Cherie Blair says veils prevent Muslim women from expressing their personalities

November 14th, 2007 - 8:12 am ICT by admin  
“I think we can get very hung up about women’s clothes. The question is whether we honour people’s religious beliefs or not. I am happy to honour people’s religious beliefs, provided they are freely undertaken,” Blair was quoted by The Telegraph as saying on Radio Four’s Today programme.

“Women covering their heads, women dressing modestly, I have no problem with at all. I think, however, that if you get to a stage where a woman is not able to express her personality because you can’t see her face, then you do start to have to ask whether this is something that is actually acknowledging the woman’s right to be a person in her own right,” she added.

Later, in a speech at Chatham House, Cherie argued that discrimination against women was often due to distortion of the true message of some faiths, usually by male leaders.

She pointed to the way Islamic Sharia law has been interpreted.

“It is not laid down in the Koran that women can be beaten by their husbands or that their evidence should be devalued, as it is in some Islamic courts,” she said.

She also referred to legislation in Egypt and Orthodox Jewish communities curtailing a woman’s ability to start divorce proceedings and called for more campaigning for women’s rights in Iran, where they can be stoned to death for adultery. (ANI)

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