German minister says niqab is antithetical to EU values
According to Wolfgang Schaeuble, the interior minister of the German EU presidency, ‘the full veil runs contrary to the achievements of the European civilization’. He is kind enough to say that it should be for member states to make up their own minds on the wearing of full-face veils, but he asserts unequivocally that ‘the practice runs against European values’. Apparently, EU citizens have a new ‘responsibility’ (though quite where this is written eludes Cranmer). Mr Schaeuble argued: ‘Communication is viewed as one of the responsibilities of European citizens and the full veils as worn by some Muslim women prevent this.’ While Cranmer agrees with the Minister on his conclusion, his persuasion is profoundly flawed. Do EU citizens no longer have the right to not communicate?
Religious symbols in schools are forbidden by law in France and Turkey, and the Dutch government has also recently adopted a proposal to ban Muslim women from wearing the burqa in public places. While the United Kingdom dithers, the practice is being randomly accommodated hither and thither, making eventual prohibition all the more politically unattainable (if, indeed, it were desirable). The wonder in this case is that a Conservative-led county council is not supporting a head and governors on a matter of school uniform policy. The silence of the Conservative Party on this, and also on the Church-State issue below, is simply the result of HM Opposition being so afraid of saying the wrong thing, it is no longer prepared to say what is right; for fear of offending and alienating one group, it no longer prepared to defend the liberties of the other. Compassionate conservatism is all well and good, until compassion begins to supplant justice. A Conservative Party which ceases to pursue justice on behalf of individuals or groups is not remotely likely to pursue it on behalf of the nation.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.