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Should schools allow teachers to wear full-face veils?

The One Show Team | 15:47 UK time, Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Share your stories and experiences.

The debate over the wearing of the traditional Muslim burka entered Westminster yesterday when David Cameron said he didn't think a women wearing a full veil could be an effective teacher.

His comments came after a Muslim teacher was barred from a school's open day in Blackburn yesterday for refusing to remove her veil and have reignited the debate about just how free a woman is to wear what she chooses.

Lucy Seigle went to meet two Muslim women with differing views on the issue. Fatima, a British Muslim, explained that it's her personal choice to wear a burka, she does not believe she is oppressed.

But Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a Muslim and a journalist, told Lucy that some women are forced to wear the burka. She believes that the Koran does not state that women should cover their whole faces.

Should schools allow teachers to wear full-face veils? Share your stories and experiences.


  • 1. At 7:07pm on 30 Jun 2009, F1owerpower wrote:

    I feel that when a muslim teacher uses the full cover they cannot do their job effectively. If they cover their face, a high percentage of communication is lost and this is a vital part of learning from others. Not only communication regarding the face but a lot of body language is lost too because of the rest of the garb.

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  • 2. At 7:07pm on 30 Jun 2009, Paul wrote:

    No they should not!

    This is NOT an Islamic country (yet!)

    I travel between the UK and Paris weekly on Eurostar, Do you think I would get through security if I wore a balaclava and said that it was because of my religion????

    I think not!!!!

    Paul Tyrer

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  • 3. At 7:08pm on 30 Jun 2009, AndyfromTonapandy wrote:

    I like to see people when I am talking to them and not just a pair of eyes. The garb looks slightly intimidating to me. So muslim teachers should not hide behind their veil.

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  • 4. At 7:08pm on 30 Jun 2009, Serhaphina wrote:

    Re the veil, if Muslim, or indeed ANY, men wore veils or balaclavas in public in this country how would we feel? If we would feel uncomfortable allowing men to hide their faces in public why should it be acceptable for women?

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  • 5. At 7:10pm on 30 Jun 2009, poshjulia_b wrote:

    my 9 year old daughter has suffered from glue ear since a young baby. She now has listening skill problems and she uses visual cues due to her hearing being affected many times a year. if she was to have a teacher who covered her mouth then she would be unable to lipread when necessary. This would severly impact on her education and is unfair to her.

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  • 6. At 7:10pm on 30 Jun 2009, nursevic23 wrote:

    What lovely eyes you have!!!
    Way to make a modest lady feel uncomfortable!

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  • 7. At 7:10pm on 30 Jun 2009, ath211 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 7:11pm on 30 Jun 2009, zergon wrote:

    The Burkha is supposed to be about the deflection of sexual attraction but what if the wearer meets a man who finds the burkha a turn on.

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  • 9. At 7:11pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    I get so irritated by the inane argument that the nicaab or burgu is liberating.

    Liberating from what? Sexual assualt? Nonsense, it does no such thing.
    Sexual interest? Hardly - it makes you a figure of much more sexual interest.
    Sexual objectification? No - your whole body becomes a sexual object: hence having to hide it all.
    Disrespect? What kind of respect is it that you get on condition of being invisible?

    What a crock - I do wish journalists would attack this issue properly rather than rolling over in amazement and respect simply because these women can speak for themselves when they expected them not to be able to.

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  • 10. At 7:11pm on 30 Jun 2009, kermit wrote:

    The one reason that some women wear the Burka which never seems to be discussed, is social inadequacy.

    In western countries, burka-wearing women justify the practice with reasons of religion, culture, or freedom. What they don't admit to is the fact that they simply want to hide from the rest of society, like people hide behind sunglasses when the sun isn't shining.

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  • 11. At 7:11pm on 30 Jun 2009, belovednash wrote:

    i am a muslim and i wear a scarf to school but i dont wear it because i want to but because i am forced to , i think they should scarfs in a way to who they think they are being forced to because you should be forced to wear one you lose your self confidence and you have no self esteem.

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  • 12. At 7:12pm on 30 Jun 2009, Neil wrote:

    I'm asked to remove my motorcycle helmet if I enter a bank, post office, off licence etc - I don't see why one section of society should feel they don't have to follow the rules like everyone else...

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  • 13. At 7:13pm on 30 Jun 2009, adtelfer wrote:

    Sorry this is a no! How on Earth do we know how is behind the veil. Any pervert in the country could walk into a school or nursery!
    Sorry, I respect you culture but in the EU you have responsibilities which out perform rights.

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  • 14. At 7:13pm on 30 Jun 2009, Dusty2Win wrote:

    Absolutely NO, and NEVER!

    It should be forbidden. It is threatening & sinister.

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  • 15. At 7:13pm on 30 Jun 2009, Batima60 wrote:

    I don't think they should wear a full veil whilst teaching due, as mentioned in some of the comments above, to the reduced effectiveness of communication. Also, the students in a school are not adults and, as I (a non-Muslim with a number of Muslim friends and acquaintances) understand it, different "rules" apply to children and adults.

    However, attending an Open Day is a slightly different, as there is the expectation that there will be adults at the Open Day who are not related to/known by the individual.

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  • 16. At 7:13pm on 30 Jun 2009, brenda_colwell wrote:

    Absolutely not - OUR children need to see who their teachers are and could frighten them. I would have hoped that we have enough fantastic teachers without going down this route?

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  • 17. At 7:13pm on 30 Jun 2009, althegardener wrote:

    absolutely ridiculous how people read the faces of others is very important to our social society If anyone wearing a black hoodie was to speak to me she would be totally ignored

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  • 18. At 7:13pm on 30 Jun 2009, Steveycrow wrote:

    I see no problem with women wearing a face veil so long as it is through freedom of choice - you could say that they have been influenced heavily by their religion (though many muslims would disagree that the Qur'an even stipulates wearing the veil) but then the media influences western women to diet to size 0 and wear skimpy clothing that the older generations find sleazy. In the classroom it might be a different matter, as it is helpful for children to see the expressive features of the face, but as a rule I don't object to Muslim women wearing the veil so long as it is done freely.

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  • 19. At 7:14pm on 30 Jun 2009, Refmum wrote:

    If you go into a shop or bank you have to remove your crash helmet - so why do you not have to remove the face veil? Also how can anyone possibly drive a car safely wearing one - there is no periferal vision and the wearer/driver is a danger to themselves and other road users.

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  • 20. At 7:14pm on 30 Jun 2009, helentilley wrote:

    if i was to be in there country i would be asked to cover my shoulders and body,this is not my way of life, then while they choose to live in great britain they have not rights and should abide by our laws

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  • 21. At 7:15pm on 30 Jun 2009, Darling Mikey wrote:

    When in Rome! This is what I believe, I have spent time in Saudi Arabia and while there respected their culture and ways. This is the UK, I expect them to do the same, not take over.

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  • 22. At 7:15pm on 30 Jun 2009, Graham Tapper wrote:

    I believe that this item has completely missed the point by simply concentrating on the issue of the supposed oppression of women that is epitomised by the burka. The issue that should have been addressed but wasn't is the issue of lack of trust in the person wearing it that it generates. There is always going to be an inevitable suspicion that the wearer is deliberately trying to hide their true intentions. This leads to suspicions of dishonesty and, worse, ill intent. The hiding of physical expression - body language - is fundamental. And, how a deaf lip-reader would have a conversation with a burka wearer is a mystery.

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  • 23. At 7:15pm on 30 Jun 2009, Lynncarol wrote:

    There is no place for the burka in modern Britain - it should be made unacceptable if not illegal. It is an insult to the generations of women that fought for equality. This is not a religious issue or men would also go veiled - it is pure subjugation, a ridiculous, outmoded example of primitive male oppression. I would not permit my chidren to be taught by a veiled individual.

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  • 24. At 7:15pm on 30 Jun 2009, iklepixiemagic wrote:

    If hoodies in our society are regarded as possible trouble makers by not showing there faces what does that say about someone who in Britain has chosen to hide their idenity through wearing such clothing that only there eyes are visable?

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  • 25. At 7:15pm on 30 Jun 2009, MrNoChops wrote:

    Retro clothing trends come and go. Some women want to dress like it's the 1960s, others like it's the 7th century.

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  • 26. At 7:15pm on 30 Jun 2009, n_s_simpson wrote:

    I totally disagree with veils and other foreign influences that dilute our Britishness. They always argue that it's their right but it makes me feel uncomfortable. So there's the paradox.

    Surely rather than embracing cultures that make the rest of the population uncomfortable we should have a public consensus before allowing it chaired by the government.

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  • 27. At 7:15pm on 30 Jun 2009, aimsco wrote:

    I find it insulting that someone can't deal with me face to face. The woman in the studio looked ridiculous and if you guys did the same then we may as well just do away with TV...a visual medium.

    Clothes are a fashion debate, hiding ones identity is not. No other group hides their identity in this manner. This is not a dictat of any religious book, but the influence of insecure males foisting a misogynist culture upon women.


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  • 28. At 7:16pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    The women are members of a cult, nothing more. Why oh why do we keep giving them air time?

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  • 29. At 7:16pm on 30 Jun 2009, mitesh122 wrote:

    I agree solely with Paul Tyrer! Look, at the end of the day (and with no offence), Muslims have brought this upon themselves. By all these terrorism acts etc, what do you expect??? I am a British born Hindu/Indian, yet for a small example if i go to a BBQ and there is beef ( which I'm not allowed to eat) being cooked on the same grill as the chicken, i wont make a fuss what can you do just eat it. Get used to the different culture your living in, you live in the damn country you should respect its laws, if not leave the country! STOP BLOODY COMPLAINING!

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  • 30. At 7:16pm on 30 Jun 2009, charmingsnikwah wrote:

    These masked women with black rags thrown over them should be ashamed. Where is there freedom. They are not living in a dreadful muslim country where women are treated like dirt. Grow up all of you and remember we are living in the 21st century. More importantly kindly respect the nature of our country. We do not go round topless or in itsy bitsy clothes when in a muslim country. If you dont like it then just get out.

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  • 31. At 7:16pm on 30 Jun 2009, johnde wrote:

    I would never dream of going to a Muslim Country and try to impose my beliefs and religious views on anyone there. And I feel if the Muslim community want acceptance within the U.K. then they need to wake up. Too many small minded fanatical groups are turning 'good' Citizens against the collective.

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  • 32. At 7:16pm on 30 Jun 2009, Bedsbiker wrote:

    As a non-muslim, I would like to know whether the Quran actually dictates that a woman should wear this form of dress, or whether it is an interpretation of the writings by, what I suspect is largely male theocracy. One should not forget the Islam originated with the desert tribes of arabia, who no dooubt valued women as chattels, and would want to protect the most attractive of their possessions from the males of other tribes

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  • 33. At 7:16pm on 30 Jun 2009, jen146 wrote:

    i'm a young muslim women. I haven't always wore a scarf. I used to attract alot of unwanted male attention but since adopting the scarf I don't and I'm very gratefull for this. I believe people can wear what they want but I personally wouldn't wear the burkha.

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  • 34. At 7:16pm on 30 Jun 2009, Ursula1run wrote:

    As over 90 per cent of our communication is non-verbal, it's vital to see the other person's face to be able to effectively communicate. That's why I think that having a burka-wearing teacher can't do her job properly. How will she be able to convey a message which her students are supposed to learn?

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  • 35. At 7:16pm on 30 Jun 2009, jas316 wrote:

    burkas should be banned totally in this country when entering a bank motorcyclists have to remove ther helmets for security,some shopping centres insist on people wearing hoodies to remove them due to security.whats the differnce between these 2 rules and the wearing of a burka.NONE

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  • 36. At 7:16pm on 30 Jun 2009, josanido wrote:

    I cannot go to work, into a bank or just generally walk around in public wearing a balaclava or motorcycle helmet so how can anyone else cover their face especially a teacher who uses their face to non verbally communicate with their students.
    It is not a religious item it is cultural otherwise ALL muslim women would wear them!! I believe in freedom of choice but more importantly i also believe that those women living in this FREE country who CHOOSE to cover their faces should think hard about all of their fellow muslim women in countries where they HAVE to wear it because they are told they will. Women fought in this country for generations to allow us to have the choices and rights we have today and I am offended that some women dont realise the priviliges we have compared to so many in this world. So maybe living in a country where the wearing of the burka/niqab is enforced would make these women decide that they dont want to wear it after all.

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  • 37. At 7:17pm on 30 Jun 2009, jollyshakysue wrote:

    I find the burkas & all full face veils offensive. They make me feel intimidated as I really dislike talking to someone if I can't see their face. I would think that children would feel quite frightened & threatened if a teacher walks in the class wearing a burka.

    This really should be banned in this country, we are not yet a muslim country!

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  • 38. At 7:17pm on 30 Jun 2009, sandsharron wrote:


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  • 39. At 7:17pm on 30 Jun 2009, hanpricebwl wrote:

    while watching tuesday's show and listening to the lady who wears the burka, i was very disappointed with the show. the male guest's comment of 'you have the most beautiful eyes' seemed totally unaware of how uncomfortable he was making the lady feel. the guest presenter's comment of 'having the right to feel the sun and the rain on her face' as well as the rest of the interview was insensitive.

    fromvery annoyed viewers
    hannah and her mother

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  • 40. At 7:18pm on 30 Jun 2009, mandabob55 wrote:

    I fully agree with the comments below

    I too feel it is rude and arogant to not show your face when talking to someone , also if I went round with my face covered would I get away with it

    But a few questions why can muslim's cover there faces with vails and English people can not wear there hoods up as they are automatically asumed to be thugs

    Also these vails prevent cctv helping save people but also will help a wearer of a vail get away with crime is this right ?

    also what is the photo on a muslim vail wearers passport or do they just attach a scrap of black material on the photo place as that is there identity to the public at all timnes
    I my self feel intimedadted by not being able to see the identity of the person around me as they coukld be anyone from a rapist to a actual murderer is this right ??

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  • 41. At 7:18pm on 30 Jun 2009, davidb75 wrote:

    i think people should be able to see who they are associating with,covering up could be a security risk,especially to children and the vulnerable.
    if you walked down the street or into a public place with a balaclava on you would be questioned or arrested straight away
    everybodies face should be able to be seen.

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  • 42. At 7:18pm on 30 Jun 2009, dawn2000 wrote:

    I live in leicestershire and i find it very intimidating to go in now we have more and more women walking around with the veil on.we live in a christian country they want to live in are country they should abide by are rules i dont like it i feel even now by saying this that i am being racist but i am far from it but i do feel that to be english we are a second minority now

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  • 43. At 7:18pm on 30 Jun 2009, cja111 wrote:

    Being on a bus surrounded by faceless people is very intimidating. I say ban it in public. When in Rome etc.

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  • 44. At 7:18pm on 30 Jun 2009, n_s_simpson wrote:

    Couple of other things...

    1) If you want to make yourself less sexually attractive there are many other alternatives. Wearing your granies old clothes, shave your head, etc.

    2) If you go into a bank with a motorbike helmet on it's not allowed. How come it's okay for muslims to cover their face?

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  • 45. At 7:18pm on 30 Jun 2009, iceDee wrote:

    Surely, this is about individual choice. rather than imposing what we want

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  • 46. At 7:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, splendidfattys wrote:

    no they shouldnt were them

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  • 47. At 7:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, juryisinthehouse wrote:

    I am only 11 and i have a friend , muslim in year 6 and her mum is a teacher in a priamary school and she got fierd because she had her face coverd.
    kelly jury ,11

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  • 48. At 7:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, honestjohnsays wrote:

    Do you have to show your face on a passport. Would you feel happy with men wearing masks.I think you would scare young people ,young people learn from facial expression

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  • 49. At 7:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, Jowhara18 wrote:

    I believe people should be allowed to wear the veil at school, as is their choice and people have the right to wear whatever they feel comfortable in. It protects their diginity, as sikh's are allowed to wear their turbans and Jews are allowed to wear the kippah. They should only wear it for religious reasons.

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  • 50. At 7:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, icecharlie99 wrote:

    It is important for people in any country to respect the natural culture of that country.
    It is common place in a Muslim Country for Western/Non Muslim visitors to wear items of clothing to respect the culture of that country. You cant have it both ways, its only fair!


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  • 51. At 7:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, colourfuldawn wrote:

    Muslim women should wear a hijab or whatever they want, but being coved up does not stop people from lusting, committing adultry etc as i know a guy fron iran that had an affair with a married preagnant muslim girl who have another child. she wears the hijab of her own free will even thoygh her parents didnt want her to!!

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  • 52. At 7:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, annoyedhelen wrote:

    this is a cristian country, we should do what the australians have done and ban any other religion other than that of the country, if you want to follow a different religion and live by its rules they should be given a ticket back to the mother land. im fed up with not being allowed a free speach just because it is classed as racist, free speach is free speach. you cannot see the persons face with this veil and this is intimidating, we, as a species read faces and expressions, how can we do that if you can only see the eyes, god is in our heart what ever shape or form he takes, a simple piece of jewelry is enough, its obsurd to allow this to continue and become the norm. NO WAY put a stop to it now !!!!!

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  • 53. At 7:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, mahvishp wrote:

    People are very misguided. The Holy Quaran does not state that the whole face needs to be covered: HOWEVER, if a muslim woman chooses to follow her religion but wishes to cover her face because she feels that this is right, then this is her choice and this should be respected.

    A woman may feel liberated with the sun shining on her face and a woman who wears a hijab (headscarf) or a burqa may feel liberated when the garment is worn. It is all down to Freedom of Choice. Nobody has the right to say what they think is right or wrong.

    Different people have different values. My understanding is that sikhism dictates that men should cover their head at all times with a turban-this is something the society must respect.

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  • 54. At 7:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, fabblogger wrote:

    why can they not abide by are rules it is law in there country that woman have to cover up so when woman from this country go there they cover up we sre frightened enough by the hoodies without woman completly covering up especally at night

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  • 55. At 7:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, friendlyhelenlouise wrote:

    i find the wearing of veils very unsettling expecially in a country which in not muslim.....i travel often to dubai and am not upset by the veils there as i appreciate its part of the culture of that land. I find the weari nghere to be some what 'passive agtession' its causes one to stare and it creates a 'them and us'. Also does each veil wearing woman presume that the majority of men would be interested in them in a sexual nature!!??

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  • 56. At 7:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, groovysusie123 wrote:

    When in Rome..... we are not an islamic state, they should adhere to British acceptable standards. The veils, jut like hoodies, represent fear of being identified and do not promote integration. If they wish to continue their habits, religious or otherwise, they should return to their own country and values, not impose them on the British people.

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  • 57. At 7:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, moomey66 wrote:

    In todays society it is important to form multi-cultural relationships within your community.

    if everyone covered their faces, how would each person recognise each other as the face is the way a human being recognises each other in the same way animals use smell.

    Dawn Smith Worcester

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  • 58. At 7:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, n_s_simpson wrote:

    I totally disagree with veils and other foreign influences that dilute our Britishness. They always argue that it's their right but it makes me feel uncomfortable. So there's the paradox.

    Surely rather than embracing cultures that make the rest of the population uncomfortable we should have a public consensus before allowing it chaired by the government.

    Couple of other things...

    1) If you want to make yourself less sexually attractive there are many other alternatives. Wearing your granies old clothes, shave your head, etc.

    2) If you go into a bank with a motorbike helmet on it's not allowed. How come it's okay for muslims to cover their face?

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  • 59. At 7:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, greatRobbo40 wrote:

    While visiting my Parents in Saudi Arabia my wife "had" to wear a gown and a head scarf, to stay within the religious rules within that country, to which she adhered. However, we are in the United Kingdom and not an Arabic State.
    I dont believe full veils should be worn on the streets of the UK. You cant wear a Crash Helmet, balaclava or "the hoodie" in Banks etc... but because its for religion you can wear a full veil???
    I might be mis-quoting this but, "when in rome, do as the romans do"

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  • 60. At 7:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, TheRealRichieT wrote:

    NO NO NO they should all be force to remove head veils. at the end of the day if i was to live in there country and didnt follow there rules i would be executed.... so why dont we??? if they dont like England as it is then get out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 61. At 7:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, newmontego wrote:

    If these people do not like the way we live then they should go and live in a country which is sympathetic to their cause. I worked in Saudi Arabia for a year and found that it generally was not the women who wanted to wear the veil but their husbands who did not want other men to see their wives.

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  • 62. At 7:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, quickbaldylocks wrote:

    It is in my opinion not fair for childeren not to get FULL feedback from their teacher if they wear the full face "garb". If a child does well a smile tells him or her all is well and to carry on. In an emotionaly void enviroment HOW can childeren develop and give normal emotional reactions.??

