Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hello? Is This England? Everybody Alright There?

The Race Relations minister Phil Woolas claimed Mr Straw's comments had provoked a backlash. The Oldham MP said that Muslims in his constituency had received phone calls from relatives asking if they were safe in Britain, following the extensive news coverage of the issue.

What I can't help finding hilarious about the whole thing is that it's not like Jack Straw's been telling people to disrobe or anything. He's simply been asking the fully-veiled Muslim women among his constituents to show their faces during "face to face" meetings in his constituency office.

And here's the really funny bit: He's been making these respectful requests for a year. And not one woman has complained.

I can't recall a single occasion when the lady concerned refused to lift her veil; and most I ask seem relieved I have done so.

That's from what Straw wrote, which is the very thing that's got everyone's niqabs in a twist. It was in the Blackburn Telegraph, and the Guardian reprinted it here.

But since the newspapers are so untrustworthy I decided to consult the official sources about whether it's safe to travel to England, and here's what they say:

Violent crime occurs. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and mugging occur in urban centres, tourist sites, restaurants, buses, trains, and the London Underground. Vehicle theft also occurs. Remain vigilant, ensure personal belongings, passports, and all other travel documents are secure, and do not show signs of affluence.

See? It doesn't say "don't wear veils." It says "don't wear things that make you look rich."

Meanwhile, Nav has discovered Bobloblozloblog actually does exist.


Blogger Adrian MacNair said...

Yes, I agree fully it is another overblown Muslim affair. But we must also recognize the cunning in Mr.Straw's plan. He realized that his public statement would create a stir, and he is perhaps trying to reasonate with the constituents of his region who fear the growing rise of Islam. he is making his own cultural stand against cultural incursion. Or at least that is what I get from it.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Scout said...

i finally google imaged a pic of jack straw.....i would think people would ask him to please cover his face.

11:48 PM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

"What I can't help finding hilarious about the whole thing is that it's not like Jack Straw's been telling people to disrobe or anything."

Interesting you saying this. I am just in the middle of a small piece on this same subject.

As an aside - I am not at all sure we should look for very complicated motives in Straw's speech. Definitely not a "plan".

4:09 AM  

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