Debate on veil shows how West is turning on Islam, scholar warns

Tariq_RamadanA leading Muslim scholar has said the debate on women wearing veils highlights a growing “global polarisation” between the West and the Islamic world.

Tariq Ramadan, a visiting professor at Oxford University told an interfaith conference in London yesterday that the debate sparked by Jack Straw, who said the veil hampered integration, was part of a global phenomenon in which a “them versus us” attitude was being fostered between Muslims and non-Muslims.

“The atmosphere has deteriorated in the last year or so,” Professor Ramadan said. “It’s not only a British reality, but European and American. To nurture this polarisation is the easiest way for politicians when we don’t have social policy. The most dangerous thing is the normalisation of this discourse.”

Independent, 27 October 2006