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  • 63. At 7:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, GSDJAYNE wrote:

    When in Rome...........
    If you don't like our culture, way of life, then go and live in a Muslim country.
    This is not integration and creates divide.
    If Burkas are worn to prevent lust and desire, what's to stop your Muslim men lusting and desiring western women who will NEVER wear the burka?
    Burkas should be banned in this country - no question.

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  • 64. At 7:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    i'm a young muslim women. I haven't always wore a scarf. I used to attract alot of unwanted male attention but since adopting the scarf I don't and I'm very gratefull for this. I believe people can wear what they want but I personally wouldn't wear the burkha.

    I think you are probably mistaken.
    I was in the park the other day when a Muslim family came in, the woman wearing the hijab.
    EVERYone, every single person, sneaked a look at her. I was watching. Other people passed by unnoticed, she did not.

    If you want to be truly modest, both sexually and socially, then don't consider yourself to be a precious jewel, and don't make such a big deal of your body (we all have one) and finally, don't dress in a way that is guaranteed to attract attention. If you want to be the centre of attention, make a political point or advertise your piousness then by all means wear one.

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  • 65. At 7:21pm on 30 Jun 2009, debating1 wrote:

    whilst wanting to be respectful of other peoples religious freedoms of expression there is a serious communication issue. our son is deaf and relies on seeing peoples lips and with use of hearing aids hearing voices as clearly as possible...how is that possible whilst covering the face? hearing loss is an issue for approx 9 million people in the uk.

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  • 66. At 7:21pm on 30 Jun 2009, kenbaron wrote:

    I expect that when I go to another country, that I should conform to their cultural expectations. So no mini skirts in an Islamic country for example. Why then, do the Muslims not conform to our expectations? No burkas. If this is not accepted, then why do they stay here? There is freedom of choice here, if they do not like it, then why on earth do they stay here? Actually I find, if anything, that the burka is very sexy - more imaginative about what is unseen than if it were readily visible. I feel that the whole thing is nonsense, that covering up is not necessarily reducing anything, in fact the reverse.

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  • 67. At 7:21pm on 30 Jun 2009, LINDUKA wrote:

    I think it is appalling that someone wears a burka at school in my work environment I have had to talk to muslim women completely veiled it was very hard to understand her and I found it very intimating. This is just a way for men to keep women down. I have read the Koran to try to understand better and agree I could not find this particular detail about covering the face!

    I have been told that apparently muslim men constantly think about women and sex and that they need to cover up their women to remove temptation. ALL men think about sex ALL the time!!!!!

    The ridiculous comment about islam saying no sex before marriage is 'crap' I have dated many muslim men who all have sex before marriage and drink alcohol and smoke none of which they should do, they pick and choose what they want from their religion yet they call themselves a good muslim!

    Many of the arabs I have met in this county and abroad do not agree with burka either.

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  • 68. At 7:21pm on 30 Jun 2009, theonlydiddyman wrote:

    When i go to the local service station there is sign saying all motorcyclists must remove their helmets.there is no sign to say that BURKAS must be removed Why???

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  • 69. At 7:22pm on 30 Jun 2009, fpatel wrote:

    I think its a free country and we all have freedom of choice. Same as some like to wear a ring in their nose or some choose not to wear much and leave nothing to imagination. Moreover, what authority does Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to transilarate the Holy Quraan? Zilch! Britain is a great country and it is great cause of the freedom and values it holds not because it tries to impose things on its citizens!

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  • 70. At 7:22pm on 30 Jun 2009, tinanmac wrote:

    Why is it never mentioned that a woman wearing the burka is extremely intimidating to many people. Some men are offended by the inference that he could be a sexual preditor and many, including myself feel annoyed that someone so dressed can see the faces of others they meet but keep their features covered. This gives the impression of arrogance. In addition, covered features indicate someone not wanting recognition like a burglar or other such criminal.
    The overriding objection is not that a woman is possibly coerced, but that masks of any kind worn in public create suspicion and offence.

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  • 71. At 7:22pm on 30 Jun 2009, mistyjilly50 wrote:

    I am neither muslim nor do I have any strong opinion on face veils but I did find Martin Jarvis' 'complement' to the lady regarding her eyes quite offensive. An example of how a clod can make an obviously modest lady feel very incomfortable. What an idiot!

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  • 72. At 7:22pm on 30 Jun 2009, lowiniron wrote:

    I think wearing a burka is about taking the responsibility of other people's thoughts and actions and placing them unfairly onto women. For example - women are meant to wear the burka to stop other men looking (or behaving) lustfully at them. Surely the responsibility for the sin of lust in this case is with the man, not the woman. It is one thing to dress modestly and appropriately, but another to completely cover up just in case someone else possibly might have a sinful attitude/ self-control problem/ roving eye or whatever. We are responsible for our own actions in the main.

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  • 73. At 7:22pm on 30 Jun 2009, bandit81 wrote:

    far from being veiled the burqa invites attention.

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  • 74. At 7:22pm on 30 Jun 2009, glorioushonest wrote:

    what about deaf children and deaf co workers??? The Burka is discriminatory in the western world no matter which angle you come from. It has to be banned. I see a potential one day that the disabled who have been oppressed for so long fighting yet again on a simple issue of discrimination to prove that tolerance is a cop out when westen values are being eroded day by day by these unsympathetic selfish newcomers who take advantage of our country to impose their values.....It has to stop. The Burka is the small step towards the inevitable Uk becoming islamic....that would be a nightmare.

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  • 75. At 7:22pm on 30 Jun 2009, yacht_haforn wrote:

    I do not have a problem with a woman's freedom to wear a burkha. Her freedom to so express herself is enshrined within English law, which, unlike sharia law, is not prescriptive as to religious belief. (For example, the penalty for leaving the approved religion - apostacy - under English law is not death)
    However, someone wishing to wear a burkha, by so doing, is demonstrating that her ideas and belief system is so diametrically opposed to mine that I would not permit her to teach or indeed to have any contact with my children.

    Steve, Southampton

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  • 76. At 7:22pm on 30 Jun 2009, wotanrider wrote:

    There is a time and a place for everything--and the school environment is not the place for veils and face-coverings.

    What these women want to wear in any other environment is down to them and I don't really want to know their reasons, whether they be cultural, religious or socialogical. My children and grandchildren are well out of school now--but I don't think I would have been very pleased had they come home and told me that their teacher was wearing what is, essentially, a face-mask.

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  • 77. At 7:23pm on 30 Jun 2009, groovermattyboy wrote:

    I just would like to show you this:


    I pray that God reveals himself to you, and you feel his awesome power and love, its pretty darn good!! Promise!! =D He doesn't make you have to cover your face up, but display the beauty of which he has given you. =]

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  • 78. At 7:23pm on 30 Jun 2009, Butreally wrote:

    I agree with all the above comments. Children learn by facial expressions as well as speech.
    I'm sorry but I don't agree that the Quran says women should cover their faces (also stated by Jasmine). However it does tell men how they should 'deal with women' ie as second class citizens. Security states that people remove helmets and balaclavas, and the veil should be no different. Finally, don't the wearers realize it makes them look undesirable - or is that what they want?

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  • 79. At 7:23pm on 30 Jun 2009, abigaileggy wrote:

    It is okay for people to have choice. However, the berker is actually discriminatory against the hard of hearing. As someone who is hard of hearing. I lip read and i am unable to lip read when the berker is worn.

    Sadly I have found that people have become offended when I have asked for the vail to be removed so I can hear what is being said.

    So the question is what about my rights as a disabled person?

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  • 80. At 7:23pm on 30 Jun 2009, dr_skids wrote:

    Every time that I see this discussed the initial posture is that the
    proponent is doing it of their own choice. However, they always slip up and start quoting the Qur'an. I am not muslim and have never read the Qur'an but there are others telling me that it is not part of the religion. What am I supposed to believe? Please can a BBC reporter tell us the genuine info behind the veil and Qur'an?

    Add my NO vote. Also add to the observation about motorcycle safety helmet and wearing a balaclava in a Post Office or on the Eurostar.

    I realise that Britain is paying for its legacy of world domination and we have had to allow a certain amount of immigration. Perhaps it is time to stop this influx and return to being a Christian country.

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  • 81. At 7:23pm on 30 Jun 2009, superjar wrote:

    I think that all muslims in the UK who wear the mask should only wear them INDOORS, this is GREAT BRITAIN and there have taken the pride out of this country, why not bring back national service and every person who comes into britain must sever in our british forces.. see how many will come through the passport control in the airports now looking for a great place to live and take over with the religions... all i have to say is look at britain now, compared to 20 yrs ago........
    whats happend to GREAT BRITAIN?
    its not great anymore cos people are too frighten to say anything,
    how many comedaiin shows are on the BBC that are freely taking the mick out of other regions??? none.
    i rest my case.
    we should all follow the french way of thinking about this subject. if theres a problem with there goverment , the french people stand up and make sure the vioces are herd.
    whats wrong with us brits?/
    its turning into bend over britain and take it

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  • 82. At 7:23pm on 30 Jun 2009, savar22 wrote:

    I strongly disagree with muslim women been allowed to teach in an outfit which covers them from head to toe.
    We are not an islamic country and do not wish our children to be taught by someone in a tradional muslim dress.
    I wish these muslim women would seriously consider returning to countries where they would be more comfortable and could practice any muslim tradionals they wish.
    I have visited Saudi Arabia and as a visitor I respected their law and wore an abayah. I did not however, insist that as a christian women I should be allowed to wear anything different just because it was my religion.

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  • 83. At 7:24pm on 30 Jun 2009, PurpleHen wrote:

    The lady on the show was discriminating against the viewers who need to be able to lip read to follow the show. Since no subtitle was available for her comments, some viewers missed her comments. She spoke about not discriminating against Muslims who choose to wear the veil, but she discriminates daily against the hearing impaired.

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  • 84. At 7:24pm on 30 Jun 2009, glasnakille wrote:

    how on earth can someone teach effectively if theyhide their face??? children rely on visual clues not just to learn lessons but to learn communication skills. I someone doesn't want anyone to see their face are they not proud of what their god gave them??? all the quran says is dress modestly. i don't wear a veil and i had more than one boyfriend. i have now been married faithfully for 26 years. It has nothing to do with morallity.

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  • 85. At 7:24pm on 30 Jun 2009, Molly-Mormon wrote:

    In my own religion we are asked to keep our shoulders to our knees covered - no strappy tops, not bare midriffs and no skirts that represent more of belt, so I understand the plight of the Muslim women defending their choice of modesty. However, the other side of the coin is that we must follow the laws of the land and respect the land and it's governments wherever we may be. That means that if I went to a country that didn't mind me wearing my modest attire, but when I was somewhere particular such as a school I had to wear a uniform that didn't meet my church standards I would have to comply - or take a different job.
    The UK is a free country, but we do still have to impliment certain cultural standards that those who either join our country, or follow a religion that isn't the 'national standard', conform too - after all I would cover my head in a Synagogue or a Mosque and I would conform to the dress standards of a Muslim led country should I ever visit.
    The UK is very tolerent in this; they allow a lot more liberties and accept a lot more of other cultures that other countries possibly allow and yet when we ask for something in return it turns all contraversal.
    A school has to be a place of trust, the children have to know who it is they are speaking too, who they are putting their trust in.
    I work within schools and have just taken a new post in a new school. It takes the majority of children a good number of weeks to get to trust, respect, and know you. This would be hindered if they don't actually know who you are.
    Also as a matter of security, a collegue would have to check a number of times a day that you are who you say you are; it gives a chance for someone who shouldn't be in the school to get it.
    Of course, these are just my views. I have no problem with Muslim women chosing to wear their veils, I just ask that they respect our culture in return by not hiding their faces in positions that require them to remove it.

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  • 86. At 7:24pm on 30 Jun 2009, Sarleo wrote:

    A shrouded woman is a sinister and unsettling reminder of the INEQUALITY of the female sex considered by many Muslims. In this country woman have equal rights to men, HUMAN rights. Surely this country should not tolerate an expression which is contradictory this?

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  • 87. At 7:24pm on 30 Jun 2009, AndyfromTonapandy wrote:

    I had to deal with a complaint from a lady in full Burka attire at work as a manager. No training session had ever advised on this. Muslim women in my opinion seem to be 'put-down' by their menfolk. The muslim lady seemed to enjoy shouting at me through the veil at anger pitch. I found it difficult to deal with especially as the area that covered the mouth was wet with spit!

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  • 88. At 7:24pm on 30 Jun 2009, leumas5 wrote:

    the lady wearing the burka said she wears it as part of her faith and that we must not take it out of context.if she believes the wearing of the burka is part of her faith, what is her opinion on stoning for adultery,the amputation of limbs etc.does she accept this as part of her faith.

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  • 89. At 7:25pm on 30 Jun 2009, OneJude wrote:

    I agree that everyone should wear what they want, when they want, however it is no good working in public service because if someone is deaf,as I am, and rely heavily on lip reading, there is no chance of understanding. Plus even when wearing my hearing aid I can't tell what is said because the words are mufled.

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  • 90. At 7:25pm on 30 Jun 2009, mandabob55 wrote:

    I fully agree with the comments below

    I too feel it is rude and arogant to not show your face when talking to someone , also if I went round with my face covered would I get away with it

    But a few questions why can muslim's cover there faces with vails and English people can not wear there hoods up as they are automatically asumed to be thugs

    Also these vails prevent cctv helping save people but also will help a wearer of a vail get away with crime is this right ?

    also what is the photo on a muslim vail wearers passport or do they just attach a scrap of black material on the photo place as that is there identity to the public at all timnes
    I my self feel intimedadted by not being able to see the identity of the person around me as they coukld be anyone from a rapist to a actual murderer is this right ??

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  • 91. At 7:25pm on 30 Jun 2009, bodeia wrote:

    We in the western world use facial expression as a means of communication this is very difficult if all you can speak to is a pair of eyes.

    If I as a woman or even my husband entered a bank, a shop, or a petrol station with a crash helmet on we would be asked to remove it due to security issues, why then when wearing the burka this is not the case.

    Did not one of the terrorists use the burka to escape capture - for security reason it should not be allowed.

    I feel the young women who choose to wear the burka are doing so out of "political" and "radical" views and allowing such only fosters more distrust between the different cultures. Nowhere in the Qur'an does it specify a woman must cover her face like many religions this is an interpretation by a small minority to foster their own ends.

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  • 92. At 7:25pm on 30 Jun 2009, saintboofind wrote:

    Any religion can where what they want in public. When it comes to our schools and the safety of our children then the face must not be covered up. This is the BBC one again supporting Islam so it can boost it's arabic channel ratings overseas, if I had the choice and I wish i did then I would never pay for my TV license.

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  • 93. At 7:25pm on 30 Jun 2009, caulfield67 wrote:

    I have to admit, im a strong supporter of free will and speach.
    However, to wear a veil is something which i very much disagree on.
    I have to apologise for my view, but it is something which i cannot agree too.

    In the classroom i have more than one argument.
    The first would be that the veil takes away much of the communication between tutor and class will be taken away. Schools are not just there for the stagnant facts and figures of education, but for the learnings of life, excitement and enthusiasm. Now in my opinion this is transferred via the teachers actions, movements and personality. By covering the face, i cannot see where a child would see the enthusiasm of a teacher.
    Secondly, In the defence of the teacher, do you not think wearing a veil, especially in front of some classes' where there is a certain "rowdyness" would envoke some kind of response? We all know what children are like in terms of making fun and jokes etc. But by wearing this, there inevitibly would be this aspect directed at the teacher, which could be concieved as "racial abuse".

    Im strongly against the wearing of a veil, not just in a classroom, but in every day life. Not only does it stop from any kind of identification, but I find if quite intimidating.

    Yes the freedom of choice/speach etc. and im never going to direct any angst against it, but in general life at certain times, and the certain times is something i emphasise, the veils are very inappropriate, and in front of a class should definetly NEVER be allowed.

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  • 94. At 7:25pm on 30 Jun 2009, Danxz1 wrote:

    They forgot the most important point if someone wears a veil they cannot be seen on cctv and it could be anyone wearing it not just a Muslim women. If u went into a shop with a base ball cap and scarf they would be kicked out or arrested i always thought it was a security flaw. I have no problem if anyone covers it so they can still see their face in public but in teaching they should follow the dress code of the school religion should not take presidance.

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  • 95. At 7:26pm on 30 Jun 2009, amazingsarahkate wrote:

    If muslim women want to wear the veils then they have got the right to, its not harming anyone. People need to think about more important issues.

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  • 96. At 7:26pm on 30 Jun 2009, sirstoko1 wrote:

    Absolutely ridiculous! No teacher should wear a Burka! I'm sorry this is a Christian country! Would we be allowed to enter a Muslim school in a Muslim country to Preach Christianity or wear a Christian cross in full view of the pupils?
    I admit that a burka wearing teacher may not preach there belief but it certainly brings there religion to the forefront.
    Then there are the communication difficulties, even just trying to see if the teacher is smiling would be made difficult.
    I truely believe that this type of dress should be totally out lawed.
    This is a Christian country and by wearing this outrageous clothing not only is the wearer alienating herself, but also making it very dificult for intergration.
    Why should we have to put up with all these religions and races ruining our ONCE great land?
    Can I open a White Working Class Womens Club? Of coarse not! Could I open a Black Working Womens Club? We know............

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  • 97. At 7:26pm on 30 Jun 2009, realisenow wrote:

    It is right that this should be in the media however all too often the real issues are lost in the arguments. People as human beings are social creatures and interact best when seeing the face of another. This is not a religious issue or cultural, it is a practice that has arisen from the intermittent need to protect the eyes from sand, hijacked by men who have had control of tradition and suffered by women who often have no choice in the matter. I applaud any politician who raises this issue.

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  • 98. At 7:26pm on 30 Jun 2009, Darling Mikey wrote:

    I would like to call on all men young and old to wear a balaclava! Lets see how long it is before all the cells are full and we are been told it is ilegal! then we can all cry equal opportunities.

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  • 99. At 7:26pm on 30 Jun 2009, cheerysunnybun wrote:

    It insults me, and all of the women, and men, who have fought and died to give the women of the world the right to be equal to men. That any woman would want to cover herself in our world seems certifiable.
    I never believed I would say that I am anti something and used to believe I was pretty tolerant but I think the scarf/burka or whatever one chooses to call it should be banned.
    Quoting it is your human rights is nonsense because I see it as a threat, and what about MY human rights when now if I do give an opinion in public I run the risk of being Blown up; if they knew where I live.

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  • 100. At 7:26pm on 30 Jun 2009, mudlarkerotw wrote:

    No teacher in our society should be allowed to wear a full face veil. This act sends a powerful message about how women are treated in some societies and melerly allowing it in our society condones the way that women are treated elsewhere. For me a veil is an aggressive statement. I am unable to see the facial signals that allow me to distinguish between friend or fo. I am also unable to recognise a veil wearing women when I see her a second time as recognisable features are limited. This distorts the normal social interation we all rely on in life to get along with each other and establish friendships. The sexual arousal argument is red herring in my opinion. The rise of the veil in western society is a symbolic display of the growing Muslim prescence in our society. This religion chooses to display these as symbols of power. Fine in muslim society but not here.

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  • 101. At 7:26pm on 30 Jun 2009, MUNGO83 wrote:

    Hi do they have take off the burka when buying petrol as i have to take off my crash helmet ?

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  • 102. At 7:26pm on 30 Jun 2009, newsjunkie87 wrote:

    Yes, "when in Rome..." sums this up perfectly. When i walk around London i feel very frightened and intimidated by the women wearing burkhas. No wonder people are increasingly voting for the BNP when other cultures are coming into the country, taking over and imposing their values. They should respect how people live here, not expect the world to change for them. If i visited a muslim country and was expected to cover up - I would. Because i would respect their values being an outsider. My white British friend was beaten by a group of girls wearing burkhas in Bristol, she could not identify them. Guess why...

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  • 103. At 7:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    As to the implication the Muslim guest on the show made that the nicaab was a preventative measure against male predatory behaviour. What does she mean? That Muslim women don't suffer sexual assaults? Really? Is she aware of the statistics for sexual crime in the Muslim world? That Muslim women don't get sexual harrassment? Really? Has she ever BEEN to a Muslim country such as Egypt - where the men are notorious for their predatory behaviour? Maybe that rapists pick on women who don't wear much - in other words the familiar "they asked for it" argument. Has she any idea about the reality of sexual assaults? The victims can be babies, men, women, nuns, disabled people, elderly people and perpetrators tend to be relatives, carers and 'friends' - in other words the very people Muslim women /don't/ have to cover up in front of.

    It's such an insulting and ignorant argument, and I do wish these women wouldn't keep getting away with making it.

