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Unveiled debate...... & should Madonna be allowed to adopt a Malawian baby?

Anu Anand | 13:06 UK time, Monday, 16 October 2006

Madonna.jpgI'm definitely not the only one fascinated by Madonna's bid to adopt a baby from Malawi. We talked about it last week before the story was even confirmed, but now, it seems everyone seems to be debating why she's doing it and if it's the best thing for the 18-month-old boy, David. More about that later. Our first topic today is the veil. For those of you groaning and muttering 'oh-no-not-another-Muslim-story-again!' as you read this, I will say that as a program, we're led by YOU, and the overwhelming majority of you posting on our blog are still talking about why Muslim women living in western countries choose to wear a veil and what effect it has on others. Not to mention that it's becoming an ongoing, very robust debate here in Britain....

Tune in at 1800 GMT speaking to Salma Ravat, a mother of four in Manchester who wears the full veil. Salma has to break her fast for Ramadan at 1811, so we'll speak to her right at the top of her show to find out why she decided to wear it (she's from India, where Muslim women generally don't wear a veil, or even a headscarf, just modest dress- though I'm sure some of you will argue with me on this!) No one disputes Salma's right to wear a veil, but how does her choice to wear it fit into the values of a secular society? Does she accept that wearing it might alienate some people? That's a conversation you can have live on air if you email us now with a contact telephone number.

And why is Madonna adopting a Malawian baby? To boost brand Madonna? Because she wants to help? Because she just fell in love with 18-month-old David Banda? Should she be allowed to bend Malawian rules on international adoption? Last week, we heard from Marie Staunton, chief executive of PLAN UK, who argued that Madonna should help David's family and community to raise him, rather than taking him out of his culture and country. But the baby's father obviously feels his son will have a better life... what do you think??


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