The Great Debate UK
First the French banned Muslim face veils, now the Dutch have decided to follow suit. With debates about outlawing burqas and niqabs spreading across Europe, a third ban -- perhaps even more -- may not be far behind. (Photo: A Muslim woman protests against France's banning of full face veils outside the French Embassy in London September 25, 2010/Luke MacGregor)
Only a small minority of Muslim women in Europe cover their faces, but their veils have become ominous symbols for Europeans troubled by problems such as the economic crisis, immigration and Muslim integration.
With Europe's political mood moving to the right, low-cost, high-symbolism measures such as veil bans have become a rallying cry for far-right parties knocking at the door of power. Their appeal also resonates with those worried by possible security threats from masked people or offended by the blow to gender equality they see when a covered woman walks by.
Raffaele Simone, whose book "The Meek Monster: why the West is not going left" has aroused debate in Italy and France, said the rightward drift fits an individualistic and globalized consumer society that Europe's left-wing failed to understand. "In aging European populations, modernity has generated a worrying and chaotic jumble of threats and fears only the right and the far right seem able to respond to now," Simone, a Rome university linguistics professor, told the Paris newspaper Le Monde.
Professor Ted Cantle is executive chair, Institute of Community Cohesion at Coventry University. The opinions expressed are his own.-
The apparent failure of the British National Party to secure a parliamentary seat at the May 2010 general election has obscured the growth in support for far right groups.
from UK News:
Today it was warned to stop using military imagery in its campaign material. A group of former military leaders accused the BNP, which has used photographs of spitfire fighter planes and Winston Churchill, of hijacking Britain's history for their own "dubious ends."
The distinguished generals said this tarnished the reputation of the armed forces and called on them to "cease and desist."