Press Release: IHRC Statement in Response to Jack Straw’s Comments on the Veil


Islamic Human Rights Commission


Press Release: IHRC Statement in Response to Jack Straw’s Comments on the Veil

In response to news that Jack Straw has asked Muslims women to remove their veils when visiting his surgery, IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh stated:

“It is astonishing that someone as experienced and senior as Jack Straw does not realise that the job of an elected representative is to represent the interests of the constituency, not to selectively discriminate on the basis of religion.”

“Muslims, particularly Muslim women, are persistently being preached at to engage in the political system and to gain a voice for themselves. Yet, here are Muslim women who are willing to actively engage in the system only to be told that they must compromise their religious beliefs and practices if they want to be heard.”

“If Mr Straw believes it justified to ask women to remove their veils because he feels “uncomfortable”, what is to stop another MP asking men to shave their beards or cut their hair before visiting their surgeries, because they feel “uncomfortable.”?”

For more information please contact (+44) 20 8904 4222, or (44) 7958 522196 or[ ENDS ]

Notes for Editor:

IHRC’s recent report in the British Muslims’ Expectations of the Government series dealt with the issue of Hijab. Please contact the office for a review copy of: \\\’Hijab, Meaning, Identity, Otherization and Politics: British Muslim Women\\\’. A report by Saied R. Ameli, and Arzu Merali for the Islamic Human Rights Commission. Publication date: 26th January 2006, ISBN 1-903718-26-0, 84 pp, or visit the website for a summary:

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