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  • 104. At 7:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, honestjohnsays wrote:

    If you were a teacher how would you get a CRB badge.You need a photo.

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  • 105. At 7:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, prettywelcome wrote:

    I am totally against the wearing of a veil for any reason. I strongly object to it being worn in schools or anywhere else in my country. I find it insultive to women of this country who have died and gone to jail for the rights of women. It insults all the male members of my family as if they are going to cause a problem if they should, God forbid cast a glance at these women. Also I think they are insulting Gods creation - are they ashamed? I also think it is dangerous for our security because I have seen at least three people who I strongly believe to be males dressed in these horrible get-ups. It would allow wanted men to walk freely. I don't know anybody who agree's with them.

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  • 106. At 7:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, deswiltshire wrote:

    Regardless of what we all think, Martin Jarvis' comment "you have such beautiful eyes" is naive and does nothing to help the argument that these women should be comfortable to remove the burka.
    Respecting her views was a sensible comment to make, the eyes comment was insensitive and reiterates her religions concerns that men are "predators".

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  • 107. At 7:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, johanna_m_k wrote:

    I used to work in a very popular supermarket on checkouts, a few times people would come in with hats on and were asked to remove them as this was a security risk, also I have heard a few times that people who have had cancer treatment have also been asked to remove their head gear but people who have only their eyes showing can go about their dities and nothing is said to them, well from now on when I am shopping or banking and cannot see peoples faces I will make a point off this and report it to the manager. If no action is taken I will personnaly call the police. We should all follow the Law if you live in this country with no exceptions.

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  • 108. At 7:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, persianflash wrote:

    This country is so self opinionated; what does it matter if a teacher wears a veil a berkar, it doesnt affect her job? I cant see how it oppresses a woman, surely it is her choice; it is after all her religion, why do we always have to stick our noises into our people's business? When i was in Leicester, i would see many woman dressed this way, it never intimidated me, live and let live, thats my motto, life is too short. It is us who have the problems with it, personally, I find it bad manners to ask for these items to be removed, no one would ever consider asking a Seikh gentleman to remove his turban; just as much as no one would ask a nun to remove her wimpole, and no one would think to ask that the Pope, Nuns or Monks, Vicars,etc etc to stop wearing their gownsand habits, and head wear. We are becoming an ever increasingly intolerant towards to our fellow man/woman,

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  • 109. At 7:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, chococtopus wrote:

    aside from the lost communication from facial expressions - after all, why would we have evolved expressive faces if they weren't useful? - pupils who are deaf or hard of hearing and rely on lip-reading are put at a serious disadvantage.

    In terms of the oppression aspect, covering your face removes your individuality, and anything that removes individuality also takes away your power - this is why inmates in a prison are given uniforms and numbered, and a part of the reason children in schools have uniforms.

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  • 110. At 7:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, dotted-i wrote:

    I watched the One Show where the lady wearing the burka stated that she believed her creator meant her to wear it. Surely in this day and age we can understand that even if we believed humans were created whole and human in a blinding flash of light - they still did not appear fully clothed. As a great number of us seem comfortable with the evolutionary process, we must surely agree that wearing clothes came after we evolved enough to make body coverings - not at the beginning of homo sapiens. I also feel the burka is a symbol of submission - women wearing them invariably walk behind men (who do not cover their faces). I totally agree that school teachers should not wear them - how scary for small children and how pointless to try to communicate to anyone with your face covered. I feel it sends a message to other women that the wearers feel superior. I don't think it's productive for anyone to flaunt their beliefs in public. It would help to create positive and productive relationships if people presented themselves in the least inflammatory way possible - not create an immediate division between yourself and the rest of the human race. And finally, 'when in Rome'. If this country does not share your beliefs, would wearers not be happier where the belief is widely held?

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  • 111. At 7:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, Phantom7 wrote:

    In response to this topic.I have to say as a man living in Birmingham i have seen alot more women wearing the Burka.In the main i think young muslim women are affraid to go out in the open ,due to the terrible world we live in.I think they fear ffor the fact that they will be labelled as a terrorist.But in the same token by covering up they make themselves more of a target for those that do not understand cultures,as i do.I have travelled the world many times and seen many things.And beleive me this is tame.

    I do think that women who wear the Burka should be prepared howeever to remove the Veil when asked by for example Police,for indentification purposes.But only in a humane way.Remeber we have to protect our borders from terrorists.And i am affraid to say most come from the Middle East these days that is fact.


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  • 112. At 7:28pm on 30 Jun 2009, beyondfashion wrote:


    I agree with previoius posts I like to see the person i am speaking to

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  • 113. At 7:28pm on 30 Jun 2009, twittered wrote:

    I don't know much about the islamic faith but I didn't think that it was compulsary to wear the hajib, nical,or burkah (sorry for any spelling mistakes) it is up to the women whether or not they wear the veil but if i was being taught by a woman who was wearing the veil i would find it slightly uncomfortable because i would only be able to see the persons eyes! And on another note i don't think that it is fair that your femininity should be taken away by clothing.

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  • 114. At 7:28pm on 30 Jun 2009, EmDubs83 wrote:

    Absolutely NOT!

    Part of the teacher/child relationship is trust and it would be very difficult to build that bond.

    I would personally look to change my childs school if her Teacher covered her face.

    There are too many 'do gooders' who are afraid of offending people, but it's always the born and bred British people who have to adapt to others' ways and beliefs in our own country.

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  • 115. At 7:29pm on 30 Jun 2009, oneyouputup wrote:

    The burqa is a result of a society dictated to and ruled by religion. The end result of a society based on such premises is one of confusion, anger and often bloodshed.There is no practical reason to wear one, so there must be another reason which is basically being told to by somone else and then it becoming accepted as normal to give the illusion of choice to the wearer. An important issue here is how one person can convince another to do something so demeaning and restrictive. It is the perpetrators, not the wearers, who need to be held accountable. The last utterance that woman said about her God wanting her to wear the item was the most scary.

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  • 116. At 7:29pm on 30 Jun 2009, anotherdayoverwith wrote:


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  • 117. At 7:29pm on 30 Jun 2009, BaldpaulyD wrote:

    No they should not

    Given that wearing it was described as a matter of choice I wonder how folks that do choose to wear it undertake some of the everyday tasks that require hats / headcovering to be removed - shopping / banking

    I also wonder why nothing was raised about how oppressive it is to others to wear such clothing in certain situations.
    Would it be acceptable for someone to wear a balaclava through and airport and onto a plane or into a bank - I think not

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  • 118. At 7:29pm on 30 Jun 2009, fabblogger wrote:

    we respect there laws and views when go to there countrie why can they not respect are laws and views

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  • 119. At 7:29pm on 30 Jun 2009, emad-ewada wrote:

    hi I'm am Muslim from Egypt,i live here with my wife and children 1 boy 2 girls. when i moved here i noticed that some not all Muslim people they fuss about wot they wear more than wot they do to be good muslims. about the burka i have read the quran allot of times and it says wot men and woman should wear exactly and it do not mention about woman covering here face or man wearing jilbab this has come from a culture from saudi arabia.they mix between religion and culture,so why do they make other people shy by wearing this or asking they to remove it. if anyone can show me proof of covering the face in the quran then show me. thanks emad

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  • 120. At 7:30pm on 30 Jun 2009, Lynncarol wrote:

    Wow - looking at the posts it seems very obvious there is a lot of strong anti-burqa feelings. Perhaps we should seriously consider a "Ban the Burqa" movement. Oh, but then the Muslim community (male) probably wouldn't like that freedom of choice would they.

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  • 121. At 7:30pm on 30 Jun 2009, foxesrblue wrote:

    Most times I do not understand why we have these debates! As these people are not from this land then surely these people must, if they wish to reside in our land, live by how our society is. Soon there will be no Englishness about England - as slowly.. (because we are all scared about being 'PC'), we are being taken over.
    So if these people want jobs over here then this kind of thing is NOT acceptable in OUR english schools.

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  • 122. At 7:30pm on 30 Jun 2009, oldhoneybee wrote:

    I really have problem with this. I am more puzzled after seeing the One Show guest who insited that she wore the hijab & jilbab or burka by choice, and that it was liberating, and that her wearing this garment was as a "preventive" measure like the locks on our door.
    What exactly are they "preventing"?
    To me, covering the head or the body is one thing, but covering up the face is insulting to everyone else, and is a snub of our culture. Instead of being a sign of oppression and servitude, I find it more of a sign of refusal to engage with the host country. Up till the early 20th century, Chinese women also wore shapeless garments to discourage lustful thoughts from men and to keep women chaste, but they never covered up thier faces.
    It is really very difficult to speak to a pair of eyes and listen to a muffled voice. So, no, I don't welcome the sight of people in full-veils.

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  • 123. At 7:30pm on 30 Jun 2009, cherylmx5 wrote:

    I agree with the majority of people of this country. I think that wearing burkha should not be permitted in schools or personally in our country.
    I am a teacher myself and children respond greatly with facial expressions so i feel having a teacher wearing a burkha could be very confusing for children of especially younger age.
    Also, I work with and have many friends of different religions two of which are expected to wear burkhas but have both decided not to carry out this as they both feel whilst they are in England they should dress as everyone one else as they feel uncomfortable wearing them and feel they are treated differently.

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  • 124. At 7:30pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    If muslim women want to wear the veils then they have got the right to, its not harming anyone. People need to think about more important issues.


    It's not quite that simple. Firstly not all women and girls hidden under these things are doing it without coercion.
    Secondly it is divisive and does harm social cohesion, especially when we are meant to make allowances for it.
    Thirdly, it is harming the women themselves. it's revolting that girls are being taught that "their creator" wants them to live these kinds of half-lives. No secular European country should tolerate that kind of indoctrination.
    Fourthly, it harms the rest of us. Women report getting harrassed and insulted in Muslim areas because they do not cover up and are seen as fair game or immodest. It degrades all of us.

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  • 125. At 7:30pm on 30 Jun 2009, crossstitchqueen wrote:

    I'm all for everyone living side by side, regardless of colour or creed, but if I went to the countries where the full-face veils are compulsory, I would have to wear one or be removed from the country. In Britain, the full-face veil is not part of our culture, so anyone wanting to live here should follow our ways. It is very unfair of these people to think that we should obey them in their country, but they can do what they like in ours, and we are far too soft in not standing up to them. We should be like Australia, where each person wishing to live there from abroad has to prove they will live like an Australian before they are accepted in. Come on Britain, let's stand up for ourselves for once!!!

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  • 126. At 7:30pm on 30 Jun 2009, sartor wrote:

    It makes me so mad that people from other countries come here and think they can wear and do exactly what they do in their own countries, if we were to go abroad to a muslim country we would not be able to walk round in ,a mini skirt and bikini top, no! we would have to respect their country and cover up!! WE ARE NOT A MUSLIM COUNTRY so why cant they respect us!!!!! If they want to live here do as we do, wear what we wear respect our religions do not dictate to us British in our own country what rules to follow from your country, if you dont like our rules then go home!! Im proud to be british,I how no problem of other people living here but just live as we live do not tell us how to run our country!!!

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  • 127. At 7:31pm on 30 Jun 2009, Sarleo wrote:

    Respect our country, respect our ways. Don't impose the cock and bull you have been fed on innocent children in our schools.

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  • 128. At 7:31pm on 30 Jun 2009, timetospeakout wrote:

    The Burka and the Veil have no place in British society!! Firstly, this is a security issue - of course we cannot allow people to walk around with their faces and bodies covered! I am pro immigration, and have no problem with people celebrating different religions - however, sometimes eastern and western culture are just incompatible. People wishing to live in Britain need to accept the British way of life, otherwise they should not bother coming here. Its time for the British to fly our flag and celebrate our way of life with pride!

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  • 129. At 7:31pm on 30 Jun 2009, Esophagus wrote:

    In our society people who hide their faces are traditionally regarded as suspect - eg robbers or criminals. Facial recognition is a vital means of identification. I find it disturbing to see people in public places hiding their faces and thereby concealing their identity. I think it would be wrong for children to be taught by an anonymous figure who hides behind a veil or mask.

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  • 130. At 7:32pm on 30 Jun 2009, schoolworker wrote:

    we live in england can we all remember that.our children get frightened of the veil.When i visit other muslim countries i would not dream of not following thier customs.LETS FOLLOW AUSTRALIAS POLICIES LIVE AS WE DO OR DO NOT BOTHER TO COME TO LIVE IN OUR LAND

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  • 131. At 7:32pm on 30 Jun 2009, mgsmay wrote:

    On your show tonight 30 June 2009 re the discussion about whether wearing the full face veil is or is not demeaning - your guest's comment to the full face veil wearer that she had "beautiful eyes" was absolutely astonishing & patronising. It demeaned the seriousness of the discussion and diverted serious debate on an increasingly contentious issue. Being covered from head to toe under the guise of religion is not only demeaning to women but also disturbing and indeed intimidating to many of us especially mums with small children who have to witness this form of dress on a daily basis.

    Whilst your show necessarily has to varied & balanced, it also needs guests capable of contributing to intellegent debate.

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  • 132. At 7:33pm on 30 Jun 2009, Vtoria77 wrote:

    I think they should be banned in this country, failing that we should make it increasingly difficult for these women to wear them in public places. You're not allowed to wear motor cycle helmets in banks and shops, huddies in a shopping centre and some pubs have rules about dress code. Why can these women walk about in society covered and unrecognisable? If a male school teacher turned up to teach wearing a balaclava we would think him mental and not allow it.

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  • 133. At 7:34pm on 30 Jun 2009, tinanmac wrote:

    Martin Jarvis's comment about the woman's 'beautiful eyes' was clearly meant to show how ridiculously artificially modest she wanted to appear.

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  • 134. At 7:35pm on 30 Jun 2009, jasonio wrote:

    I don't believe a burka is a practical garment to wear as a teacher. The main problem is that in countries where the burka is compulsory attire for women, I doubt any women do any teaching there, so the burka does not get in the way of teaching, which probably only done by men. We all accept that certain types of people can never become firefighters or airline pilots, so people who wish to wear burkas should just accept that their personal decisions/situation does not make them able to teach.

    However, I agree with the woman on The One Show about the clothing giving you "freedom": The western world causes people to feel imprisoned in their own skins. The pressures to meet an "ideal" image can cause untold problems, mental and physical: Low self esteem, suicide, plastic surgery addiction, bolemia, agrophobia; the list goes on and on. When you wear the full burka you are no longer required by society to meet these impossible ideals. None of these western cultural values feature in any religions of note.

    But anyway, teaching in itself is one of the best forms of oppression. History lessons (especially ones based around the world wars) are rampant with (propagandist) inaccuracies.

    I sick of listening to patronising western middle-class people drivelling on about oppression and equality - blah blah blah - get back in your dreamy bubbles.

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  • 135. At 7:35pm on 30 Jun 2009, ath211 wrote:

    Regarding the jovial comment about the eyes.... how could any of you tell if the girl was uncomfortable?!!

    That's exactly part of the problem.

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  • 136. At 7:35pm on 30 Jun 2009, youngstellad wrote:

    I think this is fundamentally part of a wider issue and that is as a country we are risking losing our OWN identity and culture by allowing this type of costume to be worn here in public as it is oppressive to others, especially small children, as well as demeaning to women in general. I fully accept that when we go to other countries, we should abide by their culture by covering up, not drinking or showing affection in public for instance. Those who have immigrated to Britain do so because they want to benefit from our way of life, laws, standard of living and other benefits, therefore, they should embrace all aspects of our culture and, in the case of Muslims, leave the burkha in their own countries or to wear in the confines of their own homes.
    As someone else has said, we are made to take off motorbike helmets, hoodies and balaclavas to enter shops, so why this douible standard?

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  • 137. At 7:35pm on 30 Jun 2009, williambach wrote:

    I thought it quite funny when he commented on how lovely her eyes were - she'll have those covered tomorrow. Surely a women covering herself to this extent is very disrespectful of men - suggesting that they are all predators and that she herself is 'beautiful' - she might be quite ugly and no man would look twice at her.

    'When in Rome do as the Romans do' comes to mind - this is not a muslim country - yet! We would cover ourselves up in their country so why don't they uncover themselves in this country. Freedom of Choice isn't given to us in a Muslim country so why are we allowing their freedom of choice here? It's also quite scarey tbh - how do we know what's happening under that cover?? They don't want to integrate - they just want to turn this country into a muslim country and by the way I've always considered myself a moderate so God help us if people like me are feeling like this - those in power had better take notice methinks.

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  • 138. At 7:35pm on 30 Jun 2009, superiorhunter wrote:

    I think that Britain should not only acknoledge the beliefs of other religions but support them. It shows our younger generation good values like doing what god tells us to do and being loyal.

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  • 139. At 7:36pm on 30 Jun 2009, trchwd5 wrote:

    Look, I'm sorry but this is Britain and we should maintain BRITISH values and customs. It is against British societies beliefs to cover the face (it is commonly seen as sisister and/or threatening).

    Every one is up in arms over the rights of ethnic minorities but what about the rights of British citizens - they appear to have been forgotten.

    It is commonly acknowledged that children learn and interact through facial expression, and therefore teachers should NOT be permitted to wear the burka.

    And never mind solely muslim schools - this will just widen the rapidly increasing void between muslim and british societies.

    These people choose to settle in our country and should kindly remember that before they arrived we had and still should have our own beliefs etc and should make every attempt to fit in with our way of life. If they want to lead a way of life according to their own ethnicities beliefs then they should do so in their country of origin.

    They choose to live here, if they wish to fit in they are entirely welcome, but if not the welcome mat should be removed entirely.

    What about the ridiculous situation where nativity plays and baa baa black sheep have been removed surreptitiously from our lives? - There is so little fuss being made, I sometimes wonder if people have noticed.

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  • 140. At 7:36pm on 30 Jun 2009, shiveringphilmk wrote:

    The veil should be banned in all public buildings.

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  • 141. At 7:36pm on 30 Jun 2009, denacacra wrote:

    Teachers should not be permitted to wear face veils while teaching. As others have said, it robs the pupils of an essential part of the communication process.

    I am becoming increasingly intolerant of this whole argument: women who do wear the burka or niqab, who have been on other BBC programmes have promoted the moral aspect - the 'precuationary measures' as were mentioned tonight. What moral arrogance: this is akin to the notion that you weren't as good a Christian as the next person if you didn't have your Sunday best on once upon a time. I also find the morality hard to accept, when I see a high number of young Muslim men with an apparent disregard for other parts of the Q'ran's teaching out on a Saturday night - and why is it acceptable for the woman to be dressed in the niqab or burka, while her husband strolls around with his trendy hair cut, clean shaven jaw, designer clothes and shoes all on show? There seems to be an absolute hypocrisy in clear view here. I believe the Q'ran promotes modesty - and I'm all for that - I don't want to see some of the sights on the streets any more than any one else does - but modesty does not call for such measures.

    In what is now the UK, women have had a hard fight to get where we are. Women were censured for not covering their hair once married (400 odd years ago), were censured for revealing their legs (we used not to hang as many women as men due to the concerns of what thrashing female limbs might do to the onlooking crowd - 300-200 years ago). There was the hoo-hah when women bobbed their hair, wore trousers etc etc. Women have been through all this in this country. We have fought to gain equality - equality is not one gender hiding their face in the name of religion while the other does not.

    Women have fought long and hard for the vote, equal pay etc in the UK. What we do not need are part of this society's women (and if you choose to live within a country, you are part of that society) prepared to adopt this - on their own terms - while women's very lives are put on the line in other countries if they do not. I think that there is a subliminal connection - rightly or wrongly - with young women choosing to adopt the burka here somehow showing support for the likes of the human rights abuses being practiced against women in places like Afghanistan (the most dangerous place to live in the world if you are female). Also, rightly or wrongly, there seems to be a sense of wanting your cake and eating it - women cannot wear what they like in many Middle Eastern Countries, whether it's covering shoulders, arms etc etc, but it's perceived that people who move from certain countries to the UK for example, insist on following the lifestyle they were used to there, irrespective of what is viewed as acceptable in that country. A friend worked in Kuwait for a while as a teacher. One of her friends complained about her own hijab, and my friend said that it was not compulsory, so why did she not remove it: the response was that it was not compulsory, but she knew the kind of harrassment she would get if she did not wear it. Some choice.

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  • 142. At 7:36pm on 30 Jun 2009, Realist_01 wrote:

    It is laughable in this day and age how much IGNORANCE is shown by a simple blog. This is the 21st century yet many people have no idea what constitutes as free will. This is ultimatly an atack on Islam and nothing else. If a women wants to wear a Burka who are we to stop her and then have the audacity to make a judgment on her social life. FEEL THE SUN ON YOUR FACE. The burka is not worn constantly only in public. What she does in her personal life is no concern of reporters with no idea. Do we prevent nuns from teaching children due to there dress.??

