Women who wear the veil can be ‘frightening and intimidating’

Phil WoolasMuslim women who cover their faces with veils can be “frightening and intimidating”, says Britain’s Race Minister Phil Woolas. Mr Woolas has raised the stakes with a warning that Muslim veils could increase racial tensions in Britain.

The minister, who has a large Muslim population in his Oldham constituency, backs Mr Straw for starting a national debate. But he warns Muslims must do more to avoid alienating people of other races and faiths.

Writing in the Sunday Mirror today, he says: “Muslim women have every right to wear a veil covering their face. But they must realise that other people who don’t understand their culture can find it frightening and intimidating.”

Sunday Mirror, 8 October 2006

See also BBC News, 7 October 2006