London, UK, October 5 – Comments by the former Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, related to the wearing of the veil [Niqab] by some Muslim women should be treated with the contempt they deserve. Mr Straw has written about how he is concerned that the veil is a "visible statement of separation and difference" even though thousands of Muslim women choose to wear it and still play an active part in the life of their communities.
Dr Nazreen Nawaz, the women's media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "The Muslim community does not need lessons in dress from Jack Straw, any more than it needs lessons in parenting from John Reid. Many Muslim women wear the veil and take an active part in the affairs of their community – whether through their contribution to working life or their involvement in exposing the interventionist policies of the government in the Muslim world."
"In commenting on 'separation' and 'community relations' Jack Straw once again fails to mention the huge issue of the government's illegal war and continuing occupation in Iraq for which he was a cheerleader. He talks of the impact of the veil on community relations, yet fails to mention the strain that foreign policy places upon community relations. He has once again shown that for Cabinet ministers it is open season on Muslims and Islam."
"Given the cultural sensitivity shown by Ministers such as Straw there can be little surprise at what has become of the campaign to win 'hearts and minds' in Iraq – Abu Ghraib, Haditha and Fallujah speak for themselves."