A leading Labor Party politician, Jack Straw, scolded women last year for coming to see him in his district office in the niqab. Prime Minister Tony Blair has called the niqab a "mark of separation."
David Sexton, a columnist for The Evening Standard, wrote recently that the niqab was an affront and that Britain had been "too deferential."
"It says that all men are such brutes that if exposed to any more normally clothed women, they cannot be trusted to behave — and that all women who dress any more scantily like that are indecent," Mr. Sexton wrote. "It's abusive, a walking rejection of all our freedoms." [ Muslims' Veils Test Limits of Britainâ€™s Tolerance,. New York Times 6/22/07]
It's a standard culture clash article, with remarks like the ones above balanced with Muslim women explaining their voluntary oppression. Interestingly, no British women were asked their opinion about the presence of Muslim women whose behavior insults western freedoms.
In addition, the Times didn't explore the curious psychology of self-oppression. Surely the most extreme form occurs when the abused person willingly participates in the mistreatment. So it is with Muslim women who choose fabric prisons to separate themselves from the western world
Many say it is out of "modesty" to ward off men's unwanted attention. But if that were true, it would not be necessary for the all-encompassing garments to be identical.
Of course, if the Senate has its way, we will be seeing enormously more Muslim immigration along with every other kind.