Saturday, February 24, 2007

Roundup - that school veils controversy

Links collated by the evergreen Butterflies and Wheels.

After a judge rejected a call for a judicial review by the lawyers of a girl who had been refused permission to wear a niqab - full face veil - in school, the headteacher explained why she had forbidden the garment:

She said her girls' school, in Buckinghamshire, promoted equality between men and women.

And she feared other Muslim girls would come under pressure to wear the niqab if it became part of school uniform.
Just over a week later:
An Islamic fundamentalist shot and killed a female Pakistani minister ... because of her refusal to wear a Muslim veil.
“He killed her because she was not observing the Islamic code of dress. She was also campaigning for emancipation of women,” Nazir Ahmad, a police officer, said.

Mrs Usman, 35, was wearing the shalwar kameez adopted by many professional women in Pakistan, but did not cover her head. She was airlifted to Lahore after the attack, and died in hospital.
Three days later, we read that:
Schools will be urged today to allow Muslim girls to wear headscarves for all lessons to promote better integration of Muslim pupils into the state sector.

The call comes in a detailed 72-page document compiled by the Muslim Council of Britain in an attempt to bridge the cultural gap with other pupils in state schools.

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