    People are stating intimidation and fear, yet again IGNORANCE in this day and age.

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  • 143. At 7:37pm on 30 Jun 2009, illustriousfrankie wrote:

    Do not forget the women that lost their lives in the fight against oppression against women in Great Britain. I find it offensive when I see these women (or some men in hiding) dressed in their head to foot garb. To me they are little more than slaves (or hiding something).

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  • 144. At 7:37pm on 30 Jun 2009, jswrhs wrote:

    In the culture to which I was born it is usually socially unacceptable to cover your face. In the past those who did were treated as people with something to hide, executioners, highwaymen those up to no good. I also come from a tollerent and welcoming society and I am proud of that. Those who wish to cover their face should be free to do so wherever possible, but they should also be aware that they may offend my culture - I am English.

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  • 145. At 7:37pm on 30 Jun 2009, murgy66 wrote:

    Would you be impressed if your kids were taught by a teacher wearing a full face motorcycle with a black visor just opened half an inch? i think not.

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  • 146. At 7:38pm on 30 Jun 2009, glorioushonest wrote:

    Reading all of the above. I am sad and wish I could leave UK desperately to escape the insult I suffer as a UK white deaf guy on a daily basis. Burkas is but a small part of the bigger picture. I am really tired of seeing this country go down the drains because our government and the stupid comfortable middle class who live in nice areas fail to understand the reality of living in a muslim filled area.....Badford, Leicester, Whitechapel, and many more areas. The past most migrants have adapted and intregrated but not the Muslims....without risking this message being banned....they ruin this country and they will destroy us one day on the streets when the world blows up. Iran is but a warning of what can happen on our own streets and one day lost of whites will die as a result of a huge population of muslims who do not care but want our rich lifestyle and to steal from us on the cheap. I dispair and feel sorry for our children of the future.....The Rivers of Blood image is now much closer than it was ever before. I just wish I had the means legally to hold a gun in my home to fight back for the day when it happens to protect my values and my kids, and of course my blessed hearing dog....on whom I rely on for help as a deaf person yet dogs are considered as "dirty" by Muslims.....I am crying in frustration and fear.

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  • 147. At 7:38pm on 30 Jun 2009, superdaggett wrote:

    The key point that is being missed about the burka is that we live in a soceity that depends inceasingly on cctv for its day to day policing and security so for this reason alone we simply cannot allow people regardless of race or religion to conceal their indenties behind a mask

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  • 148. At 7:38pm on 30 Jun 2009, Darling Mikey wrote:

    Perhaps these muslim woman are so afraid of our western world because of what they are being told by their men and the leaders within the mosques, fear is a very strong method of control. Living in Leicester not only the increase of woman covering up concerns me but also the huge increase in muslim men with traditional beards. It is starting to look like Afghanistan here.

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  • 149. At 7:38pm on 30 Jun 2009, trchwd5 wrote:

    In conclusion, for once, I'm with the french on this one.

    If there's one thing the french do well it's support and protect their culture.

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  • 150. At 7:38pm on 30 Jun 2009, mistyonefan wrote:

    I am a proud muslim and i n my opinion i think that wearing the veil is someones choice.we are not forced to wear the veil as long as we wear something long.I think this is not opression as people are not forced to wear the veil. I just have one question for you the one show what do you think about girls who wear so short clothes that they can't bend over to get something of of the floor without boys looking at her bum.I have to tell you men respect girls who have the veil and look at her personality.Any one who wants to know more about the veil listen to sami yusuf-free on youtube.com.

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  • 151. At 7:38pm on 30 Jun 2009, bright-eyedSmile wrote:

    I can't beleive some of the comments that I'm reading-seeing that this is a 'multicultural, tolerant' sociaty!

    I beleive that what you wear should be an individual's choice and that's the beauty of living in this country. I'm a muslim women that wears the head scarf and a classroom teacher. If the question is should women be allowed to wear the veil, then the anwser is ofcourse. But if the question is whether a teacher should, then no or the obvious reasons.

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  • 152. At 7:39pm on 30 Jun 2009, bellowsmain wrote:

    I have just watched some woman extolling the virtues of the total cover. You are loosing contact with the country. Without facial expression there can be NO meaningful contact or understanding in our culture. That is important. OUR culture. Why should we make any concession to the Muslim culture when HERE they choose to make NO acceptance of ours?
    I say Ban the burka and indeed this awful strangulating Muslim culture. We have evolved. Perhaps not for the best but that was our choice. Not the choice of some Imam or Priest that is hanging on to the middle ages for their own existence.
    It is all so sick when people starve and need that these people see that weakness and choose to attack our well being for as long as that may last.
    They are at best political opportunists and at worst opportunely parasitic who feed on fear of the future with a promise of what? A place in a heaven we know does not exist.
    What a dreadful shame they left behind a culture of learning for one of subjugation and Nil educational growth.
    Allah extols nothing other than love, BUT Mohamed is base and contradictory. How could anyone with a basic education not miss this? Yep you have it. Indoctrination.

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  • 153. At 7:39pm on 30 Jun 2009, Coolstix wrote:

    I am not opposed to the burka. I actually believe that the choice of what to wear is personal and as the lady said freedom of choice is a personal choice. I would however strongly oppose my child being taught by a teacher covering her face because I believe facial expressions are a crucial part of speech and human interaction and hence the teaching process. I have a 2 year old and he is constantly looking at our faces to see what we are thinking and his face lights up when we smile. I am the sort of person who would look straight at a 3rd degree burns victim and smile and encourage that my younger ones do the same. To cut short my long story, if you do want a frontline job working with children you might have to forgo the burka or work in a muslim faith school.

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  • 154. At 7:40pm on 30 Jun 2009, trchwd5 wrote:

    murgy66, I agree, imagine if you will being taught by the Stig.

    (ok it would be pretty cool, but seriously0

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  • 155. At 7:40pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    Islam is undergoing a concerted effort at rehabilitation at the moment. But let's not forget that this ideology teaches that women are made from the bent rib of men, that they must be obedient to their husbands, that they can be beaten if they rebel against him, that they should have unequal legal, religious and financial rights.

    If this was anything other than a religion it would be recognised as the discriminatory and ignorant system that it genuinely is. It's one thing for grown women to join it or abide by it if they're silly enough, but it is a completely different thing to allow people to raise underage girls to do so. They deserve the protection of the state - a state that CLAIMS it opposes sexual discrimination.

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  • 156. At 7:41pm on 30 Jun 2009, masterPatrish wrote:

    If women want to wear the burka, then - with respect- they should seek to live in a country which embraces the burka, as the vast majority of British people, do not want to see it. This is the British Isles and we have our own traditions, laws, religions and culture, all of which I might add are being constantly eroded by those who seek to bring about change simply because they cannot or will not abide by our rules. Divided we may look here in the UK, and we will respect anyone's right to reside amongst us and live their lives accordingly. We will also tolerate the different religions and cultures and in many ways we will learn from cultural exchange. However, if you wish to push your religious or cultural views down our throats then go back to where you came from. We don't want you here. And if you are from this country and wish to embrace the fundamental Islamic views then you really need to pack your bags and go over to Iran or Afghanistan or Iraq and live there for a few years, without the benefits of a western civilisation. Please do not insult the feelings and beliefs of decent Islamic people, by trying to push your fantasies. Just go.

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  • 157. At 7:42pm on 30 Jun 2009, nursevic23 wrote:

    People keep bringing up how awful it is that women are forced to wear certain garments in some muslim countries - and I agree , no one should be forced to dress in anything they feel uncomfortable with, but isnt that what is great about britain? That what ever you choose to wear is exactly that - a choice. Short skirts, PVC, or burkahs. To outlaw Burkahs would be an attack on everyones freedom of expression. Spot the hypocricy!

    I think the discussion about burkahs in schools is one of appropriate dress, and no i dont feel it is really appropriate to cover your face when teaching as it limits so much of comunication. Lots of different jobs require different modes of dress or uniform for reasons of practicality or image.

    I think this issue gets hijacked by hysterics who do our multicultural nation a diservice.

    I also agree with Hannah and her mum who said that the gentleman on the panel made the lady in the burkah really uncomfortable with his comment abvout her eyes - On purpose? Not very sensitive.

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  • 158. At 7:42pm on 30 Jun 2009, greatRobbo40 wrote:

    There is a definite double standard because if we dont allow other cultures to express their beliefs in our country we are labelled "Racists", by the very people who want to be different from our culture!

    I do not think of myself as a racist, I just feel that the true identity of being a British person is being slowly eroded.

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  • 159. At 7:43pm on 30 Jun 2009, diamondpocketrocket wrote:

    I think that people have different interpretations of Islam and the Koran. Yasmin Alibhai Brown states that there is nowhere in the Koran that tells women to cover up. Fatima says her religion and her creator say she must. Personally I agree with Yasmin and Lucy that wearing the burkha is a sign of oppression and subservience. It does nothing to signify freedom or freedom of expression to me and if I were forced to wear it I would completely rebel against it. It is also a sign of inequality and we need a big change in attitude to free women who are forced to wear it and we need it NOW.
    The culture in which I have chosen to live has a long tradition of supporting women's emancipation. That is now mainstream and something of which people who live in Britain should be proud. Those who choose to live here should respect and honour that tradition and not demand that we return to a culture in which men are free to show their faces but not their women.

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  • 160. At 7:43pm on 30 Jun 2009, caulfield67 wrote:

    I'd like to add to what i said erlier.

    I totally agree with what was said in this forum.
    We should begin to administer rules such as in Australia.

    Predominantly, this country is christian. Whilst muslim etc. religions came over via asylum and other reasons for immigrating, mostly because the quality of life hear is much better than that of where they orriginate. Now, If our world is better than their old world, then why try to turn it into their old world.

    Personally, i feel to wear the Burka is an act of extreamism which originates from crazy and over the top views on their religion.
    To wear a turban or kippa is fine, something in that range, but covering the face in a society crazed about identification and control of the public is stupid. The government seem to hate allowing some people from wearing a hoodie, but dont mind others from completely conceiling their identity. This is completely hypocritical and i can safely assume that the people in charge are scared of protesting against Over The Top religion.

    SORT IT OUT!!!

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  • 161. At 7:43pm on 30 Jun 2009, trchwd5 wrote:

    Yep greatrobbo40 thats very true

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  • 162. At 7:44pm on 30 Jun 2009, Vtoria77 wrote:

    In response to realist-01:- These comments are not an attack on Islam, no religion should be allowed to hide their faces in public.

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  • 163. At 7:44pm on 30 Jun 2009, Realist_01 wrote:

    It is extremely apparent that people who cannot understand this topic would prefer there children to be taught by women wearing boob tubes and mini skirts. I feel that all prostitutes now have a chance to shine within the teaching sector.

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  • 164. At 7:44pm on 30 Jun 2009, mistyonefan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 165. At 7:45pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    I am a british muslim. I reverted to Islam about 2 years ago. I don't wear a niqab (face covering)...that IS the CHOICE of the muslim wearer... but I do wear a scarf to cover my hair, neck and chest. I do this primarily because wearing it is a test from Allah with the ultimate goal being Jenna (paradise). Women who wear the niqab are actually earning extra rewards in Jenna (read the Quran, you'll understand). I enjoy wearing the scarf and don't find it opressive at all. I was teaching in a school when I reverted to Islam and the children were fascinated with it and did wonders for their religious education.
    As for wearing the niqab while teaching, I agree this isn't a wise choice in situations where the children or learners need to see the movement of lips in order to learn correct pronunciation etc. In all other situations, it IS worn for modesty and these women should be respected for doing so, just as Islam teaches muslims to respect other religions.

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  • 166. At 7:45pm on 30 Jun 2009, Coolstix wrote:

    Forgot to mention though, the guest on the one show this evening was totally out of order. You commented on the lady's eyes and made her really uncomfortable which was your intention.You know that the main aim of the burka is to avoid attention from the opposite sex so to make a comment like that knowingly is to disrespect her beliefs. The BBC needs to apologise to her as it appears you were all smirking! Consider this a formal complaint.

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  • 167. At 7:45pm on 30 Jun 2009, d13avo wrote:

    My partner and I were down town the other week when our 11 year old daughter came out of a shop because she felt scared because a women inside the shop was wearing a veil. I feel that if they want to live in the United Kingdom that they should abide by our dress code/way of life. They have chosen to live here so they should attempt to fit in and not make us feel intimadated in our own country.

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  • 168. At 7:45pm on 30 Jun 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    1) Has anyone aksed if I want my child to be taught someone who wants to wear this type of clothing. If I want to teach my children about Islam I will happily do so based on my 6 years of living amongst them.

    2) Has BBC asked for the story's other side, i.e. a non-Muslim woman who has lived in a Muslim society. These women are assualted, attacked, propostioned etc daily as many, not all, Muslim men are taught that non-Mulsim women are dogs.

    3) Finally, as we accept greater Muslim mannerism in our society, where can I go when I do not want to live in a society open to their values. I think the best value we should learn from the Middle East, if you want there you accept their values or leave. Thas is a Middle Eastern value that is worth adopting

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  • 169. At 7:46pm on 30 Jun 2009, EmDubs83 wrote:

    If they start allowing women to wear burkhas while teaching then that's one step closer to becoming a Muslim country... Wasn't it so long ago that they were trying to make Shariai Law an actual legal law to abide by (if you understand that!)

    Just go back only 20 odd years ago... How British was this country back then? Why do we have to just accept foreign ways and forget about our country? Or think about Britain during the World Wars? I accept that we are a different generation but let's not wipe out Britishness altogether..!

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  • 170. At 7:47pm on 30 Jun 2009, bobtoomey wrote:

    Full face veils should not be worn in this country.Anyone can hide their identity,terrorists,law breakers etc behind a mask.
    Anyway it shows in some circles of islamic laws,that women are inferior to their male counterparts,which is absolute rubbish.
    The laws in this country should prohibit the wearing of such an item.

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  • 171. At 7:47pm on 30 Jun 2009, paulebrou wrote:

    The thing everyone is missing is that it is irrelevant if the veil is worn for religion, fashion or if it is imposed on or a persons free will. In this country it is just plain and simply bad manners, extremely offensive and threatening to the vast majority of people cover or hide ones face. This point as not been put across enough, I don't care what religion people follow as long as they are not offensive or threatening to others.

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  • 172. At 7:48pm on 30 Jun 2009, nellieoap wrote:

    It seemed that Martin Jarvis's comment on Fatima's eyes made her recoil and she tried to cover her face. However most unveiled women would have had the confidence to tell him to keep his sexist comments to himself. Wearing the veil seems to make women more vulnerable, not less so.

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  • 173. At 7:48pm on 30 Jun 2009, Ariesmontauk wrote:

    I thought the report was well balanced until the point where Fatima said that sex before marriage was immoral. It maybe seen that way in Muslim countries but not here in The UK. I am opposed to the Burka.I see no good coming out of confusing children when Christianity needs promoting along with values which in turn would include Fatima's views. I fear that her kind of attitude which seemed to sound confrontational is taking the Great out of Great Britain.

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  • 174. At 7:48pm on 30 Jun 2009, Ron wrote:

    The issue was wearing a veil to an open day where their would be men this i think is acceptable as they did not say she was wearing the veil in the class room as it would not be needed!
    The insensitive comments by the other people in the studo (rain on my face and you have beautiful eyes) does raise the lack of thought of those present
    Wearing vels etc in public (another point completely) i think its a matter of choice. for those that go on about feeling threatend etc what about those countles women out partying in skimpy clothes and then whineing when men make a pass at them? also Brits abroad are not a good comparisson all those in Greece wearing inappropriate clothes and flashing when drunk??? or is that different?
    I choose to wear shorts and vests BUT i would not wear them in church or other occassions But others do?
    As long as the person wearing what they want does it because THEY want to its fine with me unfortunately pressure to wear clothing comes from all angles (size zeros, Victoria Beckham Cheryle Cole etc??)

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  • 175. At 7:49pm on 30 Jun 2009, shiveringphilmk wrote:

    No one should be allowed to cover their face in public. What they do in their own home, that's their concern.

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  • 176. At 7:49pm on 30 Jun 2009, moderngranddad wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 177. At 7:50pm on 30 Jun 2009, missdaisychain wrote:

    I agree there is no place in Britain for the burka, why is this even a topic for discussion?? Because the numbers wearing this offensive attire are on the increase. Britain is a Christian country, if you embrace such fundamental Islamic views you should be encouraged to live in an Islamic country.

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  • 178. At 7:51pm on 30 Jun 2009, dotjones wrote:

    Emily Pankhurst must be turning in her grave. I find it VERY OFFENSIVE to see the full-face veil in this country. I think of all those women force-fed and even dying for women of this country not to have to hide behind men's rules. PLEASE UNDERSTAND that with the history of women in Gt. Britain it TOTALLY OFFENDS a lot of us to see women behind a veil. THERE IS NO PLACE FOR IT IN GT BRITAIN. you are in our country now and should RESPECT OUR FEELINGS. When my friends have gone to some Muslim countries they have had to cover their heads. As for schools no teacher can communicate to children properly from behind a veil, that is rediculous.

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  • 179. At 7:51pm on 30 Jun 2009, grandesteve wrote:

    What a load of uter clap trap, racial equality my butt, political Correctness gone mad. I can't put up decorations at christmas, my duaghter can't wear a cross at school, My mother in law is made to take her helmet off when she enter a bank (some say she should keep it on)Balaclava's were almost banned some years ago, hoodies are banned from some shops and public places. I have checked every version of the Quran, covering the face is not mentioned or even hinted at. What are these people doing apart from upsetting and annoying everyone. The Muslim Council of Great Britain should be ashamed at these blasphemers. The government should put an end to this wearing of face coverings, I am sure they could put it on a joint expenses account, to finance any change in the law.

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  • 180. At 7:55pm on 30 Jun 2009, Darling Mikey wrote:

    With reference to the comment above by mistyonefan over history we have fought for this country, not against it. We have invented and created some of the greatest advances in human history. Perhaps if muslims worked with us as apposed against us and stopped imposing on us, things would be somewhat better.

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  • 181. At 7:55pm on 30 Jun 2009, mavpib wrote:

    Every religion has social teachings and divine teachings. The social teachings need to change with time to aid an ever advancing civilisation. (progress) The soical laws of Islam are no longer suitable for this day and age, they were made for a thousand odd years ago!! Progresive revelation is when divinely inspired `teachers',( profets, manifeastaions) guide us in every age with new social teachings, and reinforce God's divine laws of morality, love, etc These Divine teachings are common to all the world religions. The wearing of the veil, or the eating of pork for e.g and other religions' social laws of judaism or christianity are no longer valid in todays' society! Today we need to concentrate on ways to find world peace, to be rid of predjudice, religious, class or social..to be rid othe extremes of wealth and poverty, to concentrate on living as one country. We should all abide by the laws of the country in which we live, in the uk there are no such laws as to the wearing of a veil..hence it is personal choice BUT A teacher is not an effective teacher if she has her face covered. In a face we see the beauty of the soul! So why cover it up!!?

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  • 182. At 7:56pm on 30 Jun 2009, oldhoneybee wrote:

    Kudos to Martin Jarvis. He has demonstrated how pointless, futile and ridiculous it is to wear the burka/full-face veil/nicab/whatever as a "preventative" measure against predatory or lustful attention. If you don't want men to look at you, stay at home! If you don't feel comfortable in our culture, go somewhere else!

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  • 183. At 7:57pm on 30 Jun 2009, timetospeakout wrote:

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  • 184. At 7:57pm on 30 Jun 2009, sunjitbunsingh wrote:

    I wonder how the women wearing the veil feel when they are walking with there men and they are drueling over western women, I have seen this many times.also I feel that safety should be most important how do we know that a seriously dangerous person isnot behind the veil. I want to be able to see who I am leaving my precious children with.

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  • 185. At 7:58pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    To all those who say it's a matter of freedom of choice what you want to wear - do you follow it to its logical conclusion?
    Can people go into public buildings wearing a Nazi uniform?
    Would you feel comfortable if it were black people rather than female ones who were being trained to think that they should go outside only when covered in a blanket in case the sight of their skin might encourage somebody to think horrible thoughts about them or attack them?
    How would you feel if disfigured and disabled people took up this habit in order to avoid impertinent stares from others?

    Is this really the kind of solution we want to give girls and women who are afraid of sexual harrassment or violence? Especially as it doesn't even work, and in fact in countries where women cover up like this the men are actually even more predatory and harrassing, not less!

