The wearing of the Muslim veil in the UK has become a very controversial issue.
A Muslim teacher assistant was suspended for not taking off her veil while teaching. She stated that she never denied not wanting to take it off in front of the children, but refused to take it off in front of her male co-workers.
The school defended its action because it believes face-to-face contact is necessary for the teaching of bilingual classes and has nothing to do with any religious belief.
Recently, Commons Leader Jack Straw has revealed that he asks his Muslim constituents to remove their veils in meetings in order to talk face-to-face.
Then the Major of London, Ken Livingstone has stated that he agrees with the majority that the veils need to go but not the way Jack Straw is dealing with the issue.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Getting Muslim women to give up the veil, which I suspect is something most people would like to see in the long-term – including myself – is not going to be done by old white male politicians telling them to do it.
"It will be change from within the Muslim community, and that's why it is important we should engage with the progressive elements and leaders in the Muslim community, rather than what really America has been doing over the last 30 years, which is alliances with, say, the Saudi royal family and the most backward and reactionary elements." (DailyNews.co.uk)
The veil issue is intensifying.
[..] Mr Straw denied suggestions that his comments had fueled divisions between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
Last week a woman was racially abused at a bus stop in Liverpool and her veil was torn from her face.
Mr Straw said: "I have spoken to police about the incident in Liverpool and I hope and pray that the perpetrator is caught and punished.
"The wearing of veils in schools has been an ongoing issue for some time and is a separate matter." (DailyNews.co.uk)