London, UK, October 11 – Hundreds of Muslim women will gather at a seminar on Saturday, organised by the women’s chapter of Hizb-ut-Tahrir Britain , to challenge the inflammatory remarks made by Jack Straw and other ministers against the veil. They will discuss how these irresponsible statements made by politicians hoping to score cheap political points have added fuel to the fire of prejudice surrounding the Muslim community.
Rather than creating sincere debate about community cohesion, the comments have sparked a racist backlash against Muslim women and stirred further xenophobia and hatred between communities. To suggest that barriers between citizens are caused by pieces of cloth is to make a mockery of the debate surrounding community cohesion.
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, the Women's Media Representative of Hizb-ut-Tahrir Britain commented, "Jack Straw stated that the ‘veil is a sign of difference’ but so is the hijab, the Jewish skullcap, the Sikh turban, and the Catholic Cross. Is he to ask the citizens of the UK to discard these? To blame community division on the veil is on par with blaming racism on the colour of someone's skin. These problems are caused by prejudice – prejudice fuelled by the demonisation of Muslim schools, mosques, Muslim students at University and now the Muslim woman's dress."
"These remarks reflect the continuing story of this government in blaming the Muslim community for the fall-out of its own foreign policy and anti-terrorist laws. It is these that have created violence and instability, alienated the Muslim community in the UK and caused a climate of fear within the general society. This event will seek to create a responsible debate regarding the path to improved community relations."
The seminar will take place between 2p.m. and 5p.m. on Saturday 14th October 2006 at Mulberry School, Richard Street, Commercial Road, London E1 2JP.