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  • 186. At 7:59pm on 30 Jun 2009, rightsaidfred7 wrote:

    This woman was all about herself, what she wanted, she said it was part of her religion, so she stuffs it into our faces!
    We are a NOT a Muslim country, she should keep it in her house and not impose your strictures and habits on us.
    What is she hiding behind that veil? Is she sticking her tongue out at us? Is she hating us, is she showing US disrespect?
    YES she is.
    As for the people on the show, shame on them for not confronting this arrogant girl.

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  • 187. At 8:00pm on 30 Jun 2009, timetospeakout wrote:

    I seriously hope that someone from the Brittish government is reading these blogs. Maybe then they will see that the vast majority of people are sick of being bombarded by muslim "religion/culture", havng it forced down our necks and being too scared to respond in case we are called "racists".

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  • 188. At 8:01pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    "And they wonder why the british hate their race?"

    Islam isn't a race - it's a system of thought, like Socialism or Fascism or Scientology.

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  • 189. At 8:01pm on 30 Jun 2009, eckay1 wrote:

    Most muslims in this country are guests of the U.K., people should not forget this, it will always be a christian country, when I see these people that wear burka's etc I feel really intimidated,facial expression is necessary in school it's part of a childrens education to be able to see expression as part of a trust between pupil and teacher, any hiding of expression will cause doubt at any age.I believe this could be derived as an insult to the majority of christians in this country, the other point I would like to make how have so many of these women passed driving tests surely they must have restricted views when driving cars ,this type of headwear should be kept in their home during their own private time. The BRITISH public should be asked to take a vote whatever the vote should be should be adhered to and not taken by the government

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  • 190. At 8:02pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To sunjitbunsingh...you have a choice who you leave you children with, just as we have a choice to wear a scarf or niqab. As for our men drooling over western women, this is a minority. My husband for example lowers his eyes if faced with a woman wearing minimal clothing or even looks away if there's kissing on Tv.

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  • 191. At 8:03pm on 30 Jun 2009, blue-eyedmayjay wrote:

    Surley its a case of "when in Rome" in other words comply with the British way of life. How on earth are our children ever going to learn when teachers hide away from them. So much is learned from body language.

    How would they explain the following? This is a true story.

    The man who walks with God always Gets to his
    destination. If you have a pulse you have a Purpose.

    The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita In Canada ,
    especially in the minority Races!!!

    Last month I attended my annual training session that's required
    For maintaining my federal prison security clearance.
    During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers
    Representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who
    Explained each of their beliefs.

    I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to
    Say. The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam,
    Complete with a video.

    After the presentations, time was provided for questions and Answers.

    When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and
    Asked: 'Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most
    Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against "The infidels" of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a Command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven.
    If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an Infidel?'

    There was no disagreement with my statements and, without
    Hesitation, he replied, 'Non-believers!'

    I responded, 'So, let me make sure I have this straight.
    All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not Of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that Correct?'

    The expression on his face changed from one of authority and
    Command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand In the cookie jar.'

    He sheepishly replied, 'Yes.'

    I then stated, 'Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to
    Imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your Faith or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to Guarantee them a place in heaven!'

    The Imam was speechless!

    I continued, 'I also have a problem with being your friend when
    You and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me!
    Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have your Allah,
    who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants You to be there with me?'

    You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in
    Shame. Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the
    Diversification training seminar were not happy with my way of dealing With the Islamic Imam, and exposing the truth about the Muslims' Beliefs.

    In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in Canada to
    Elect the Prime Minister! Will they then kill everyone else?

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  • 192. At 8:03pm on 30 Jun 2009, rightsaidfred7 wrote:

    The one show team are SO politically correct if they bent over any backwards to appease this arrogant person hiding behind her veil disrespecting us the the would find their head in a very dark tight space.

    The general public DO NOT WANT to see this in their streets in their schools in their libraries, in anywhere where decent law abiding people go.

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  • 193. At 8:04pm on 30 Jun 2009, Roystonibus wrote:

    I have lived and worked in several muslim countries and I noticed that in many of them western women are not permitted to dress as they would prefer. i.e. display bear arms or legs, Some countries even insist on head covers for ladies.
    I don't see a problem with that, it is their country and they have their own dress codes. We as visitors should adhere to the standards of our host country..
    BUT likewise, western countries should insist on visitors complying to our dress codes.
    That does not mean that they have to dress immodestly, but I do think it is useful to see the facial expressions of the person you might be speaking to. A lot of information can be read from them.
    By the By, as a boy I remember that my mother, and many other women would never dream of going out to the shops without a headscarf. Times change, as do traditions.

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  • 194. At 8:06pm on 30 Jun 2009, emad-ewada wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 195. At 8:06pm on 30 Jun 2009, Tarmaca wrote:

    Listen People we as an Nation do not take s*it from no one so why these women with rags on there faces, if we were in a Muslim state we would be Intimidated or imprisoned Come on get a Life.

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  • 196. At 8:06pm on 30 Jun 2009, sartor wrote:

    As for the person that says what do we think about women who wear short skirts! |Take a look in British clothes shops and see what clothes are sold this is what we wear in England if you dont like it then leave! Dont say this is why women get raped its not , there are old ladies out there who get raped and beaten by the sickos of society and pedophiles do these people wear revealing clothing I think not!I sometimes walk down our streets and wonder if i really am living in England there are imigrants from other countries who follow our rules and repect our country. Just imagine if i went to the middle east and asked them to build a church for me for my religion , im sure theyll be straight on the phone to Jewsons ordering the bricks! I think not!! But to be honest i wouldnt expect them to its not their relgion. RESPECT is the word what alot are obviously lacking!!!

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  • 197. At 8:08pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    The only comfort I take in all this is that the people who take up the veil are in the main, young girls. I think it's a teenage phase like any other (getting all firey and ideological like kids do). And one that they will hopefully grow out of once they realise it's not as sexy when they're old and married and its gone out of fashion.

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  • 198. At 8:09pm on 30 Jun 2009, nicerowlo1 wrote:

    why do onley moslem women cover thier faces .dont women find moslem men attractive or is it a case of men dominating women .they can be seen ,but the women cant incase men are attracted to them. i can see the logic in thise being a man , it covers up my property and stopps conflict.but it is a case of double standards the momen cover them selves up and the men say they will not stray.how can thise not be classed as oppresion

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  • 199. At 8:11pm on 30 Jun 2009, dynamicblodwen wrote:

    This has obviously stirred up strong feelings. I totally agree with the French. Britain also should be a secular state . Whatever justification Moslems give for wearing of a veil, the truth is Islam regards women as second class citizens as do some Christian fundamentalists. I agree with Voltaire. Religion is divisive and primitive.

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  • 200. At 8:14pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    Women who dress in an overtly sexy way to please men are just the other side of the coin to those who dress in an excessively modest way to please men (and make no mistake, Islam is man-made). They are both sexual objects.

    It's best if women dress for comfort and practicality and to please themselves, just as men do. And that in fact is what most women in this country do.

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  • 201. At 8:17pm on 30 Jun 2009, Darling Mikey wrote:

    I cant wait to see the results of the next general election, if this is anything to go by and people vote to follow their heart and not what we have been told is PC. Who knows the tide might turn yet! And all thanks to the British Broadcasting Corporation, its in the title you know.

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  • 202. At 8:18pm on 30 Jun 2009, midnightArthurC wrote:

    Christine, Adrian

    Your programme is not the first to talk about the Burka, Question Time, and The Big Question.

    Its all very well talking about it, but time and time again Muslims as in your programme state that it does not say in the Koran about hiding your face, the debate seems to be about choice and its not for us or the government to say what people should or should not ware, but everybody seems to avoid the question about security and identity.

    If half the British public started to ware the Burka as a choice this government would make it law, very quickly that you can not ware it in public, for identification purposes and for security reasons and it makes sense

    You can not go into a garage with a helmet on? And try going into passport control at an airport wearing a Burka, or if the police stop you even for speeding and you had a Burka on? Would the police officer need you to be identified?

    If you live in our country you should respect its laws, if we are in your country we would have to respect your laws.

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  • 203. At 8:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, WhiteLineRider wrote:

    I have perforated eardrums and can usually hear the T.V. at slightly above normal levels, but to listen to Fatima, the telly had to be turned right up because I could not lipread. I am also a motorcyclist and would not be allowed in a bank or many other places with my lid on. Hoodies are also told to remove their hoods in shops. These women should be prepared to remove the Burkha if requested, and should never be allowed to teach in one, can you imagine the difficulties for the hard of hearing if they could not see their teachers faces? When in Rome.....

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  • 204. At 8:21pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    It might not be for the government to dictate what people can and cannot wear (although they do in several cases), but it is for society to.

    Women are entitled to withdraw from society if they really want to, but society isn't compelled to accomodate them whilst they're doing so.

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  • 205. At 8:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, johnprr wrote:

    teenagers are slated for wearing Hoodies .
    if they wore a full face veil they would be arrested on suspicion

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  • 206. At 8:29pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    "teenagers are slated for wearing Hoodies .
    if they wore a full face veil they would be arrested on suspicion"

    Not if they can come up with a religion and say "god makes me do it".

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  • 207. At 8:32pm on 30 Jun 2009, Jenny Day wrote:

    I personally find this to be a most disturbing subject. Your guest claimed that she did this because her maker commanded it. This is actually the part which causes me the greatest doubt as if our maker really wanted us to hide our faces then presumably he would have made us with built in veils at birth rather than requiring us to make our own.

    My general feeling is that the teacher pupil relationship is one which requires trust and openness and personally I would not feel comfortable either being taught by, or indeed if I had children, having my children taught by someone wearing a full face veil. However I do realise that there are some who sincerely hold a different view. So I think on balance that it should be restricted to specialised muslim schools, weher presumably this sort of behaviour is more widely practiced. However I do think that the wearing of full face veils in general state schools which serve a multi faith or non muslim population should be banned.

    This of course does NOT apply to the more widely used hajab as this does not cover the face and hence is non intrusive and perfectly acceptable.

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  • 208. At 8:32pm on 30 Jun 2009, oldhoneybee wrote:

    To januarymaryam:
    My own experience with Muslim men has not been very plesant, owing to the fact that I was being hassled by men four times within half an hour just because I was walking alone in a crowded street in Istanbul in mid-winter (hence wrapped up from neck to toe in warm clothing). I am Oriental, so I thought that I was immuned from the stereotypical idea of "Western women are promiscuous". I made it crystal clear to everyone of them that my husband was waiting for me not far ahead, but that didn't put them off. On another occasion the manager of a big carpet shop had the audacity to separate me from my husband and tried to take me to somewhere quiet. In all these cases they seemed to be surprised that I wouldn't "enjoy myself" without my husband. Perhaps Muslim men are more lustful than others after all, or they just treat any non-Muslim women as fairgame?

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  • 209. At 8:32pm on 30 Jun 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    I think it is very unfair to club all religions together, e.g. every BBC must have a token Muslim and yet could someone remind us when any other religions was even mentioned?
    If Muslims could learn to integrate there would be no issues, even Christians are forced to integrate in a historically Christian country.

    Further, there are plenty of people, like my partner, who are trying to escape from Muslim countries due to the horrors they have faced their. The fact that their tormentors are free to visually exploit their religion here must send a very mixed message to people escaping this oppression. It would be a national scandal, and rightly so, if we forced Jews to live amongst Nazis. Yet we are more than happy to do so in this case.
    The main issue is that Muslim woman are, or pretend to be, fully unaware of life in a Muslim country, which shows how little they understand about their own religion.

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  • 210. At 8:37pm on 30 Jun 2009, parkes87 wrote:

    Islam started as a religion in 622 AD. By 800 AD the capital of the Empire was Baghdad and as far as I know, it was about then that women were required to wear a veil. Before one particular caliph decided this, men and women wore the same style and types of clothes. Don'tbe fooled by the Victorian spin on the Arabian Nights tales (which were stories collected from the Empire at around this time, when Harun Al Rashid was in charge - a caliph who knew how to spend money and buy stuff!). The veil has nothing to do with Islam as a religion - it is to do with a culture. There are certain parts of the UK where this culture has now become more orthodox than some parts of Pakistan.

    I'm a teacher. If you want to wear a head scarf, I have no beef with that. I teach young Muslim girls and I can understand that wish. I find it amusing that the girls can turn these into quite interesting fashion statements and on none school uniform days, they don't wear head scarfs! But the full face veil? No. Its a big no no. You have to be able to see a face to communicate with that person. How do I know who's talking? I have perfect hearing but I also lip read as I listen. And a teacher with a veil? Get real. The lady in question went into a 6th form college in Blackburn, with a group of students who were thinking about going to the college after school. The students were happy to take their veils off, the teacher chose not to and left. She was not told to leave.

    You can not teach with a veil on. You can not communicate with the face covered. Its not about religion but about culture. Jews, Muslims and Christians all believe in the same god, yet the three have been taking pot shots at each other for thousands of years. If you want to see a row, put an Arab and a Jew in a room and ask them who the real semite is.

    I don't like short skirts and too much make up because 1 of my pupils was raped and murdered a few years ago, picked up in a bar when she was 14, a girl trying to live like an adult. But I don't like the veils and attempts by fathers to deny a girl her right to freedom because she is a she. I don't like the arrogance of a society that says I can't drive or have the sun on my face because I have the ability to grow a child. I don't like the way youngs girls are made objects in society and try to live like adults do, right down to the provocative nature of their clothes. And don't get me started on the readily avaliable images of denegration (porn) on the internet and the whole host of pervs out there that feed off their innocence.

    But I do believe in live and let live. This is a Christian country where few go to church. We have Christian values, but arn't most of those values shared with everyone else? Ignore those from all faiths who would want to impose their religion upon you. And anyway, it says you can not impose Islam on a person in the Qu,ran. Forget the veil row. You just go listen to the way the imams in the tribal areas of northern Pakistan are 'interrpreting' the Qu'ran and you understand the reason why extremism is rife up there, as well as the bike bombs.

    If you want to stop the violence you have to be tolerant and spread that knowledge and freedom of choice. You have to educate the next generation and spend a fortune doing it. Around the world. But than I'm a teacher and I would say that!

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  • 211. At 8:38pm on 30 Jun 2009, buenasdias wrote:

    As usual The BBC are frightened to death to say what the majority of the license paying public feel on this subject for fear of retribution. and upsetting the minority.
    This Is Great Britain (now theres a contradiction in terms)If you choose to live in our country live by our laws, as we would do in your own country, do not force your faith onto us as we do not do to you.
    The choice is yours live by the laws of our country or get out.
    By the way how do these people get through customs wearing this full face garb, if they are not allowed to show there faces, how do we know who they are be male or female frend or foe.
    If a man should where anything like the balaclava, motorcycle helmet,anywhere he would be labelled a criminal, a pervert or even a terrorist, On a personnal note would you dare trust such aperson I think not.
    To teach our children !!!!!!!

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  • 212. At 8:39pm on 30 Jun 2009, belovednash wrote:

    i am a muslim and i am forced to wear a scarf i think they should be banned because some people are forced to wear scarves just like my self it low your self confidence and you self esteem and i dont think that is how you should live your life.

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  • 213. At 8:44pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    "I personally find this to be a most disturbing subject. Your guest claimed that she did this because her maker commanded it."


    Yes, this is the part that I also find most disturbing. Strangely it's the part that is meant to end the argument, but it really ought to be the start of the argument.

    The maker didn't command it, there was no angel, it did not exist. Any rational and sensible person knows this is so. The girls who have been taught that a creator commanded them to be second-class citizens and subservient and hidden are being religiously indoctrinated. Rather successfully it would seem. We should be distinctly worried about how girls in this county can end up genuinely believing this nonsense and living in the grip of it. Genuinely believing that they will be roasted and flayed after they die if they don't submit to it. This is what is known as brain-washing, and when done by smaller cults, usually the police intervene.

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  • 214. At 8:49pm on 30 Jun 2009, ThinkLogic1 wrote:

    Is it true there is no such thing as the veil in JUDAEO/CHRISTIAN tradition? Let me set the record STRAIGHT. It was a custom Jewish women to go out in public with a head covering, which covered the whole face leaving one eye free. Failure to cover her head was considered an affront to her modesty. She may be fined four hundred zuzim for this offence. Sometimes it symbolised the a state of distinction and luxury rather than modesty. The veil signified a womans self respect and social status. Women of lower classes often wear the veil to give the impression of a higher standing. The fact that the veil of was a sign of nobilty was the reason why prostititues were not permitted to cover their hair in the old Jewish society. However, they wore a speacial head scarf t in order to look respectable. Jewish women in Europe continued to wear the veils until the 19th Century when their lives became more intermingled with the surrounding secular culture. The extrenal presures of the 19th century forced many of them to go out bare headed.

    CHRISTIAN TRADITION: Catholics Nuns have been covering their heads for 100 of years. ST PAULS NEW TESTMENTS rationale for veiling represents a sign of the authority of the man, who is the image of glory GOD, over the woman who was created from and for man. From the evidence it obvious Islam did not invent the headscarf. However, it did endorse it. The quran urges the believing men and women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty and then urges the believing women to extend their head covers to cover the neck and the bosom. The quran is quite clear that the veil essential for modesty, but WHY IS MODESTY IMPORTANT?
    " O prphet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women that they shhould cast their outer garments over their bodies (when abroad) so that they should be known and not molested" (Quran 33:59)
    This is the WHOLE POINT, modesty is prescribed to protect women from molestation or simply modesty is protection. Thus the only purpose of the veil in Islam is protection. The Islamic veil UNLIKE of the CHRISTIAN tradition is NOT a sign of mans authority over woman nor is it a sign of womans subjectation to man. The Islamic veil UNLIKE the JEWISH tradition is not a sign of luxury and distinction of some noble married women. The Islamic veil is nly a sign of modesty with the pupose of protecting women, all women. The Islamic philosophy is that it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you have any comments or questions please leave a message. :-)

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  • 215. At 8:56pm on 30 Jun 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    Dear ThinkLogic 1
    If you believe that Muslim men act as you describe, you will believe another. I have seen with my own two eyes, what it means to live in a Muslim society and can safely say that though your philosophy may be true the reality is very different.

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  • 216. At 9:00pm on 30 Jun 2009, geordieangel2 wrote:

    Youngsters wearing hooded tops are frowned on as they are difficult to recognise, on CCTV etc. in some places they are barred, why is it O/K to be covered from head to toe, and and be allowed to go anywhere.

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  • 217. At 9:03pm on 30 Jun 2009, If it's light, it's right - it's a yoga saying wrote:

    How are Jewish and Christian customs relevant to a secular debate or a debate about the dignity of 21st century women. You use nuns as an example, yes these women are members of a tradition that blames women for the "fall" of mankind, which forbids them to be ministers in church, which teaches then to submit to the authority of men, which instructs fathers to stone their daughters to death if they are not virgins, which outlaws contraception and abortion. This is not a good example to use when talking about the emancipation of women.

    I think we're all agreed that all of the traditions that came out of the middle-east are misogynistic. Middle-eastern culture evidently always has been and still is.

    Luckily we're European and we have other fairer traditions to draw on.

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  • 218. At 9:07pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To oldhoneybee,
    I totally empathasize with you as this has happened to me too before I was muslim. I used to live in the Gulf and also while visiting other countries, I was hasseled and sometimed mauled by men in busy market areas. 'western women' or women without hijab do seem to have a reputation for being easy. I think this isn't from what they have SEEN in real life as such but what they have seen on brit and american Tv.
    All muslem men and women are not perfect. There are those 'extreemists' who treat the religion in the wrong way or change it for their own benefit such as those who force women to do what they want, abuse or are suicide bombers. This in Islam is not allowed altough some 'groups' have taken to thinking so. On the other side of the coin, there are those who follow the religion but are weak... leering and hassling women, this as also not allowed.
    Some of this extreem behaviour has been forced by the state (such as Afganis having to wear a full long head covering their face) or the taliban (a supposed sunni group) forbidding girls from education. I am sunni (the pure form of Islam) Sunnis follow exactly what the Koran teaches and this extreemism isn't allowed.
    I have to add that the media is warped with falceties about Islam or what is said is twisted. Not all muslims are suicide bombers or out to kill every non muslim. The real Islam teaches that different religions should be able to live together in peace and acceptance.

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  • 219. At 9:08pm on 30 Jun 2009, wotanrider wrote:

    QUOTE: 163. At 7:44pm on 30 Jun 2009, Realist_01 wrote:
    It is extremely apparent that people who cannot understand this topic would prefer there children to be taught by women wearing boob tubes and mini skirts. I feel that all prostitutes now have a chance to shine within the teaching sector.

    What an odd comment. Where is this 'extreme apparance?' Please can you tell me which message numbers have mentioned 'boob tubes and mini-skirts' as I seem to be unable to find them here.

