Muslim veil debate – a Pandora’s box.

Home Office minister Jeremy Browne has called for a “national conversation” on whether Muslim girls should be banned from wearing face-veils in public places on the grounds that in some cases they feel compelled to do so by family or peer pressure and so need to be protected. Whilst I have some sympathy with this argument, particularly when applied to the judicial process, it is not compelling when applied to all public places since it infringes the rights of those who take an informed and free decision to wear such garments. The same logic would much more strongly focus debate upon the right of parents to have their male children circumcised. It will be a most courageous, but ill-advised Minister who seeks to open that particular Pandora’s box.


Chris Whitehouse