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Nasser: And I told him if I make that a law, they will say that we have returned to the days of Al Hakim bi-Amr Allah who forbade people from walking at day and only allowed walking at night.

Crowd: (Laughter.)

Nasser: And my opinion is that every person in his own house decides for himself the rules. And he replied: “No, as the leader, you are responsible.” I told him “Sir, you have a daughter at the school of medicine. She is not wearing a tarha [hijab].”

Crowd: (Loud laughter.)

Nasser: Why didn’t you make her wear a tarha?

Crowd:  (Rapturous applause — whistling.)

Nasser: If you are unable to make one girl who is your daughter wear the tarha, you want me to put a tarha on 10 million woman — myself!

Crowd and Nasser: (Both collapse with laughter amid more thunderous applause.)

That all changed with the arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. Resurgent Shi’ism forced Iran’s Sunni rival Saudi Arabia to regress into one the most rigid, and illiberal regimes since the Kingdom was founded and much of the Islamic world followed. Today, though, a more progressive breeze is wafting through Saudi Arabia, with clerics ruling that the abaya — a long-fitting robe for women — should no longer be compulsory.

In Iran reform is also in the air. True, women are still being arrested by hardliners for refusing to wear the compulsory hijab, but they have taken comfort from the words of President Rouhani: “One cannot force one’s lifestyle on the future generations.” As for the Gulf, parts of Dubai now look like Marbella with skimpily-clad women.

Britain seems to be moving in the opposite direction with some pockets of our major cities and towns resembling — in appearance at least — a sort of caliphate.

Mend demands to know what evidence there is for the hijab sexualising young girls. How about the words of Nazma Khan, the Bangladeshi-American owner of a New York headscarf company who inspired World Hijab Day, run annually since 2013? Khan says she wanted to “foster religious tolerance and understanding by inviting women (non-hijabi Muslims and non-Muslims) to experience the hijab for one day.” And what exactly is it that she invites them to understand about the hijab? The “recognition,” she says, that “millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab . . . live a life of modesty.”
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May 17th, 2018
7:05 PM
Iftikhar Ahmad`s comment is a perfect example of unreasoning.

May 13th, 2018
7:05 PM
Why does the government not support the more liberal British Muslims in this noble cause?

Iftikhar Ahmad
May 5th, 2018
7:05 PM
Hijab Why is it that we always have these conversations about girls? I never read articles about what boys should or should not wear. I have never read articles about what boys should be allowed to do, only girls. Maybe that is more the issue. Why? It would only be a good idea if you planned to make the families feel so unwelcome that they end up removing their children to be educated at home. But don't then be surprised at the number of home educated Muslim children rising. Maybe that's the overall agenda to make Muslims as outcasts? Muslim girls who wear the hijab to primary school will be asked why they wear it by inspectors. The reasons given will then be recorded in school reports, amid concerns girls are being forced to wear the headscarf by their parents. Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools, announced the move on Sunday. This is none of Ofsted's business. In fact it is discrimination. Ofsted should be instructed to back off. Can you please focus on the primary children/girls who are dressed like grown women with short skirts and such which would be deemed as sexualisation of girls. And is this about sexualisition Ms Spielamn or Fundamentalism? I think your a little confused and need to make up your mind because I would say its about Islamophobia. Imagine being questioned about why you dress the way your parents tell you at 8 years of age!? What do you say? “Sorry, I’ll tell them they are wrong”? Looks like Ofsted are now so busy with combating Islam that they will have no time to deal with education? The problem is, before they start the quizzing, they're making public exactly what the girls should get prepared to reply (by their family) to be allowed to keep the hijab. With all the time to rehearse. Any child asked by an inspector why she’s covering her hair should reply.. 'its a free country I can wear what I effing want''!! We do not need inspectors chasing Muslims just because we hate them. Looks like Ofsted are now so busy with combating Islam that they will have no time to deal with education? What is the role of the Government can any of the hijab haters answer This? Or do we need another PREVENT policy to target certain group of people? I bet all the readers who have kids have forced their kids to go to sleep, brush their teeth, wake them out of bed, eat dinner etc, wear a helmet whilst riding bike and so on...So what is wrong with telling your kid to cover the head to if one wants to. There is nothing wrong with this as long as its achieved peacefully and through education. Of course they are forced or at least required to wear hijabs by parents because it is the parents who bring up children according to their tradition, religion or both. Freedom of religion is imperial . One can choose what to believe in an practise it , it' not the government' job to dictate what you should eat, how you should dress ,when you should pray only has the power to coerce it' civilians but it should just focusing on providing services and infrastructure and education and so on. So they need to send inspectors instead of assuming that it's the parents brainwashing the kids. Interesting. Maybe they expect to find some 7 years old girls who will give them a detailed report of all the faiths they thoroughly researched before choosing Islam because it's the one they believe provides the answers to all their existential and philosophical questions. Parents are free to teach their children what they want as long as it' not harming them physically or mentally. Its called education not force. I guess every parent has the right to educate their child into doing something which they believe is good (as long as its not a crime etc). It's the parents that they should be questioning, not the children. No good asking the girls. If they are made to wear it, they will be made to say they aren’t, since that’s what the Inspectors want to hear. Everybody knows who the Inspectors spoke to. How nice of them. Huge swathes of children in Birmingham leave school without 5 GCSE but that doesn't seem to concern Ofsted too much. In fact they label schools Outstanding when they cannot even get half their pupils to this benchmark! We, as parents want to raise our girls. It is our responsibility, no one else's , even Ofsted. Ofsted should be looking at the reasons why children &young people are suffering an epidemic of mental illness, clue: it’s not because they lack resilience. Instead they are joining in with the rights obsession over what women and girl wear and bashing Muslims

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