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  • 220. At 9:09pm on 30 Jun 2009, nicerowlo1 wrote:

    i cant think of a religion invented by a woman ,perhaps if their was men would be coverd up and women would have lots of power

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  • 221. At 9:13pm on 30 Jun 2009, ThinkLogic1 wrote:

    Dear DUBAI21 and ALL,
    I have muslim freinds who do veil, they feel frustrated they are alienated, misunderstood and pitied upon.

    " Look at the poor Muslim women as being oppressed."

    What about the oppression and pressures many girls feel to be a certain size or have a particular look to be sexually active, to wear provative clothes and to behave in a manner that compromises their value and intellect. Dressing modestly is a key protection from molestation. This arguement can be ridiculed; the whole point of dressing modestly to protect yourself from molestation. I can see why because protection is gained through effective edcuation, civilised behaviour and self control. IF CIVILISED IS ENOUGH then why is it UNSAFE for WOMEN not to walk AlONE in the dark after certain times of the night? If education is the soloution then why do we offer a safety bus or a walk home service? IF SELF RESTRAINT is the ANSWER then how come there are SO MANY ASSAULT CASES REPORTED?
    I think we need some radical changes in society, morals and beliefs.
    A culture of modesty in dress, speech and mannersims in both MEN AND WOMEN is needed.

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  • 222. At 9:15pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    Islam isn't an invented religion...neither is christianity nor judaism. I think nicerolo1 needs to do some self educating as to how this religion came about. I can assure you no mortal 'men' invented it!

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  • 223. At 9:17pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    well said thinklogic1

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  • 224. At 9:20pm on 30 Jun 2009, Richard Kellaway wrote:

    Remembering back to my childhood I would have been terifies of a black ghost teaching me.

    How crass can people get?

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  • 225. At 9:21pm on 30 Jun 2009, metallicRoyajun wrote:

    I would like to inform the readers that the woman in this evenings program,who said that she covered herself because her "Creator" wants her to do that is misled by whoever has taught her the teaching of Islam.
    As the real reason for the Hijab is that Mohammad the prophet was living in what is now Saudi Arabia, where in that time the people were living in a lawless society,like the rule of Jungle. The women were constantly being raped. Mohammad started to educate these people ,and the only way he found to protect the women from rape was that they should cover themselves so they wouldn't be raped by fellow moslems.
    It has nothing to do with what God wants, in fact we are all born naked!

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  • 226. At 9:24pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To caprotina...thats probably because you had never seen a muslim in full Abaya and were uneducated to such. Now children are educated about religious dress and as there are more muslims in this country now than then, they will probably have seen one or if not they will very soon get used to them and therefore become more accepting and pleasant individuals

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  • 227. At 9:24pm on 30 Jun 2009, nicerowlo1 wrote:

    to januarymaryam i do think religion was invented ,that is my self education ,religious people peddle fear for either power or to subucate the weak

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  • 228. At 9:29pm on 30 Jun 2009, ComentatorL wrote:

    The BURKA or VEIL was invented to stop sand getting in your mouth and nose, in sandstorm in desert, it is nothing to do with religion.Koran do not mention women have to wear BURKA,it was men of Arabia who forced it on women.

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  • 229. At 9:32pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To nicerowlo1...yes, people do, but that doesn't make them right. If you read the beginning of the Koran you will see it was said to Prophet Mohammed by Allah through the Angel Gabriel. Therefore not 'invented' by man. For this, I understand how it's hard to believe as we have been conditioned into being afraid or dismissive of things that cant be proved by science. (this could take me on a tangent of how many things have been proved in the Koran before man had the means to find out) For this my friend, you need faith.

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  • 230. At 9:35pm on 30 Jun 2009, ThinkLogic1 wrote:

    ISLAM is the ONLY RELIGION THAT GIVES THE HIGHEST STATUS TO WOMEN AND IS THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGION! ITS only until the 19th century western women have gained some equal rights. The book of Genisis portrays Eve as a temptress when Adam was tricked by the devil to eat the forbidden fruit, when he did so lead him he feel shamefull of his act and felt their nakeness.

    I think there is nothing wrong with with veiling or displaying symbols of your beliefs to express your individual religious indetity as long as it doesnt interfere in what tyour are doing or limt your safety.

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  • 231. At 9:37pm on 30 Jun 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    Dear ThinkLogic1

    Thank you, case and point. You consider the experiences here bad. Sadly, they are light years ahead of Muslim societies.

    My partner takes severe depression medication to deal with living in a Muslim country, sadly due to her nationality its not a choice. The reason is that even though she dresses using a scarf etc she is molested and propositioned daily. Have you ever had tell your partner not to go to police after a sexual attack because the Muslim police would only laugh at her.

    Let me say it is not a good experience and no I have absolutely no sympathy for people who choose to go against the society they live in. As someone who has spent his entire life travelling, I have always lived by the simple rule When in Rome..., its simple matter of respect.

    Further do you honestly believe what you say. I would suggest that you do some proper research and find out about the horrors of living behind the veil. The domestic violence that is covered up, the raping of maids, honour killings, paedophilia etc all brought upon us through the noble ideas you are protecting. Start reading some books like Dessert Princess, you might then have slightly more informed. Otherwise move to Afghanistan, Saudi, Iraq, Iran, Somalia even Dubai but I would not even wish that anyone.

    You prove a very simple point that this country suffers from, many people like yourself read something in a paper, hear something on BBC or talk to a friend about an experience but never immerse themselves in another society to truly learn what it means to live there.

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  • 232. At 9:44pm on 30 Jun 2009, amocreative wrote:

    i am a muslim teacher who wears a headscarf. i feel that wearing any sort of veil should not be forced. i do think that it is a bit silly to think that you can actually tech whilst your face is covered. the whole point of veiling is for modesty if you are attracting more attension wearing it, does that not defeat the point?

    if veiling is not compulsary until the age of puberty then why wear it in schools? its not fair on the children!

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  • 233. At 9:45pm on 30 Jun 2009, ThinkLogic1 wrote:

    Dear Dubai 1, what your partner is expreincing is very tragic and is no reflection upon Islam and it would be very narrow minded of yourself to assume that this what the religion teaches. I would not belive in something if it had such corrupt morals and principles. It is culture that people assume is part of regigion. Paedophiles, child abusers are rife more now than ever? Why because of lack of religion has dimished from peoples hearts and people fear no one and cant distinguish between right and wrong. I have read the book you have metioned and it was very touching but more over tragic. If you read the Quran, the authentic book you will know this is not what Islam teaches.

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  • 234. At 9:45pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To Dubai21...this does happen...it happens in non muslem countries too...its wrong and is forbidden by the Koran. Some muslems do things and lay blame on the religion or say 'in the name of Allah'..they are wrong, are not acting islamically and Allah will deal with them on judgement day. Many muslems have also been lead astray to act in this way. This is not an excuse, but so you understand, this is not what Islam is about. Please read the Koran for your own knowledge, try to keep an open mind and then you will understand that what some muslems are saying is the way they should act, is not...you will also see what Islam really means too.

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  • 235. At 9:52pm on 30 Jun 2009, nicerowlo1 wrote:

    to januarymaryam ,not a very conclusive explination ,but i suppose we all need something to believe in and if we havent we could invent it.if it keeps u happy

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  • 236. At 9:57pm on 30 Jun 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    Dear ThinkLogic21 and Januarymaryam

    You do seem to miss the point. Could you please prescribe to me an Muslim society where these things do not occur. Do yourself a favour and skip the entire Middle East where raping of maids, domestic violence and paedophilia are rife. I agree you have to go to Pakistan mainly for the honour killings.

    I have spent the better part of a half decade there, living and working amongst both good and bad Muslims. But sadly the societies themselves are set up for these very things.

    You claim that this is not the norm. I am therefore assuming that you have very little experience dealing with Muslim societies. As someone with personal experience of such, I can readily assure you that you are wrong.

    Is this what your religion dictates that does seem a good word, no. But it is MEN that read the Quran and implement it.

    Also please remind me, is it not a principal of the Quran not to propagate your religion. Funny then that you recommend that I should read the Quran. Oops, again you trip over your own religion.

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  • 237. At 9:57pm on 30 Jun 2009, amocreative wrote:

    dear dubai21, i think you and your partner should move somewhere you feel more comfortable!

    and having recently been in dubai on holiday, it has nothing to do with religion, that country is against anyone who is not a native. i bet you did nt know they are so desperate to increase the "natives" that they are offering free houses and an allowance each month to men who marry a 2nd,3rd or fourth wife! it is culture not religion that oppresses people!

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  • 238. At 10:00pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    to nicerowlo1...well; I don't know everything but the koran gives me guidance and support. It gives me something to work towards..Jenna (paradise) and to get there I have to 'be good'. Not only that, the religion tests me (life on earth is a test for our future in Jenna) It reminds me that we are mortal but assures me that there is someting better (or worse) depending on what you do in this life. Finally, it is not designed to tell all...there is still some mystery about Allah and many questions are being asked for all sorts of questions by many islamic schollars....but then Allah wouldn't be so awesome if we knew or could answer everything!
    P.s. It does keep me happy :-)

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  • 239. At 10:01pm on 30 Jun 2009, Jade wrote:

    I am a Christian, however I wear the hijab (headscarf) to serve as a headcovering as outlined in 1 Corinthians. I am saddened that so many people are ignorant, xenophobic, racist bigots, and I feel insulted that they are using Christianity to defend themselves! Modesty is a good thing - would you rather teachers wore mini-skirts and boob-tubes? I don't think that the burqa is necessary and I think that it could make teaching difficult, but it should not be banned. Those comparing it to wearing a balaclava or helmet are being ridiculous - they are not necessary but to a devout Muslimah the burqa is, to protect her dignity.

    For the record, I feel that my dignity is preserved by covering my head and I like to do it as it means I am obeying God, which is much more important than obeying society and its ills.

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  • 240. At 10:05pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    Also nicerowlo1...We are not allowed to force the religion on you, but to encourage you to read the Koran so any answers you have can be answered by yourself is very much allowed. By asking you to read it, you will be getting the answers from the most reliable source there is and I wasn't telling you, I was suggesting it was a good idea...so therefore, not tripping over my own religion.

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  • 241. At 10:09pm on 30 Jun 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    Dear Amocreative

    I think you have not read my previous messages. If my partner could leave Dubai then she would do so immediately. Sadly her nationality prevents her from doing so and she is stuck. Welcome to the real world where millions of people live in terror in Muslim societies while the West enjoys its riches.

    I suspect you have very little knowledge of Dubai. Anyone who feels even slightly sorry for Emirates is a fool. I know this even from locals themselves. I suggest you read the following article to get a better insight of your comments. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/the-dark-side-of-dubai-1664368.html

    Finally your argument is reflexive. You suggest we should leave Dubai where do not like the values and go back to the UK (I am a UK citizen by family heritage of generations, my partner is not). Well the articles point is whether these values should follow us, and my view is. For this very point, I chose not to live in Rome so I went home; I did not want Rome to follow me.

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  • 242. At 10:14pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To newcamomile...how refreshing it is to hear that from you. I am a muslim and have the same views on the niqab burka as you...not necessary or ideal for teaching, especially where the mouth needs to be seen for expression and pronunciation etc. I wear a scarf also to protect my modesty. I have honestly never (knowingly) met a christian like yourself (appart from nuns). It would be so good for religious relations if your views were heard more loudly and frequently, especially by the majority of christians who are unaware of how similar our reliions are. My mum i a christian and takes her religious beliefs very seriously, but would never dream of wearing a scarf and nearly went as far as banning mine from out family home. The fact that Prophet Jesus Mother Mary wore a scarf seems to have been forgotton by many...It's nice to 'meet' someone like yourself

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  • 243. At 10:19pm on 30 Jun 2009, nicerowlo1 wrote:

    to januarymaryam,fortunatley i am able to walk by myself and i do not need a religiouse cruch of any denomination.but thanks for the offer

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  • 244. At 10:24pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To Dubai21...In the muslim 'society' I live in, these things do not happen often. I live in Hackney, London and the friends and aquaintences of myself and my husband are good, law (sharia and british) abiding citizens. When a major problem does arise, such as assult, then the women (and men) leave their partners. This is easier in the UK...(I too have lived in Dubai and other areas of the Gulf) as Arabian society can be very unsympathetic of the plight of people such as yourself and your partner. I wish you both all the best with this.

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  • 245. At 10:28pm on 30 Jun 2009, ThinkLogic1 wrote:

    AS a matter of fact the Quran is sos concerend with protecting womens bodies and womens reputataion that a an whoe dares to falsely accuse a woman of unchasity will be severly punished.
    " and those who launch a charge agaisnt chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations) flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence: for such men are wiked transgressors" (quran 24:4)

    Compare this strict Quranic attitude with the extremly lax punishment for rape in the Bible.
    " If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girls father 50 sheckles of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violeted her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. (Deut. 22:28-30)

    One must ask a simple question here, who is really punished? The man who ony pays a fine for rape, or the girl who is forced to marry the man who raped her and live with him until he dies? Another question should be asked is this: which is more protective of women, the quranic strict attitude or the Biblical lax attitude??????

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  • 246. At 10:29pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To nicerowlo1...that is your perogative. I wasn't asking you to convert, just to give yourself the means to answer your own questions about Islam without listening to warped ideas an stories told by the media and well meaning people who have simply got it wrong. I did not mean to offend you.

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  • 247. At 10:29pm on 30 Jun 2009, Jade wrote:

    Januarymaryam, I do try to make my Christian brothers and sisters more aware of how much better dialogue could be between Christians and Muslims. My best friend lives near Bradford, is a Christian like me but her church isn't that great regarding relations with Muslims - she hates the situation. I am part of groups that seek to create better understanding between Muslims, Jews and Christians, as if we stand together we can help each other when the aggressively secular society of today attacks us. Thank you for your kind comments.

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  • 248. At 10:30pm on 30 Jun 2009, missdogwalker wrote:

    No person should be allowed to hide their facial features( except for medical reasons). 1)Facial expression is an integral part of our communication & language.2) People with reduced hearing ( not always diagnosed) need to reinforce their hearing with facial expression & mouth movements.3) In Britain it is accepted cultural practice to have an "open" face to show good will. To hide ones face has always been a symbol of ill intent. 4)In these days of international terrorism it is neccessary for faces to be scanned in crowds or public places.
    Let these women hide their faces in private- if they wish. While in Britain then common practice & cultural mores should be followed and a full visage shown. If this is not acceptable then the persons concerned should not expect any services to be available in shops, banks, state institutions medical buildings etc.

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  • 249. At 10:33pm on 30 Jun 2009, Jade wrote:

    ThinkLogic1, the girl mentioned in the Deuteronomy verse would not have been able to marry anyone else because she was no longer a virgin - by marrying her, the man was rescuing her from a life of poverty and shame. If she had remained unmarried, she would undoubtedly have led a much harder life.

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  • 250. At 10:34pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To thinklogic1...havent things changed for the better! Christians say our religion is not progressive, I think that says it all. Plus, Islam is a working religion. You would never find a 'christian' rapist marrying his victim (thank goodness).

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  • 251. At 10:35pm on 30 Jun 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    Dear Janauryman

    I did not understand what you said. Why would women leave their partners because of an assault?

    Regarding the fact that the Middle East is unsympathetic, its very simple. Dubai is one of the most racist locations on the planet and she is Indian. Before I het accused of being a racist for saying this, interview a sample of Indians, Pakistanis and Filipinos living there you will get a clear a picture.
    Further many Muslim Societies interpret the Quran in a way that down grades women i.e. the reason that a woman needs 3 witnesses to prove she was raped. This last part may be wrong but I do believe to be correct. Therefore combine sexism and racism and you will understand the situation.

    I do however see that you chose to leave your lovely Middle East to move to London. Now why would you choose to leave such a great Sharia abiding area as the Middle East if you did not prefer the values of living in the UK. Or am I missing the point?

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  • 252. At 10:39pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To newcamomile...because of this I can see why christianity had to progress with the times...but you see I believe it did...to Islam. Do you think that is a good way to repay the woman who was raped? I agree that she would have had a hard life in those times, but to reduce her to live with her attacker? It doesn't seem right

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  • 253. At 10:41pm on 30 Jun 2009, nicerowlo1 wrote:

    the girl gets raped and her father gets money or the rapist gets a wife and u say that women are not oppresed by religion

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  • 254. At 10:45pm on 30 Jun 2009, geeblogg wrote:

    No I do not think teachers should wear burkas in school. I feel it is very important to see facial expressions when talking to someone and more so for a teacher to be able to do that when teaching a class of pupils.

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  • 255. At 10:47pm on 30 Jun 2009, ThinkLogic1 wrote:

    And why would she be subject to shame? It was the man who raped her? He gets to rape her and marry her. Nice. Wheres the jutice in that. She has to share the rest of her life with such a man, cant see what could be worser than that.

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  • 256. At 10:50pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To dubai21...I left as my father was serving in the forces and we were posted back to the UK. (just to clear that up) I am actually planning to move back there to teach at some point in the future as I enjoyed the freedom of my existance. This I understand may have been lived with rose tinted spectacles as I was reasonably young, but I will live and learn.
    As for the situation of Indians, philipinos, pakistanis etc, they are treated as cheap labour and their conditions are not good. What shocks me most is they do choose to live there, often away from their family, doing jobs the locals wouldn't and sending the majority of their wages to their family back home. This is not Islamic...but in these countries, culture and religion seems to be meshed together. As Islam is a way of life, it is very hard to see a distinction between the two. This is not what Islam is about though.

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  • 257. At 10:53pm on 30 Jun 2009, Green_Drag0n wrote:

    I am hearing impaired and cannot communicate effectively with people if I cannot see their faces. I used to be a teacher. More recently I worked in a shop where I had the same communication problem. People who refused to remove full face crash helmets, or other face coverings were ejected from the shop, not only because I couldn't serve them but also because they were a security risk.

    The wearing of face coverings and other oppresive garments are not part of Mohamed's teaching. His first followers were a very conservative sect who had already adopted the suppression of women. They highjacked the new religion and grafted their ideas onto it.

    The covering of women's bodies and faces is supposed to engender purity of thought amongst men. However the opposite is true. There are many stories of young arab men from highly traditional backgrounds who lose the plot when they encounter a more relaxed society. Osama Bin Laden is a well documented high profile example.

    In my experience living in a nudist environment is a much better way of engendering purity of thought. After seeing loads of people naked and relating to them in daily activities like shopping, taking exercise and going swimming, you just stop thinking about sexuality and accept people as they are.

    So I believe that the Muslim dress code for women is spiritually counter productive, as well as socially inhibiting. I don't think it should have any place in British society and should be illegal in public places like schools, shops, and public transport.

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  • 258. At 10:54pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To dubai21...I forgot to answer your question. I was talking about a case of where her husband beat her, she didn't leave (as many women from all walks of life are often afraid to do) until he attacked her with a knife. She left him, had her marriage cut by an Imam and was able to move on with her life. Of course women should leave because of abuse...I'm now confused with your confusion?!

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  • 259. At 10:55pm on 30 Jun 2009, Jade wrote:

    Januarymaryam, I believe that to make the rapist marry her, it is a punishment for him - after he defiled her he is now responsible for her and must look after her. I am grateful that this is not the punishment nowadays but I can understand why it was the punishment then - the ancient Middle East was a very different place. However, like I said, I am glad that rapists are in prison rather than marrying their victims.

    nicerowlo1, you clearly don't have any constructive comments to make so why are you bothering? I am a woman and I am in no way oppressed by my religion - were I to be raped, the punishment in Deuteronomy would not be my rapist's punishment so the point you are making is totally redundant. To say that women are oppressed by religion in general is just a lie.

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  • 260. At 11:01pm on 30 Jun 2009, Jade wrote:

    ThinkLogic1, the girl would live a life of poverty and shame if she had been raped and then left unmarried - she would be an unmarried woman but no longer a virgin, which would have made her a social outcast in the ancient Middle East. By making the rapist marry her, it is actually punishing him and rescuing her - she is married and so is not a social outcast, and he has to marry a non-virgin (shameful for him) and is responsible for her.

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  • 261. At 11:03pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To newcamomile...that is very true...just glad that isn't the case now too.
    I am interested in the groups you are part of to unite Muslims, Christians and Jews or at least to promote understanding...as we are all from one beginning! I think it would be useful in my personal plight between my family and myself too. Do you use a website?

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  • 262. At 11:06pm on 30 Jun 2009, nicerowlo1 wrote:

    i think that the choices open to the raped girl are far from ideal and i am not critising any one religion,what iam saying is under thise senario the girl gets no jusice or that becouse she is not valued as much as a man ,ps times change but people dont

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  • 263. At 11:07pm on 30 Jun 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    Dear januarymaryam

    Are you suggesting that I attacked her?

    Of course not, I have found as a general rule after talking to Indians, Russians, Austrians, Dutch, etc its the Muslim men that do the propositioning and the assaults. As mentioned they are brought up not to respect non-Muslim women and act accordingly.

    My partner has been sexually assaulted 5 times in her life all by Muslim men and it is these attacks that are causing to suffer from agoraphobia for which she is taking depression medication to help her leave her house. We are hoping that he visa will finally clear in the coming days and that she will be able to join a safer society. Clearly there are issues here, but there are real laws in place and she has a right to expect respect something missing in the Dubai

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  • 264. At 11:10pm on 30 Jun 2009, Jade wrote:

    nicerowlo1 you clearly don't understand - the punishment the racist recieves according to Deuteronomy is appropriate to the culture of that time - to us the girl does not get justice but in reality she does, because the punishment is culture-appropriate.

    januarymaryam, I am a member of http://community.livejournal.com/3faithdialogue. I hope that helps!

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  • 265. At 11:17pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To Dubai21...!!!!
    No I'm not suggesting that or even thinking it...You were confused about what I was saying...
    That is probably true of Muslim men in that culture. They have been brought up thinking badly of non-muslim women. This is through lack of education and watching too much promiscuous tv. Like I said before, this is no excuse, but the culture and not the religion. It just so happens that the country is made up of mostly muslim people, so when a crime is committed, the probability is on them!...just as in places where christianity is the majority, crimes are committed by christians etc. This doesn't make it right, or the fault of the religions, just the fault of the people who are after all 'human' and prone to making mistakes and giving in to their desires however wicked.

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  • 266. At 11:22pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To newcamomile...thankyou for that. I will definitly give it a look. Might even see you there.

    To everyone...I'm off to bed now, thank you, Take care and god bless

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  • 267. At 11:25pm on 30 Jun 2009, nicerowlo1 wrote:

    we are living in the year 2000 so does that allow us to change wot is right and wrong to the appropriate times .i do understand that the times and values of thise particular time in history ar diffrent than today but wot i am saying is that hypertheticley the girl was hard done to and how i see it the same applies today

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  • 268. At 11:27pm on 30 Jun 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    Dear Januarymaryam

    We clearly have different views and we both have what we feel are valid points. Indeed you are right people are people, but I would suggest that having lived with two female friends I can safely say that my abiltity not to rape them comes from my upbrining and not some garment. I believe respects is needed between men and women and not a garment.

    I will leave on this final thought. One major arugment has been that its your freedom of choice for teachers to wear the Burka. My question therefore is, can I expect the same support for my partner is she would wish to teach in Saudi not wear the Burka. Its a hypothetical question to see your view point, she would, I am sure, die before ever setting foot in that country.

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  • 269. At 11:38pm on 30 Jun 2009, januarymaryam wrote:

    To Dubai21...I said already that wearing the burka for teaching is not a good idea as could hinder students learning. I agree, there does need to be respect between men and women. There is not a larger percentage of muslim men raping than there are men from other religions, this is a weekness of men across the board and thank goodness there are more men like you who whould never dream of rape. As for the law in Saudi...that is there or the protection of men and women. Men so they are not tempted to rape and women so they are not dressed attractivly. It is a religious country and these garments are worn because of the religion (except the burka or niqab which should be choice but isn't that way in saudi) In the UK, it is not of religious respect to wear minimal clothing or an insult to wear an abaya or scarf etc. I will pray for your partner to get her visa and to enjoy a better quality of life.

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  • 270. At 11:45pm on 30 Jun 2009, ghazimohaisen wrote:

    dear all,
    as a muslim Visitor to the great UK,I really feel sorry for you.
    I can see how great were your grandfathers . it is obvious that the generation who build this country was so busy providing you with the wealth & just miss the role of raising a mentally mature generation .
    What is the body language that you are seeking from semi-naked wasted girls. What do you expect from there legs to whisper. . . .
    Yes you are a different generation . . . too different from that generation who govern more than half of the world.

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  • 271. At 11:57pm on 30 Jun 2009, archer79 wrote:

    Oh French,

    I would like to rejects comments made last week by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, regarding the wearing of a veil and burka by Muslim women. Rather than promoting unity and understanding, President Sarkozy used his address to the two houses of parliament on 22 June 2009, to perpetuate pre-existing false stereotypes.

    In his speech President Sarkozy claimed that wearing of the burka was a sign of subservience and debasement. He added that it is not welcome in France.

    These comments are extremely unhelpful and indeed regrettable, particularly coming from the Head of State of a country in which there are around 5million Muslims. President Sarkozys comments also directly contradict comments made by President Barack Obama recently in a speech in Cairo on 4 June where he said:

    it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit -- for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We can't disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism.

    I contend that President Sarkozys views on the burka are both factually wrong and ill-informed. The burka is an item of religious dress which many Muslim women choose to wear. However no Muslim woman should be 'forced to wear' it because a fundamental teaching of Islam is that there shall be no compulsion in religion.

    Far from being a sign of subservience and debasement, it is a dress of choice for millions of women, who feel pride in its decency.

    Throughout the Muslim world, you would find an outstanding example of freedom of women in practice. In science, business, education, civil service, law, medicine and accountancy to name a few, Muslim women have excelled to the highest levels of society without compromising their Muslim values. They play an active, recognised and valuable role in societies across the world as outstanding role models for women.

    I hope that France and Britain does not pursue this legislation which would contravene both Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and Frances Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen on which the French Constitution is based. These ensure freedom to practise religion and hold religious beliefs.

    For Britain to fight for so called freedom at the expense of genuine freedom itself would be an affront both to Britain and those who fought so hard to secure freedom in Britain. For freedom to reign, freedom must be preserved.

    As far as the teacher's behaviour is concern, I think in Britain, Muslim women should not cover their faces when wearing Burka or scafe. We should all abide the common laws of the land we live in and if not happy in anyway, should debate and present valuable arguments to change and implement them. But if an individual still feels that, he or she is still not happy and satisfy with the law of the land, then Islam allows them to leave the land and settle where they feel comfortable.

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  • 272. At 11:57pm on 30 Jun 2009, ghazimohaisen wrote:

    Do you really want to know what we as Muslims think.
    We thank that you people of great England are directed away from your history.
    You are Made to follow the USA policies in whatever it likes you to be & to do.
    They are using the media to influence every single part of your misery life a machine in at the working days & hours & wasted drunks at the weekends.
    Im not asking you to convert into Islam, sorry but we dont need bad Muslims, we have plenty of them already.
    Please go back to your churches be good Christians . . . . please

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  • 273. At 00:21am on 01 Jul 2009, susanah302 wrote:

    This is GREAT BRITAIN and wearing muslim religous clothes isn't part of OUR culture so get back to where your wearing of these hijhab and face masks is there culture. I dont want it here. In the cowboy films the baddy always wore a neckerchief over his face. I thought the program was weak and pathetic cow towing to the idiot with a face mask

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  • 274. At 00:34am on 01 Jul 2009, Sana_S wrote:

    Ask a muslim woman: Can I ask you a question please?Erm...do you wear the Hijaab, because you are forced or because you want to...?If I was asked by someone who was generally interested in knowing, I would be more then happy to talk to them :)

    You will find that alot of the younger generation wear the Hijab becasue they want to. Yes, I know that there are people that maybe forced into wearing the Hijab, but lets just say its not the majority.In this day and age, We as muslim women have the right to decide if we want to wear the hijab, Come on! We go uni, we work we go shopping and we do most things that other women do!And alot of women do have the free choice of deciding if they want to wear the hijab or not. I just wanted to clarify that, although I do agree that some people are forced, but you have to understand ALOT of women wear it because they actually want to

    For someone to cover there hair, or their body, why should that be a issue?If some one can walk down the street half naked and another person would like to cover their hair, their body or even their face, it should be her own choice.

    Thankyou One Show, for discussing these issues on the show.

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  • 275. At 00:39am on 01 Jul 2009, ghazimohaisen wrote:

    Dear Susanah302,
    just need to know what is the meaning of the Terminology you just used (our culture ) ,is there a well defined culture in terms of what you wear.
    may be you consider the sekh or Jewish hat as your culture or may be others wear is.
    But believe me the only valid definition of the western culture is the respect to the others, what ever they choose to dress

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  • 276. At 02:54am on 01 Jul 2009, oldhoneybee wrote:

    I find some of the arguements here rather tiring. Rejecting full-face veil or burka does not mean that one has to expose a vast proportion of flesh. Most of us in this country do not enjoy the sight of girls' covering up less flesh than they reveal, either, so to attack our culture as one full of "drunken wasted girls" is ridiculous. One sees what one wants to see.
    Dressing in a decent and modest manner does not necessary mean that women have to be hidden in tent-like garments. There is nothing decent in covering up the face (other than exceptional circumstances) as it is intimidating, disrespectful and offensive to a society used to open communications.
    To say that covering up the body and face protects women from the possibility of being raped is laughable. Rape is not about sex, it's about humiliation, control, power, etc.
    It is not entirely true that people can choose how they like to dress. Walking down the street stark naked or exposing your privates is certainly not acceptable.
    I've never seen any teachers who go to school in "boob-tubes" (what exact are these things?) or mini-skirts. So not allowing teachers to wear full-face veils will certaily not result in inappropriaately- dressed teachers.

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  • 277. At 02:57am on 01 Jul 2009, peacemountain wrote:

    I am so sick and tired of ignorant people claiming that wearing a face veil is the crime of the century....
    We live in a society that lets murderers and rapists walk around in our society, after very little time in jail, with the very real possibility that they will commit the same crime again...and they do. This doesnt make you feel intimidated or unsafe? We live in a society where bankers and politicians have bankrupted the country through dodgy deals and a war that should never have been started. And as for politicians expenses, let's not go there. We have a society that has homeless people with very little of a support network...We have an increase in sex trafficking and sex slavery in this country...and you people have a problem with a woman who chooses to wear a a handkerchief shaped material over her face????
    FOR GODS SAKE THERE ARE SO MANY SERIOUS ISSUES TO ADDRESS IN THIS COUNTRY, WHY DONT YOU GO AND DIRECT THIS MISGUIDED PASSION TOWARDS SOMETHING THAT WILL ACTUALY HELP SOME ONE? When's the last time you volunteered, or talked to a homeless person, or helped a charity? We Muslim women don't need you to fight for our right to walk around half naked on a Friday night completely sloshed...we choose not to do that.
    Do I sound angry? Yes I am, because I see so much suffering in our communities which isn't being redressed, and yet Muslims are being targeted everyday by negative media and negative stories bandied about by "representatives" that were never elected by anyone of us muslim women to speak on our behalf. And by the way, every time this islamophobia is cultivated in this way, it has a real and dangerous impact on us...a few days after that stupid article article in the Telegraph, someone attempted to run me of the road. There is always an increase of racial abuse attacks and incidences when something like this starts up.
    And by the way I do not wear the face veil, I wear the hijaab, but will defend the right for anyone else to wear it. I am proud to call myself a British Muslim, I am proud of my Hijaab, and at the same time considering myself a Yorkshire lass. What I wear however, is none of your business. What I look like should not be a threat to you. The proof of how society is obsessed with image, just look at the airbrushing that goes on in magazines.
    I challenge you all to go and pick up a good translation of the Quran and read it, or go and read authentic sources and books about Islam. Islam is not the religion of terrorism or misogyny, quite the opposite. The real threat is from people who choose to cultivate hysteria over trivial matters, in order to deflect you from the real and serious issues here. Practising Muslims are not a threat this society, we are an asset. What we wear is not important, how we treat each other is.

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  • 278. At 04:05am on 01 Jul 2009, afzal_ahmed wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 279. At 06:35am on 01 Jul 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 280. At 08:55am on 01 Jul 2009, ronpage wrote:

    Further to the muslim lady's comments om her reasoning why she wore the complete outfit it was interesting to see her reaction when martin commented on her eyes her reacton was to try and conver them up. Why? she also stated that her creator had instructed her to do the covering up. If we believe that God created us in his image then there should be no cover up as we are created without any covering and in fact it was only the feelings of embarrassment that caused us to cover up as indicated in the Bible when Adam and Eve realising their error covered themselves up, before then there was no need. We were and are made male and female to be attracted to each other in the very way God created and we should not be ashamed of this. Instead we should rejoice in this fact and recognise this for what it is.Natural.

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  • 281. At 09:11am on 01 Jul 2009, greatdanebeth wrote:

    I am hearing impaired and rely heavily on lip reading. The wearing of a face veil precludes this as I found recently with a locum pharmacist who would not remove the veil so I could understand her. If I am visiting an Islamic country I have to abide by their dress code but if we stipulate a dress code in the UK we are being racialist - it does not mean this at all - we have our own customs and they also should be respected

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  • 282. At 10:13am on 01 Jul 2009, kuergun wrote:

    Hi there I have worked in Saudi Arabia and saw a white nurse who did not wear her head square properly. She was slammed against a grass shop window by the police and the vail was pulled harshly over her hair. In Saudi Arabia women have no rights and wear think black clothing in that awful heat while the men are in white. Yet when on the aeroplane they cue up outside the toilet waiting to leave Saudi aerospace and change into European clothing. If the Islamic women saw this they would not be so keen in wearing such clothing here!!!

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  • 283. At 10:33am on 01 Jul 2009, JvA wrote:

    I wish Europe was secular and religion banned from the public domain...all of it. Theocracy is a right-wing movement. Unfortunately through self destruction our countries have ignorantly allowed this medieval Islamic ideology to flourish in the 21st Century. These people need dragging kicking and screaming into the modern world.

    If you don't want to be seen due to some airy fairy nonsence, do not expect to be accepted into society, we will not see you....period.

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  • 284. At 10:42am on 01 Jul 2009, justice_searcher wrote:

    Hmm, ok... So Uk is a free country right? It prides itself in giving people the right to do as they wish, if someone wants to do something, yay... this country allows it. Then why the double standards with Muslims?

    C'mon let's think of it, it's not as black and white as some make out. Seriosuly, is the muslim teacher going to not interact with students as she is wearing a viel?! No, she'll make a greater effort to do her job, she has made a choice to wear it and indeed it does the make the job a little more difficult, but now it's up to her to up her game and teaching, and the school decides if she can do her job well enough for them.

    ...But you don't ban something that is not causing harm to someone and is a free choice.

    Some of these comments are totally amusing, you claim that muslims are this and that, yet your attitude and manners are exactly what you complain of. Please, go and chill with some muslims and ask them what they believe.

    Have a lovely day people! :)

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  • 285. At 11:17am on 01 Jul 2009, reconditionedman wrote:

    Martin Jarvis was priceless when he leaned over to the woman and told her that she had lovely, expressive eyes! The woman had the good taste to let out a harrumph of distaste!

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  • 286. At 11:43am on 01 Jul 2009, ORLFC_97 wrote:

    Personally I feel that muslim women only showing their eyes is offensive to me as when people say things to them you cannot see their facial expressions which I think Jack Straw said a few years a go. The lady who was only showing her eyes mentioned that adultary and sex before marriage is not acceptable, adultary is one of the ten commandments and also sex before marriage is mentioned in the Bible but people still comit adultary and have sex before marriage who are not Muslim

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  • 287. At 1:44pm on 01 Jul 2009, propeller911 wrote:

    It baffles to see these ladies on burkah. The problem is that most of them have varying opinions and intentions on why hey wear it. Recently, a Muslim lady told me that she wears it because her husband wouldn't like another man to see her face. She said her husband is jealous that is why he ordered her to be wearing it. But she could not tell me why her husband doesn't cover his face for her so as to prevent other ladies from seeing him?. We grew up with the believe that terrorists cover their faces for members of the public not to identify them. So whenever I see these ladies in garb, I use to suspect they are agents of terrorist and I am happy it has been banned in France. Britain should follow suit, less it may degenerate into a tantrum throwing. We are not a Muslim nation yet. Their religious belief and inclination should not bring discomfort to others or to the people that accommodated them.

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  • 288. At 1:54pm on 01 Jul 2009, archer79 wrote:

    Islam has always suffered from many false charges against it due to the misunderstanding of its true teachings. One example of this is the wide spread false notion that Islam in general deprives women of their rights and forces them to go behind the veil.

    The Islamic veil is condemned by non-Muslim and regarded as a sign of backwardness and a thing of the past which is no longer practical in the daily way of life today. They think that it is a burden and a restriction which has been imposed on Muslim women to deprive them on them of their freedom; they see it as if it was a chain with which the cruel Muslim man has tied his poor wife or daughter or sister of any other woman under his rule, because of his selfishness or jealousy.

    But if one looks with a deeper glance on this subject, it will be found that the veiling of women is not something that Islam has invented. The previous revealed scriptures also contain some traces of similar teachings and Islam came only to complete and perfect them.

    For further reading, please click following link:


    I hope that will clear must of misunderstanding about the Veil in Islam.

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  • 289. At 2:11pm on 01 Jul 2009, freedom_of_speech09 wrote:

    WOW!!! I can see many people have commented and mine will probably not be read however, the hijaab is beautiful, the burka is intimidating. this is how I personally feel.I think women wearing the burka should understand this, however I do not believe we should target them for their beliefs. It is their choice. I am a Christian, although I studied the Koran and I dont think it is stated that women should cover their faces. Also, may I point out to my fellow christians a hijaab and modest dress is very much similar to an outfit of a nun. And actually the hijaab comes from that.Thankyou.

    Oh yeah- one more thing. The guy who said something about the lady having beautiful eyes. she appeared extremely uncomfortable. I think that was very wrong of him and it appeared as if he did this on purpose.

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  • 290. At 3:08pm on 01 Jul 2009, Dubai21 wrote:

    I love the way Muslims, and rightly so, ask not to be seen as terrorists but jump to see all non-Muslims as slappers. Repeatedly this view has been put forward by people defining the Burkha as positive. I for one need no religious prescription not to party at weekends and very rarely drink.
    I must however say that many practicing Muslims I am friends with drink heavily and enjoy many one night stands. Funny, sounds like they are human after all. The best comment I have heard from a friend was I do not like Ramadan, as I will need to give up beer.

    Of course it will pointed out That this is not the preaching of Prophet Mohammed, PBUH. So I would like someone to finally highlight a society which they feel actually follows the preaching.
    That will at least provide a comparison for the non-Muslims to see if that society is really preferable. For a religion that is so cut and dried, it does a varied interpretation take Saudi, Dubai, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq as examples.

    Also for all the women who are so valiantly defending their beliefs, have you actually ever lived in a Muslim society? My suspicion is that you will find that Islam in practice is very different from what you think.
    I am talking reality and not religion, if you want some actual factional reading I suggest you start with Jean Sasson. I am sure you would be the first to highlight the difference between how Christianity is meant to be lived and the existing society we have in the UK.

    Respectfully, why would one choose to live in a society that you say does not respect your values? I would personally not force my values on Saudi, in fact I am strictly opposed to Wests desire to impose its political and social systems on other countries.
    Surely you could choose options like Iran, Iraq, Saudi, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Lebanon, UAE etc where the society supports you.

    I will warn you though that many of these countries have not signed the Human Rights treaty. Further child brides, the raping of domestic house staff, the domestic violence, honour killings, stoning, the lack women's right etc are common. To take a recent example, Pakistans government was recently debating the issue of legalising marital rape.

    Corrupt politicians and greedy bankers are as much a British institution as fish and chips, and are part of our fabric. It is also true that we rapists walking our streets, although we do have laws, which are sadly poorly applied, to prevent it from occurring. However compare this to Muslim societies where rape victims often suffer in silence for fear of the shame they will cause themselves or their families if not even worse.

    For many the biggest threat to our values and way of life are communities who fail to integrate. This formula has led bloodshed in Palestine, Northern Ireland, Australia, and South Africa, Kashmir, USA etc. It is simple unsustainable in the long term.

    Thinking beyond, have you that maybe we fell strongly about our values, values which are the basis of the many of things privileges we all enjoy, and do not want to see them eroded.
    Also has anyone asked if a parent would be happy with their child being taught by a veiled Muslim? I personally would remove my child from that class and have them go somewhere else, as I would want my child to be taught my values.

    Muslims complain that Islam receives so much negative press, yet fail to consider the attention it draws to itself?
    Funny, I for one believe that the BBC has strict a pro-Muslim agenda, which has in fact been commented on by papers as well. For example whenever it makes a report about Dubai, it fails in anyway to give a balanced perspective failing to warn its audience to Dubais many dangers while simultaneously disrespecting the hundred of thousands suffering there.

