The veils debate has come to India, as I write. And it continues to rock Britain, ever since former home secretary Jack Straw set it off two weeks ago (read previous post). Polls in Britain, including one initiated by The Guardian newspaper say that "53% of voters think Mr Straw was right to suggest that the full veil creates a barrier between Muslim women and other people, with only 36% believing he is wrong on the issue."
I started out by saying its somewhat of a non-issue in India, like in many other countries. For the simple reason that unlike Britain, there is no immigrant issue here. Incidentally, the TOI today quotes Islamic scholar Zeenat Shaukat Ali saying "Quran doesn't ask Muslim women to use a veil. It wants them to dress modestly and behave in a dignfied manner." The veil has, Ali says, become a symbol of dignified dressing and its not a form of opression.
Like before, let me focus on the nation-state issue that I raised earlier. Which is really what a state can or should expect from its citizens, particularly immigrant citizens. Maybe there should not be a distinction in that. But my sense is that countries are beginning to distinguish between the two in some ways, at least in defining what they expect from them, for instance Canada saying knowledege of English is a prerequisite.
Do Immigrants Care ?
What I wonder and to an extent worry about is really the motivation behind migration. I also wonder whether most modern day migrants realise what they sign up for. And let me add that Indian immigrants to the west are not an exception here. My question: do immigrants understand the notion of a nation-state or is it only defined by what the emailer below says.
I will connect this with the subject of veils later but my instinctive answer is no..most migrants couldn't really care about the nation-states they adopt. Of course some do and perhaps make their adopted nations proud. The vast majority are in it for the free ride. And that is worrying. I will build on this later, but meanwhile let me quote two mails (presumably genuine) that appeared on the website of Britain's largest newspaper, The Sun.
Mike on The Sun
Re:Show your face!
To right they should, it makes my blood boil all this fuss over the Muslim faith. If they want to live here then abide by British way of life, after all if any British citizen was to go and live in a Muslim country they have to abide by the Muslim way of life. And never mind all this multi cultural society clap trap they are just politician's words for i dont want to ignite a debate in case it back fires on me. But i say well done Mr Straw for being honest if only Blair and his i am OK jack sod everyone else cronies were as honest. there are only 3 things that attracts people to this country and that is 1.health service, 2.council property, and 3. State benefit.
Re:Show your face!
I would just like to state, the last I checked this is a free country whereby where Muslims have integrated with what every colour of human you like and successfully co-exist with each and other British Citizen. Including freedom of speech and freedom to where what ya like and do what ya do best so long as you do not breach the law.
Please can somebody point out.. Is it against the law to where a Veil?????
Didnt think so... All the same I aint saying that there should be either, A muslim lady wears a veil based upon here dedication level of her faith to safe guard rapist as such who find it in their minds to screw what they choose a disgusting matter of which we all would condemn full stop.. BUT if he cant see ya face wey hey atleast he aint getting any fresh ideas.. What Ya rkon..
Mr Straw, I personally think is quite intelligent, but as they say donkeys are stupid, but Mr Straw aint a donkey, but has clearly demonstrated that he can walk on all fours... Clever lad.. but credit to the man he has caused a nationwide fiasco.. and given those idiotic extremists an excuse to jump on.. No wonder the security of this country is in a shambles they put the wood on the fire then complain when the water runs out... British politics... Just another b movie..
I Muslims lady in a veil, is a Muslim lady in a veil a standard human being, an affectionists, a patrion to her country and her religion, neither is shew forced or expected to where a veil but wheres on her own free will to further confirm her faith and beliefs..
Besides I do not feel that to understand ones feeling really requires the view of a face. If you really are caring and passionate god gave us understanding and feeling of words that mean heavily in sudden sentences, the great english dictionary and language further supports my point.
I am a Muslim totally integrated in to the british society, my occupation employs and invests in all colours of human regardless to race or what they wear i respect their beliefs and there religion and watever else they need from me as this means integration..
Get over it people.. wats the point of a debate when all it is gonna create is bad feeling in the general public nationwide and further disturbance to whats left of the peace and harmony our fore fathers have left us with..
I am a British Muslim, proud to be British and proud to be a Muslim, if ever I was asked to choose between my nation from my relegion I would end up in a phsyco ward as i just cudnt just they are both dear to me.. but if push came to shove.. then i am glad to say the British justice system still caters for all walks of life..
Take care all.. and just relax.. we are not the enemies and neither are you, we all in one boat but if we dont paddle together we gonna sink.. lets not let that happen..
All the best..