‘The Veil… and why these leading Muslims won’t wear it’

“As Channel 4 controversially celebrated women covering their faces and critics are dismissed as Islamophobics, Joan Smith talks to a group of women who fear the consequences of the veil’s acceptance.”

Independent on Sunday, 31 December 2006

Yes, it’s the familiar strategy pursued by Islamophobes of finding some Muslims who agree with them on a particular issue and then using this as a cover for attacks which feed into the wider media campaign being waged against the entire Muslim community. You’d have hoped that people wouldn’t fall for this, but they do. The irony here is that Khadijah Atkinson, the presenter of Channel 4’s “alternative Christmas message”, is a member of Minhaj-ul-Quran, which has aligned itself with an Islamophobic campaign against the proposed so-called “mega-mosque” in Newham. And now some of her fellow Muslims are collaborating with an anti-Islamic bigot like Joan Smith in attacking Khadijah and other veiled women. It’s not really the business of Islamophobia Watch to intervene in these matters, but surely some basic solidarity and an elementary sense of tactics wouldn’t come amiss here?

For the sort of comment Smith’s article has prompted from right-wing bloggers, see here and here.