Rabbi condemns Straw’s veil comments

An Ilford rabbi yesterday condemned Jack Straw after he said he would prefer it if Muslim women did not wear the full veil.

Writing to the Chair of the Ilford Islamic Centre, Ilford Federation Synagogue’s Rabbi Alex Chapper said: “I feel his comments were totally unacceptable and display, at best, insensitivity to, and at worst, an ignorance of the laws, customs and practices of Islam. It is nonsense to suggest that, ‘women who wore veils made community relations more difficult’, rather it is remarks such as these that create divisions and intolerance in Britain.”

Rabbi Chapper told the Jewish News: “If you’re going to single out for condemnation, or even ban, one style of dress where do you draw the line? Could the kipah or sheitel be next, are they divisive in Mr Straw’s eye?”

TotallyJewish.com, 12 October 2006