Moreover, there are powerful counter-arguments against bans on Muslim dress. For a start, it is illiberal to dictate to others what they can wear, especially when those others form a religious minority. A ban may foster, not deter, harassment or religiously motivated attacks. It would play into the hands of those who argue that Islam is a non-European religion, even though there are at least 15m Muslims in the European Union. And it can make it harder for mainly Christian countries to demand that mainly Muslim ones practise greater religious tolerance?a demand that the pope will, rightly, be making again when he visits Turkey next week.
Here's a Prospect article on the Muslim Concil of Britain. Ruth Kelly, the "communities secretary" complained
"It's not good enough to merely? pay lip service to fighting extremism," she recently told a stunned audience of Muslims. "I want a fundamental rebalancing of our relationship with Muslim organisations from now on."The response
Noting Kelly's comments with "some amazement," the MCB?s secretary-general Mohammed Abdul Bari wrote to her, saying that what she had said was "arguably unlawful" and warning that sidelining the MCB would be "both dangerous and counter-productive."Here's what the article says about general attitudes
Last summer Channel 4 reported that 51 per cent of young British Muslims still believe that 9/11 was a plot by Americans and Jews; 31 per cent agreed that 7/7 was justified because of Britain?s support for the war on terror; and that 36 per cent of all British Muslims believe Princess Diana was killed to stop her marrying a Muslim.