Friday, October 06, 2006

Jack Straw

I see that Jack Straw, ex-British Foreign Secretary and now Leader of the House of Commons, has got into trouble by asking veiled Moslem women, who consult him as their MP at his constituency surgeries, to remove their veils when talking to him.

I remember when 'nice' English ladies used to wear a veil, usually to church, certainly to funerals, and always to their own wedding. But by this time the veil had degenerated from a sign of modesty to a fashion item.

It is by no means universal for Moslem women to wear the veil. We have imported into Britain a form of Islam that has brought with it all the cultural traditions of village life in rural south-east Asia. It used to be said that English missionaries to Africa took with them, not only the Gospel, but also the traditions of Victorian England, so that now you have African churchmen dressing up in dog collars and white and purple nightdresses that have nothing to do with the African way of life and not much to do with the current English way of life either.

I think that the same thing is happening in Islam in reverse. We are importing Imams who do not speak the language and are trying to inflict on their congregations the social habits of villages in the Pakistani mountains.

Only thieves cover their faces in English Society. And scrub nurses.

Anyone who has worked in an operating theater cannot have failed to notice the allure of those eyes. The face hidden behind a surgical mask, the hair covered by a green cap, all we can see are the eyes. My goodness! The effect that they have!

Perhaps that is why, the converts especially, have taken to the veil.

It reminds me of a piece of doggerel.

We cannot hope for souls to wed
While writhing idly on a bed,
But how can they stay long away
When I have watched your eyes all day?

4 comments:

Exiled in mainstream said...

Ah yes, the nightdresses.

I remember when we were running a big evangelistic event at church and we were all given a list of local parishoners to ring. One on mine was a somewhat stereotypical TWian who let me know his displeasure at the CofE. His complaints consisted of a homophobic rant against Eugene Robinson and annoyance that Giles wore a jacket and not a cassock while taking communion.

I just avoided pointing out the slight incongruity of not liking gay people and then insisting that the Vicar was in drag....

Paul Garland said...

Dear Professor Hamblin,

I like your quote about thieves and scrub nurses.

I still remember how Jack Straw stood up to Dominique De Veillpan when he was up to his usual deceptive French linguistics at the UN.

To whoever wrote the first and unsigned comment I have this message: I was raised as an episcopalian. They are a tolerant bunch in general. It is OK for thieves and murderers and child rapists to be members of the church if they recognize the error of their ways, repent, and ask God for forgiveness.

So no problem with Gene Robinson being a member of the episcopalian congregation, but it is entirely different putting him into a position of leadership and a role model for our young folks.

Jim McVey said...

Be thankful that the Moslem women
don't wear the Bee-suits that the
Taliban require. Bill Maher the
American comedian's description
of their dress.

I am sure it will only last a generation then it will be replaced by the safety pins and body piercing of the new punk wave.

London after all is a fashion center

Anonymous said...

I must confess I don't like women dressing in Moslem uniforms. I don't think Islam and Christianity are compatible in the 21st century, and this is just putting their hate in my face.