No hijab at schools: UK minister

Phil WoolasOnly two weeks in his post, Britain’s new immigration minister believes that hijab should not be allowed at British schools. “People wear veils for different reasons: some out of religious conviction. some because they’re forced to. It should be up to them,” Phil Woolas told The Times on Saturday, October 18. “But at school you shouldn’t wear one. It’s harder to get a good education if you wear a veil as you’re more cut off.”

Islam Online, 18 October 2008

Islamophobia Watch hesitates to defend Phil Woolas, but to be fair we think he was talking about a ban on the niqab rather than the headscarf (not that we’d support that either, of course). But he should be asked to clarify his remarks.

Incidentally, we can’t help noting that Woolas’s Times interview, with its call for “a tougher immigration policy” and unpleasant talk about “putting British people first” and “not pandering to Hampstead liberals” over immigration, is reproduced with evident approval by Searchlight on their Stop the BNP site. Presumably they, like Woolas himself, think that the way to stop fascism is to adopt the fascists’ own rhetoric.