Anorak News | Beyond The Veil

Beyond The Veil

by | 11th, October 2006

“THE being who opened the door was like nothing I had ever seen. Swathed from head to toe in black cloth, she looked like a huge crow and had a beak or some kind of metal grille in the place where her face should have been.”

So writes the Mail’s Allison Pearson, who recalls the time when working in a primary school she walked home Hatice, a little Muslim girl with “incredible mischief in her eyes”.

It’s a piece entitled “Here’s why the veil so offends me”, and Allison is unlikely to be wearing one any time soon.

It’s impossible that Allison will not be the only person, or being, offended by reading her input into the veil debate.

And while Mail readers worry about Muslim punks, and farmers wonder if burkas can scare not only a strand of the British population but also crows, the Star hears another writer’s foray into the veil debate.

It’s Salman Rushdie, the man who introduced the term “fatwa” and “naughty but nice” to the greater British consciousness. Alongside a picture of Salman’s wife dressed in a belly-dancer’s two-piece (“Well would YOU want her to cover up?”), the paper hears Salman say that the Muslim veil “sucks”.

“RUSHDIE: VEIL SUCKS,” says the Sun’s front page. The Mail says the “row” over British Muslim women wearing veils “deepened” when Rushdie appeared on Radio 4.

Referring to Jack Straw’s comments, Rushdie says: “He was expressing an important opinion which is that veils suck – which they do.”

He goes on: “Speaking as somebody with three sisters and a very largely female Muslim family, there is not a single woman I know in my family or in their friends who would have accepted the wearing of a veil.”

So not all Muslim women wear the veil, although if the role demanded it than surely Salman’s wife Padma Lakshmi, billed on her website as “the first internationally successful Indian supermodel” and an actress, would put one on.

And not all Muslim men want Muslim women to wear the veil. Which would suggest that this “row” has been going on for longer than Jack Straw has been involved. And it will continue after the tabloids have done with it…

Posted: 11th, October 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink