Last night I took part in an interesting debate for Channel 4 News. It was on the wearing of the niqab - or full face veil - in the UK. I think it was my first speaking appearance at the East London Mosque - and certainly the first time I have addressed an audience almost entirely consisting of women whose faces I could not see. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was, like me, arguing against the wearing of the full-face veil and she made some excellent points.
I stayed around afterwards talking to some of the niqabis, and polite and pleasant though most of them were I suppose it reinforced one of the things I tried to point out during the show. Most of these women had London accents and had adopted much of the 'rights' and grievance culture of our society. One - during the show - even started quoting the Human Rights Act, as though someone who dresses and acts according to their interpretation of the alleged insistences of a 7th century warlord should not think it wholly inconsistent to also pick and choose from modern European law. Anyhow - it was all very interesting and a depressingly clear example of the wholesale division into which - all the while talking the language of 'rights' - this country appears blithely to be heading.