UK lawyer insists on wearing veil in court

The Telegraph reports on the case of  Shabnam Mughal, lawyer who appeared in immigration court dressed completely in black with a full—face covering leaving only her eyes visible.

The judge, George Glossop, asked Miss Mughal on Monday if she would "kindly remove her veil to assist with communication". He told her: "It will allow me to see your face and I cannot hear you as well as I would like."

She declined to do so and Immigration Judge Glossop briefly adjourned the case. Later in the day, he asked her a second time. When Miss Mughal again refused to remove her veil, the judge adjourned the case until next Monday, pending consultations with Mr Justice Hodge.

The UK, France, and some other European countries are beginning to recognize that they are on a slippery slope, and are banning veils in various situations, even while (as the article notes) occasionally awarding damages to those forced to drop their veils.

Veiling women imposes a real cost on society. The face is the most powerful means of visual communication posessed by human beings. A member of society who obscures his or her face is cut off from normal communication in a very real sense. Moreover, treating a woman's face as something that is shameful sends a message contrary to our common values.

Just as many Islamic countries do not tolerate women parading around in mini—skirts or bikinis, Western countries have a right to insist that their local customs and sensibilities be honored. Thos who choose to live in the West buy a cultural package that includes certain minimum requirements.

Thomas Lifson   11 9 06

The Telegraph reports on the case of  Shabnam Mughal, lawyer who appeared in immigration court dressed completely in black with a full—face covering leaving only her eyes visible.

The judge, George Glossop, asked Miss Mughal on Monday if she would "kindly remove her veil to assist with communication". He told her: "It will allow me to see your face and I cannot hear you as well as I would like."

She declined to do so and Immigration Judge Glossop briefly adjourned the case. Later in the day, he asked her a second time. When Miss Mughal again refused to remove her veil, the judge adjourned the case until next Monday, pending consultations with Mr Justice Hodge.

The UK, France, and some other European countries are beginning to recognize that they are on a slippery slope, and are banning veils in various situations, even while (as the article notes) occasionally awarding damages to those forced to drop their veils.

Veiling women imposes a real cost on society. The face is the most powerful means of visual communication posessed by human beings. A member of society who obscures his or her face is cut off from normal communication in a very real sense. Moreover, treating a woman's face as something that is shameful sends a message contrary to our common values.

Just as many Islamic countries do not tolerate women parading around in mini—skirts or bikinis, Western countries have a right to insist that their local customs and sensibilities be honored. Thos who choose to live in the West buy a cultural package that includes certain minimum requirements.

Thomas Lifson   11 9 06