Egypt Islamists lambast Straw for veil remarks

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CAIRO: The leader of Egypt s opposition Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday hit out at Britain s Jack Straw for his comments on the Islamic veil. I feel like telling Jack Straw: mind your own business, Mohammed Mehdi Akef told AFP. It s a politically-motivated position from which he hopes to gain.

Straw, the leader of the House of Commons and former foreign secretary, revealed last week that he asks women to remove veils covering their faces when he meets them in his constituency office. This sparked a furious debate on the Islamic veil and the place of Muslims in Britain, a country still reeling from the deadly July 2005 terrorist bombings. Three of the bombers were British nationals of Pakistani descent. Great Britain claims it respects freedom and religions but the current debate on the veil reveals the absence of any respect for Muslims, Akef charged. Backed by several leading politicians, Straw defended his views and said he feared the veil was a visible demonstration of separateness in a country where parallel communities are forming. He went further on Friday saying he would like veils not to be worn at all.

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