A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Agreeing with Polly Toynbee

A strange week ... first agreeing with most of a Compass pamphlet ... now finding an article by Polly Toynbee I completely agree with:
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/columnist/story/0,,1924025,00.html

Her argument against the veil makes sense because it is based on women's equality, not on irrational fear of the "different".

It's as much, if not more, an issue for Muslims to debate about the role of women within the Muslim community as it is one for the rest of us to debate as an issue about the role of the Muslim community within wider British society.

The description used by Tony Blair today - that the reason for debating the veil is that it's a "mark of separation" from the rest of society and might make non-Muslims feel "uncomfortable" doesn't make sense. If it did the logical consequence would be to oppose Sikh turbans, Hassidic Jewish black coats and hats, rasta dreadlocks etc. - all of which are also "marks of separation" - which of course no one is saying.

Toynbee is also consistent in that she argues against faith schools in the same article and calls for a completely secular state.

Blair, much as I support him on other issues, has got this badly confused: how can he logically justify public debate about an item of clothing that marks separation but be in favour of schools that actually physically separate children of different faiths?

3 Comments:

Anonymous David Floyd said...

"how can he logically justify public debate about an item of clothing that marks separation but be in favour of schools that actually physically separate children of different faiths?"

He can't. It's policy position from the do as we say not as we do school of governance.

It's obviously not unreasonable to ask Muslims to consider the effects of their religious practices on the rest of society provided people of other religions are also asked to do so.

A clearly framed secular society, for me, is not only the best basis to tackle religious segregation, it's also a sensible bases for creating a strong national identity.

I wonder if there's any chance of it becoming Labour Party policy?

5:10 pm, October 17, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The vail is nothing like a turban or a bangle or a small cross on a chain. A vail is meant to separate the person wearing it from society. That is not the same as a turban, bangle or small cross. The vail IS THE ONLY symbolic piece of dress that makes you anonymous in the name of 'religeous identity'. The Koran actually only talks about wearing clothes in a modest way. Something which everyone should do when out an about. The head scarf on the other hand does fit with British culture and does work as a modern piece of symbolic clothing.

5:38 pm, October 17, 2006

 
Blogger kris said...

so in the tension of conflicting religious and women's rights- women wil get sold down the river.

7:35 am, October 18, 2006

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

 
Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount