Not that I wish to commence the weekend in defense of the ‘Virtue Campaign‘ of Hamas, but: do we really have room to condemn when this occurs?
A Muslim student has been banned from enrolling at a college because she refused to remove her burkha.
Shawana Bilqes, 18, wanted to wear the garment – which covers her body and face, leaving only her eyes visible – during lessons.
But staff at Burnley College refused to enrol her, claiming the burkha was a barrier to ‘safety and communication’.
Yesterday she said: ‘It is my choice to wear the veil. I live around the corner from the college in an area where there are so many practising Muslims. I tried to compromise but they wouldn’t. The college sent me a letter to say I could continue with my course if I stopped wearing the veil. We are in the 21st century and we get people from all walks of life. I’m in the police cadets as well and yet it’s not a problem wearing the veil there.’ [Source]
I cannot imagine the turmoil that this must bring.
We purport to live in a tolerant society – ‘safety and communication’ just does not cut it as reasoning to violate a young woman’s religious rights.
And herein lies the crux: Shawana wants to wear the veil, she believes in it.
Is it so impossible to respect that?