UK Chief Judge Urges Respect of Rights

The most senior judge in England and Wales has called for protecting the human rights of Muslims amid a heightened row over the Muslim face-veil, reported The Independent on Friday, October 20.

UK Chief Judge Urges Respect of Rights

"Since the Second World War, we have welcomed to the United Kingdom millions of immigrants from all corners of the globe, many of them refugees from countries where human rights were not respected," said Lord Chief Justice Phillips of Worth Matravers.

"It is essential that they, and their children and grandchildren, should be confident their adopted country treats them without discrimination and with due respect for their human rights."

Cabinet minister and former foreign minister Jack Straw has sparked furor earlier this month, saying Muslim women should not wear face veil, considering it a symbol of separation.

Straw's anti-veil statements have drawn support from a host of senior officials, including Prime Minister Tony Blair who described the veil as a "mark of separation" between the Muslim minority and the rest of British society.

Lord Phillips said that respect for human rights was the "key weapon" in the battle of ideologies.

"If they feel they are not being fairly treated, their consequent resentment will inevitably result in the growth of those who, actively or passively, are prepared to support the terrorists who are bent on destroying the fabric of our society."

Senior British MPs and politicians have accused ministers of "chasing votes" and seeking political gains by the continuing focus on Muslim issues, warning that this would only play well into the hands of the far right and extremists.

Fighting On

"Integration requires people like me to be in the workplace so that people can see that we are not to be feared or mistrusted," said Azmi.

Meanwhile, a British Muslim teacher who was suspended for refusing to remove her full face veil will appeal a ruling rejecting her claims that she suffered discrimination and harassment, her lawyer said Friday.

Aishah Azmi, 24, has been at the centre of a political storm over her suspension from a state-run primary school in Dewsbury, northern England, for refusing to remove her niqab, which leaves only her eyes exposed, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Azmi lost three claims of discrimination and harassment in her employment tribunal on Thursday, although she was awarded 1,000 pounds (1,500 euros, 1,900 dollars) for injured feelings.

"This is a new area of law in terms of religious belief discrimination," said her lawyer Nick Whittingham. "It's untested so we need to be taking that to a higher court."

He told BBC radio they would examine whether the case fell into an area of direct or indirect discrimination.

"What we are trying to say is that she can do her job perfectly even if she is wearing a veil," he said.

A defiant Azmi said after Thursday's ruling: "Muslim women who wear the veil are not aliens and politicians need to recognise that what they say can have a very dangerous impact on the lives of the minorities they treat as outcasts.

"Integration requires people like me to be in the workplace so that people can see that we are not to be feared or mistrusted."

Physical and verbal attacks against British Muslims in general, and veiled women in particular, have been on the rise since the anti-veil statements.

Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer, said members of the Muslim community were considering leaving Britain because of the growing Islamophobia.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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