Jilbab ruling is a bitter defeat for British beliefs

Jilbab ruling is a bitter defeat for British beliefs

Letter in the Daily Express, 4 March 2004

The Appeal Court ruling may be a victory for Miss Begum, but it is a defeat for the rest of us.

Speaking after the Appeal Court’s decision was announced, Miss Begum said that it was a landmark victory (paid for by the taxpayer, of course) and would have profound consequences – it most certainly will.

She then went on to talk of the bigotry and intolerance she had suffered here.

If Miss Begum wants to know what real bigotry and intolerance are, she should go and live in one of the Muslim states where Sharia law prevails. Why are we bending over backwards to accommodate the Muslim community, yet making it more and more difficult for non-Muslims here to express their religious or national beliefs?

So-called ‘victories’ like that being celebrated by Miss Begum do nothing to foster tolerance – precisely the opposite in fact.

Can the day be far away when the son or daughter of naturist parents petitions the Court of Appeal for the right to go to school naked?

I have not heard anyone express anything but incredulity, and in most cases outrage, at the decision to allow this young lady to defy her school authorities.

Robert Readman, Bournemouth, Dorset