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  • 291. At 6:04pm on 01 Jul 2009, Shaheen_B wrote:

    It's sad that any woman, if she had the choice, would not wish to feel the sun, rain and wind in her hair.
    These women are pretty politicised and feel the need to look different from the norm in order to have a sense of identity. They believe that in time Britain will become a Muslim country and its people, reverts to the faith. In order for this to happen they believe in large families so it is not uncommon to find many Muslim families with lots of children. This isn't scaremongering because I know many Muslim women of different nationalities who all say this.Britain is a very tolerant country but if people don't speak up against the nikab and burkah we will see a huge increase of this garb in society. We have to ask the question, do we want this? Muslims live for Jannah(paradise) so this life really is of no consequence to them which is why if they miss out on any pleasures - well, they'll get many in Jannah.

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  • 292. At 6:06pm on 01 Jul 2009, surferdudejack wrote:

    I don't think so.
    I get wary every time i see someone in a full face veil.
    therefore it would be scary to have a teacher wearing one.
    I also like to see a person, not just their eyes. I can imagine its hard to teach in a full face viel in the summer as it is very hot at times, and hard to teach anyway as their voices would be muffled.
    Not to be unfair though, i respect people who have such commitment to their religion

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  • 293. At 6:15pm on 01 Jul 2009, OriginalAyrshireMan wrote:

    Well done The BBC! Yet another PC, "balanced" discussion which does nothing to enlighten the question. If this is a religious question, why not look at the text in question. My understanding, "a woman shall dress modestly" (may not be a completely accurate translation)... Is there nothing about men showing respect to women in the Muslim Faith, I'm sure there is but perhaps less of a flaming-blog potential?

    However, have to say I fully admire your presenter for taking the stance for a more enlightened approach to one of the faiths. As she said, she should be able to allow experience the sun or raindrops on her face, as and when she chooses. Unfortunately, the other woman made her argument seem completely ridiculous when she commented on the need to find special beaches when on holiday...

    Ps: your historian got it wrong about the titanic. Was not the Shipbuilders' fault, but was due to the weakness of the rivets which on glancing the iceberg failed and caused catastrophic leakage along too much of the hull for the compartmentalization design to cope. Also, once the stern started to come out of the water the keel could not cope and broke (was designed to keeps its integrity only in the horizontal plane). At the time, the process for producing the rivets did not take into account the quality of the base metals being employed... Come on Dan, you should know better!

    Ps: Christine you do have beautiful eyes and the bonniest smile.

    Ps: Adrian, a face not only a mother could love (well that's what mine says anyway! :)

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  • 294. At 6:27pm on 01 Jul 2009, susanrowe wrote:

    Re: The Burka
    If I went into a bank or airport wearing a veil I would be told to remove it, likewise if my Grandson went to a shopping mall in a hoodie he would have to take the hood down so that security cameras could see his face.I really don't care why they wear it but I think in this country it should be banned for security reasons. I also think talking to someone with your face covered is nothing short of rude and offensive, how can anyone see your facial expressions.

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  • 295. At 7:28pm on 01 Jul 2009, suzannah1 wrote:

    teachers are in the classroom to teach children, facial expressions is part of communication

    where in the koran does it say women to cover their bodies?

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  • 296. At 7:35pm on 01 Jul 2009, justice_searcher wrote:

    Maybe this will help you guys get a better understanding: http://muslimmatters.org/2009/07/01/why-is-the-flap-on-my-face-a-slap-in-yours-mr-sarkozy/#comment-45940

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  • 297. At 10:59pm on 01 Jul 2009, geordieangel2 wrote:

    Should teachers wear the burka, the purpose of a teacher is to teach, if the children are afraid, or put off in any way by the teachers appearance, then the answer is NO! the most important thing of all is the children, no one else.

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  • 298. At 10:34am on 02 Jul 2009, JvA wrote:

    To justice_searcher,

    Clicked on the link and it confirms my thoughts completely,

    ISLAM is a CULT.....With cultish practices.

    Why are so many Mohamedins in the west? It is because where they spawn from is third world. Why is this? Because it follows Islam. The west is not perfect but it is better than where Muslims originate. Why? Because it is NOT Islamic....root cause...Islam.

    Modern day islam is our medieval christianity.... here the lesson ends.

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  • 299. At 12:02pm on 02 Jul 2009, sparticus3 wrote:

    Hello, 2 July
    May I say that its not to their benefit with muslim women wearing the burka/veil it doesn't help with showing who they are when its needed like at any service counters and also they are frightening to some dogs who go body language.
    Also as one of the muslim women said on the One Show that "nowhere does it says in the Kuran that they are obliged to wear the burka/veil"
    Lets stick to the real practical facts necessary in this country.

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  • 300. At 1:59pm on 02 Jul 2009, greyJumbug wrote:

    No Face veils sould be banned completely if people want to live in this country they should live by our rules and standards.

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  • 301. At 2:28pm on 02 Jul 2009, azaria01 wrote:

    I am British and I follow the Islamic Faith. Believing and following Islam does not stop me from abiding by the law and govenence of this country in which i was born and raised. Many individuals through the blog have spoken about individuals who wish to wear the burqa to leave the country, I do not wear the hijab (head scarf)/jilbab (long garment covering over clothing)/niqab (veil covering the face) but if I did why shouldn't I be aforded the same rights as any body else in the UK without fear of judgement or enmity.

    We all express ourselves in different ways, I do not vilify those individuals around me who wear piercings, wear all black (like Gothics and EMOs) or men who walk around with the top off or women who wear lots of make up or women who wear none at all, individuals with Tatoos, smartly dressed individuals and certainly not a women who decides to cover her face with a veil.

    What right do any of us have to judge any other person because of what they look like or what they choose to wear, we allow ourselves to be overly influenced by stereotypes rather than take the time to dispel ignorance and fear and learn about the person behind the image. This country is about freedom for all, not for all except the muslims or except the ones who wear the burqa, we all have the freedom of expression, freedom of speach and freedom of faith.

    I agree there are women who are treated with no respect, whoose human rights are violated - this is not confined to Islam, and men who call themselves muslim and are this way with women are not following the teachings of Islam.

    Many have talked about the struggle of women in Britain who have fought hard for their rights - did you realise that these rights you speak about were granted to women in Islam 1400 years ago.

    There are always going to be individuals in any faith who will distort the teachings that have been handed down to them to obtain power over people, to obtain wealth, to boost their egos - don't associate this with Islam as a faith.

    Historically this country may have been a Christian country but I am so proud to say that this country is a multi-faith country, where we have Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Budism, Hinduism , Sikhism and no doubt so much more. If you want to live in medieval history than by all accounts all should be evicted from the country except perhaps the catholics and the those from the COE - I am sure there are many groups of Christians would not be happy with that.

    The issue at hand that should be discussed is regarding the wearing of the niqab if you are a teacher in schools. I think that this is a question that is not so cut and dry. I agree with those individuals who outline the barriers to learning it may have to some children with special needs e.g deafness and in this case I believe the niqab should not be worn, but to say it would be a barrier to all kids learning - I for one am willing to give our children more credit than that. I believe in situations where, there are all female classes or the boys are under the age of puberty, then there is no need for the niqab inside the classroom. I believe that the teacher in question should always be aware of the effect the niqab may have and be ready to work with the school if any issues arise - through communicating with students about different faiths and different expressions of faith.

    On a final note I think that the comment that a parent would not want their child to be taught by a women who is so obviously believes in Islam because they would be worried about them imposing her ideals on the child - would they have the same comment for an individual who wears a cross or a gentleman who wears the jewish cap?
    I doubt it very much.

    Concentrate on overcoming your fears and insecurities and not pushing such detructive ideas into your childrens heads.

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  • 302. At 3:47pm on 02 Jul 2009, JvA wrote:

    The EU will continue to have this debate until secularists push forward and remove religion from our society. Having been the product of a Catholic upbringing and also worked in Muslim states, I have seen the light, and religion is certainly not it. It is the biggest test of our times and I am hoping in a few hundered years it will be placed rightfully on the shelves of folklore and the planet can then live in peace. Social order will prevail for peoples of every colour but not religious creeds...all the desert dogmas are fatalistic books.

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  • 303. At 4:30pm on 02 Jul 2009, susanah302 wrote:

    Azaria If you had to take sides either supporting our troops that represent the queen and country of your birth. or supporting foreign muslim troops which one would you choose?

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  • 304. At 5:07pm on 02 Jul 2009, azaria01 wrote:

    Susanah302 - For me it comes down to the reason people are fighting because although many of these current wars are supposedly to do with religion or faith they are more to do with power, money, land, oil or control. I think that sometimes we need to look past what is protrayed in the media and try and find the truth behind the violence. Islam means peace, to fight for ones rights is important but to take to arms should be the last resort not to mention there are strict guidelines behind that kind of action i.e. the first step should be to find some kind of amicable resolve between the two parties if that doesn't work then women, children, non-combative men, the frail/old etc (Innocents) should NEVER be harmed, regardless of what side you are on its always the innocents that get harmed. I wouldn't be on the side of either the troops i'm on the side of the innocents that get caught up in the struggle. I get very frustrated when so called martyrs who die for the cause of Islam or Islamic terroists are conected in language (labels) with Islam because their actions are not Islamic in any way. I work hard to improve the human rights for everyone regardless of creed, sex, race, nationality or faith - i do that with the pen as the Quran advices to do.

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  • 305. At 5:13pm on 02 Jul 2009, azaria01 wrote:

    Would you support the troops just because they are from your country of birth? - without questioning what it is they are fighting for?

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  • 306. At 5:36pm on 02 Jul 2009, digidandan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 307. At 7:56pm on 02 Jul 2009, susanah302 wrote:

    Dear Azario01 I am anti war and violence of any kind. I am also anti religeon of any kind as it is responsible for wars since time began but it seems to me that fanatical faiths that brain-wash its followers are the biggest culprits and islam comes under that heading I dont need religeon as a crutch to be a good law abiding citizen and to me thats what is more important not how many times you pray or cover up your feminine form. Thats why males like us, unless they are gay and I dont have any thing against gay men or women The ones I have met have been very nice and peaceful individuals,

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  • 308. At 07:16am on 03 Jul 2009, JvA wrote:

    Followers of all the Middle East religions are the most selfish people on the planet. I use selfish because they have this fantasy idea of paradise and they will only reach there if they perform certain duties/tasks on this earth, it is for their end gain. It is not for the benefit of mankind but for the benefit of that individual...Hello God, "look at me I've got 5 shiney stars, let me in please"....there I think they miss the point. Lay down foundations for your children....ON THIS EARTH! as this is where we know and in reality this is all we know.

    So therefore I would be against the wearing of any religious (political statement) regalia.

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  • 309. At 12:26pm on 03 Jul 2009, trchwd5 wrote:

    What really, really hacks me off is that non ethnic minority British citizens are unable to express views in the same way as ethnic groups as we are branded racist.

    We are therefore anable to defend OUR rights, opinions, beliefs and cultures, and as a result we are losing our identity to a tidal wave of minority groups.

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  • 310. At 12:59pm on 03 Jul 2009, azaria01 wrote:

    Dear Susannah302

    I agree, wars are often fought in the name of one religion or another. and yes, it often is fanatical individulas who take advantage of ignorant, illiterate, emotionally damaged people and manipulate them to further their own goals. But Islam is not the cause of this but rather greed is. To say Islam is the bigger culprit I would need to argue that actually fanatisism is more affluent in Christianity, but Islam gets focused on because it is more publicised.

    I can understand that there are many individuals who do not know anything about Islam except that which is portrayed in the media whether this be the news or movies, as such it is very easy to see and judge Islam, based on these examples, as restrictive and oppressive to women. But Islam is a wonderful faith, a faith that works to be practical. Many of the "rules" that are focussed on are indeed common sense for example do not drink? - can anyone argue against the fact that drinking is indeed bad for your body (liver cerosis) or it can lead to a loss of control and actions that once you've recoved you may regret, that alongside with drugs is the cause of much anti-social behaviour and promiscuity (often unsafe sex) - this is based on fact -national statistics and this is just one example.

    As for prayer, think of it as a means of meditation of connecting to something bigger and higher to yourself that during these times (for muslims in the rememberence of god and gods message) to think about the decisions you are making in your life, the paths you choose to follow, how this will affect you and your spirituality but also how it affects others around you - how many people just stop and think!

    Prayer and my belief in God, gives me peace, strength, positivity through good times and bad times, and when i pray i cover myself out of respect, as is doen by women across the world in different faiths such as Christianity, Judaism, Sikism, Hinduism and so many more, i'm not belittling myself in doing so, I am not hiding away.

    I have to also say I have never had problems with males liking me but more importantly they respect me and the choces I make in my life as i would respect them and their choices, if they were gay or otherwise. :o)

    For me everything comes down to choice, how you treat yourself, how you treat others, how you treat the wider community (all faiths, creeds, nationalites etc), the world we live in (respecting the environment, and Islam through the Quran (revelation passed down from god) provides a guidebook to make it easier to navigate. That isn't to say that there are individuals who do not believe in God or follow Islam who do not have the same concepts they adhere to - that would be naive.

    For me this way works, for someone else it may be another way, wehat I look at is the fact we are following the same goals, i concentrate on the similarities rather than the differences.

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  • 311. At 1:58pm on 03 Jul 2009, susanah302 wrote:

    Dear Azaria10 My sentiments exactly about excess drinking or excess of anything including faiths as I was brought up in a stifleing chatholic environment I think the answer is moderation in everything.and if you treat people as you expect to be treated you arnt doing a bad job. well thats my look on life. enjoy it

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  • 312. At 2:01pm on 04 Jul 2009, foxesrblue wrote:

    On reading many comments a certain majority of our friends who's religion is not of these shores enjoy the way that we, here in the UK enjoy freedom of speech but this is used to preach .. disgustingly mind against the country that has taken them in! and promote their own ways one of which intigration is something they are not interested in. To these people who should think themselves extremely lucky to be out of their own oppressive country and take advantage of a better lifestyle ... then if you don't like it then reach for the door and leave!! When in Rome ........... or return home!

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  • 313. At 5:20pm on 04 Jul 2009, misshaveasay wrote:

    In France, muslim girls are not allowed to wear any outward signs of their religion. There is also talk of a total ban on wearing the burkha in public places.
    Why can't the UK be more like this. After all, if a western woman goes to a muslim country, they are exepcted to respect the muslim laws of dress code. It works both ways.

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  • 314. At 5:43pm on 04 Jul 2009, landigirl517 wrote:

    Unfortantly having the veil on is hindering the speech of the children that is being taught by the teacher who wears the veil. Some children have problems with there hearing and uses lip reading as a method to understand the teacher. I have a child who is hard of hearing and has had problems in school due to teachers wearing the veil, only to be told my child was discrimiative towards the teacher. At the time we didn't know that she had problems with her hearing as she always suffered with earaches. She is now 21 years old and has pushed to seen by a hearing specialist and hs been told that she has 85% hearing on her good days, when she has a cold it is 95% loss. So no they shouldn't wear the veil. I have friends who wear them and are very good with my daughter with hearing problems.

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  • 315. At 8:22pm on 04 Jul 2009, doctorrayner wrote:

    Dear One Show,
    You had an apologist on the One Show last week who I thought did not make a good case for wearing the Burqa in Britain. I think the following from an anthropologist makes much more sense.

    The Burqa was designed so the men would not be tempted by the sight of woman's beauty. Alcohol was also forbidden, as was homosexuality and prostitution. Men must not be distracted from becoming a warrior.

    However whenever a man obeyed an Inman and blew up infidels and himself in the process, he would be rewarded with rivers of fine wines, abundant rich food and 74 virgins who would pleasure him for all eternity.

    Strong incentive for a man who could not afford to marry until he was well into his thirties or later. No relief of any kind as homosexuality and prostitution banned with savage reprisals. Not even a friendship permitted with a woman who was not a close relative. Any man found in public with a woman who was not a close relative would be severely punished, as would the woman.

    The only religion to my knowledge that rewards a violent and murderous act with sex, alcoholism and gluttony! Puzzling but absolutely understandable under those strange circumstances of extreme frustration.

    Usually only in countries that are barren and have little rainfall. Couldn't imagine a Pacific Islander being so motivated to become a suicidal killer, but they have four harvests a year because of sufficient rainfall.

    Maybe it all boils down to climate? Or at least partly so?


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  • 316. At 1:59pm on 05 Jul 2009, prop03 wrote:

    NO, NEVER, facial expression is the most vital part of communication and, without it, much of the teaching is lost or misunderstood. For the same reason Botox should also be banned from the classroom!

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  • 317. At 6:06pm on 05 Jul 2009, upavon79 wrote:

    2 Years ago when my daughter was a serving member of the Royal Navy she was asked to remove the hood on her Royal Navy hoodie in our local shopping centre. When she pointed out that if she was a Muslim in a Burka they won't have even spoke to her, my daughter told them no, and was told to leave the centre. This is Britain, not the Middle East. A Christian Country.

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  • 318. At 10:42pm on 05 Jul 2009, Jimmychet wrote:

    Any person who covers or hides their face whilst conversing with another clearly shows they have something to hide and thus are untrustworthy. They are demonstrating that they are, or likely to be, both a liar and deceitful. Any claim that it is a part of their religion cuts no ice with me.

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  • 319. At 7:15pm on 08 Jul 2009, Faye-amanda wrote:

    I dont think they should be allowed to wear full-face veils because it might frighten the children in the classroom or make them affraid of them or thretend

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  • 320. At 11:18pm on 08 Jul 2009, wornell wrote:

    Facial expression is an important part of communication. Covering one's face places a physical barrier between the participants in a conversation. Modern-day education does not consist of standing in front of a class and expecting them to listen to your voice or to read things from a book. Effective communication is vital for learning by participation.

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  • 321. At 2:25pm on 09 Jul 2009, smartStandstoreason wrote:

    Why are such stupid questions posed, a mask is a mask no matter what name you give it, of course they shouldnt be worn especially in schools, the French Prime Minister has the strength to speak out against such nonsence, I note ours has suddenly gone very quiet, but then the French Prime Minister is French.

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  • 322. At 3:00pm on 09 Jul 2009, SpiderJerusalem85 wrote:

    Oppressed or not no individual in this day and age should be allowed to wear any item of clothing (permanently and without question) that conceals their identity - whether Religious or otherwise.

    Surely this is a complete no brainer?! - "shall we bring in ID cards displaying an image of a persons likeness to actively identify the public?" why bother when you can't actually see half the faces! Did everyone take their stupid pills this morning? Would I be allowed to wear a "Scream" mask when catching a plane? I dont think so - religious reason or not - this is about safety.

    I don't agree with teachers wearing Burkas either - kids have enough to think about.

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  • 323. At 3:09pm on 09 Jul 2009, MeanCaptainBloke wrote:

    We are all continually beig told,"If you've nothing to hide,you've nothing to fear."
    Britain is essentially an open society.What do people wearing Burkas have to fear?
    We are told it's for cultural/religious reasons.
    Most cultures/religions adapt into the modern world.
    Why not the Muslim world.

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  • 324. At 11:14pm on 09 Jul 2009, adamsbentley wrote:

    I dont agree with teachers wearing the burka /veil ,i would not allow my child to attend a school that allowed a teacher that did.I have been in shops & passed in the street people wearing the burka,& it makes me feel very uncomfortable & angry .I dont understand why anyone whatever there religion ,would want to isolate themselves from everyone .as I see it you cannot see any expression on there faces or reconise one from another .my local towns have changed very much over last few years loads of different religions & spoken words.but the most offensive i find is the burka /veil, as I dont see how they want to be accepted in britain or any place . all you can see is a pair eyes .if someone went round with any kind of clothing with just there eyes showing, to me its saying keep away & they want to keep themselves to themselves .you cannot see if they are happy ,sad ,angry not when they are hidden away .there is no place in britain for this kind of clothing or any other place .I feel it belittles woman of all walks of life & a women in some countries have had to fight hard for the right of women .I am very concerned about britain & feel that the burka is causing great concern to many people .its the first time i have ever spoke out at all ,i am just a working class mother & concerned british person that feels strongly about this.( also a very bad speller sorry)by way i have no religion was baptised not by choice as was baby lol so had not learned to speak & still not learn to spell. I wish that in future people could be free to express themselves ,without having to hide or cover up a woman as nothing to be ashamed of showing & not be belittled by others or brain washed

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  • 325. At 09:21am on 15 Jul 2009, grandBiggles wrote:

    I have many years working in Muslim countries, all of the time in conflics, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kosovo, Bosina, etc, i have had many male friends who are Muslim, female friends were a no go area, i find this amazing we are having a debate on this issue, we should not allow Burkas to be worn here, and has for teaching children this is wrong, this country is to political correct for its own good, next the nudist will want to teach our children,

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