“Three Muslim women wearing the traditional burqa and niqab were walking along a Birmingham street this week when they were approached by a photographer. They had been confronted by the enemy – an outsider – and their response was instant and instinctive. One covered her eyes with her hand, while another fixed a defiant stare at the camera. The third’s response was the most striking of all. She lifted her hand and gave that most British of gestures – the V sign. This yobbish image – made even more shocking by the seeming reticence of the veils – captured absolutely the growing polarisation between some sections of Britain’s Muslim community and the mainstream.”
Natalie Clarke in the Daily Mail, 3 February 2007
What the gesture more likely captured was entirely understandable irritation at a press photographer taking a picture without even bothering to ask the permission of those being photographed, and with the predictable intention of using the photo to illustrate yet another scaremongering article depicting Muslims as an alien presence whose barbaric culture poses a threat to western civilisation.