Former foreign secretary Jack Straw’s disgraceful comments about women wearing the veil threaten to produce the deep ethnic divisions he pretends to oppose. Respect is deeply angered that so senior a Labour politician could come out with such crude, headline grabbing, Islamophobic prejudice.
“Who does Jack Straw think he is to tell his female constituents that he would prefer they disrobe before they meet him,” says Respect MP George Galloway. “For that is what this amounts to. It is a male politician telling women to wear less. When put like that, there’s no one who would be considered part of the civilised political spectrum who would have anything but contempt for Straw.
“Yet, because this is about Muslims, we are seriously being told this is about breaking down the ‘barriers to community cohesion’. It is not women choosing to wear what they want that is sowing division in our society. It is poverty, racism and the despicable competition between the Tory and New Labour front benches over who can grab the headlines as the hammer of the Muslims.
“You only have to look at the three nights of violence directed against one Muslim family in Windsor to see where the real threat to a united and diverse community comes from.”