

    I’d have thought that the fact that muslims keep driving at a time when they know their driving is going to be adversely affected says something about muslim attitudes, JD, wouldn’t you?.

  • http://www.firaushah.com JDsg

    No, it says nothing about “Muslim attitudes.” People may need to drive during Ramadan for many different reasons that have nothing to do with so-called “Muslim attitudes.”

    You’re grasping at straws.

  • Thersites

    Muslims choose to drive in ramadan in a physical condition that makes them more likely to harm themselves and other people. They put compliance with instructions to abstain from eating and drinking above the safety and lives of other people. However, you believe that says nothing about muslim attitudes to other people.

  • http://www.firaushah.com JDsg

    Now I know you’re really grasping at straws.

  • LJH

    This is not to enter into any religious debate but a matter of pragmatics – If there a teacher is speaking to a class in which there is a deaf pupil and she is wearing a piece of cloth over her mouth, how is the disabled child to understand what is being said? The veil then becomes in direct conflict with the interests of a child’s learning and is possibly in contravention of the DDA.

  • http://www.firaushah.com/ JDsg

    LJH wrote: “If there a teacher is speaking to a class in which there is a deaf pupil and she is wearing a piece of cloth over her mouth, how is the disabled child to understand what is being said?”

    The teacher would take off her niqab during class. The issue is not whether *anyone* can see her face, but only men who are not mahram for her. Children aren’t a concern, so both boys and girls before puberty could see her face without the niqab. Hence, there should be no problems concerning the issues you raised in your last sentence.

  • Thersites

    “The teacher would take off her niqab during class. ”
    Except in this case she wouldn’t because there was a male teacher in the classroom.

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