Ignorance behind veil uproar: Ridley

Yvonne RidleyAward-winning British reporter Yvonne Ridley has blamed the ignorance of Western politicians and media for the ongoing debate about the face-veil and other misconceptions about the status of women in Islam.

“Having been on both sides of the veil, I can tell you that most Western male politicians and journalists who lament the oppression of women in the Islamic world have no idea what they are talking about,” Ridley, who reverted to Islam two years after a brief detention by Taliban, wrote in the Washington Post Sunday, October 22.

“It is with disgust and dismay that I watch here in Britain … Straw describes the Muslim niqab as an unwelcome barrier to integration,” said a mocking Ridley. “Even British government ministers Gordon Brown and John Reid have made disparaging remarks about the niqab – and they hail from across the Scottish border, where men wear skirts.”

IslamOnline, 22 October 2006

Hmm … given that George Galloway is reportedly considering standing for Respect in Scotland, I’m not sure he’ll regard that as an entirely helpful comment.

See also Washington Post, 22 October 2006