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A Liberal MP betrays the liberal value!


Written By: Ajmal-Masroor
19/09/2013 23:41
International

Jeremy Browne, A Libdem MP and Home Office Minister would like to ban Muslim women wearing face veil – Niqab, in public spaces in the UK. I am profoundly dismayed by his suggestion. He says he is deeply uneasy about banning anything (very liberal principle) but for the sake of freedom of young girls he would like to see a face veil ban (extremely illiberal...) in the country.

Has he lost his mind? Is he suggesting that the Muslim women in the UK wear face veil mainly through coercion? This is outrageous! I know many women who wear the face veil out of their own choice. No matter how uncomfortable you personally may feel seeing a woman in Niqab, Jeremy Browne our liberal value requires our respect for her as much as we would respect a woman who is wearing no Niqab. Why adopt this double standard?

We do not live under French secular Fundamentalist government of Sarkozy. British people are not so intolerant as the French. To suggest that we should have a national debate on such a frivolous issue is simply regurgitating the far right’s hate mantra and fueling further Islamophobia in this country. Jeremy Browne should be wiser and he should know that a tiny minority of women wear face veil, vast majority do not! To see a liberal MP making such a blatantly injudicious and irresponsible statement infuriates even liberals like me and encourages me to want to wear a niqab. He should be ashamed of himself!

I do not support face veil in any country and consider it to be more a cultural practice than religious. Arab and sub-Saharan women have worn face covering for hundreds of year, predating Islam in Arabia. Similar to a Sari which may have become the cultural dress of some Indian and Bangladeshi women or long flowing robes a dress of the Arab men or a turban, the headgear for the Afghani people, Niqab has come to symbolize the cultural dress of people in some regions in the world. If a woman wishes to wear her cultural dresses I would support her right to do that. Jemery Browne, a Liberal MP should do the same. He should not be speaking on behalf of the EDL! It’s disgrace!

I believe Muslim women should not wear Niqab because of religious reasons, as there are no substantial religious grounds for it. However, on the basis of a woman’s civil liberty and freedom she must be accorded the right to wear a face veil if she wishes to. Women have fought all their life their due right to decide and determine their own expressions in society including dress code. For a Liberal MP to suggest that women should now forgo their fundamental right is a betrayal to the traditional liberal values. Jemery Browne should hide his face in shame!

Muslim women, like any other women in our country have the full right to be free and enjoy the respectful and tolerant cultures of our country. Jeremy Browne’s statement will stoke the fire of hate and suspicion in the workplace, schools and colleges, universities and institutions. It will create hostility between people. Muslim women, yet again, will become the victim of hate and prejudice. Jeremy Browne should be careful of what he says!

Jeremy Browne may have been ill advised but the consequence of his statement will have a detrimental ripple affect in the community relationships and cohesion in our country. EDL and BNP have already taken Islam and the Muslims as their main enemy. They have already blamed the Muslims for all the ill of British society. We do not need Liberals MPs becoming their mouthpiece!

Liberal Democrats have always stood proudly championing the rights of people, their civil liberty, freedom and pursuit of justice and fairness. His statement is a sharp departure from the true values of the party and he should be reprimanded for it immediately. I, for one, would certainly distance myself from such an illiberal stance!

I have just received a text message from a powerful Muslim woman who was considering joining the Liberal Democrat Party but now she would not be joining. Thanks to Jeremy Browne and his reckless statement, we will see more people leaving the party! I would call for more empowerment of Muslim women, belittling them and depriving them of their civil right does not help the Liberal cause.

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Niqab ban issues Liberal values UK politics Muslim Community in UK 


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About Ajmal-Masroor

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  • Name: Ajmal Masroor
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    Ajmal Masroor is an Author, Broadcaster, Relationship Counsellor , Politician and Imam based in London, UK. His facebook profile can be followed https://www.facebook.com/AjmalMasroor

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