Friday, October 20, 2006

the worst prisons in Asia...

...are apparently in North Korea, according to the nice chap I met on the train this morning. There were no free seats so we both had to sit on our butts on the floor - pretty undignified, but I'm pretty sure that 7am knows no dignity full stop. Anyway, turns out I was chatting to the editor of the Bill (ITV's police drama).

There's someone I didn't expect to meet this morning.

My favourite news story of the day (thanks to Toby):

All hail the Knicker Vicker!

Also interesting to see that the 'Veil Row' seems to be continuing in the press. There's an interesting letter in the Independent today by a Muslim woman who comments that the veil as helps to preserve the life of the family and quash promiscuity.

I only have a very limited understanding of Islam, but it seems to me that by placing the responsibility of this solely on the woman, the implication is either that she is the one who would initiate such advances, or that the poor men just wouldn't be able to help themselves if they happened to see her face. Surely this is degrading to both sexes? Read the article and make up your own mind. Radio four also did a very good documentary on this issue, which is probably still available on the Listen again feature:

All this said, it's clear that the current public debate is not about women's rights, but the fear of something different and the fear of segregation, and in many ways this certainly doesn't seem helpful, especially to those women who choose to wear the veil and are not given the respect that they deserve.

I think that a debate about the wearing of the veil and its implications for the role of women in Islam is to be welcomed, although I guess it should take place predominantly within the faith and the community of those who understand the issues involved.

ho hum...

1 comment:

Dave Williams said...

Hi Anna,

Great blog, wonderful links -and a bit of controverisal debate all wrapped up into one.

My thoughts on the veil debate -I think the segregation issue is a relevant one and I think Jack Straw in his defence does as an ex Foreign Secretary and an MP representing muslims have a good handle on the issues. I'm not sure the tabloids do. Sowhilst the debate needs to be had by those informed on the subject -it can't in modern Britain be held only within the muslim community. It is right that others have something to say -indeed there is a strong model for ~Christians to have a very loud voice on this. The rub is that muslims also have a lot to say to British society as well and maybe we need to open our ears to what they are saying