This week I have been inundated with requests from people asking me to write about the issue of the veil (Niqab). I have done my best to avoid writing about this issue because after all I'm a Muslim male and I'm probably one of those uncouth Muslim men who forces Muslim women to wear the veil. Indeed just last month I wrote an article in the Huffington Post about why France has such a problem with the veil. I never imagined I would have to be writing an article on why parts of Britain also have a problem with the veil.
I'm not a religious scholar and indeed I know their are different schools of thought on this very issue. But I'm sorry we have got this whole debate wrong. When I see a Muslim women wearing the veil I don't think 'Oh no she's a Terrorist'. Indeed, I don't sit down thinking she is a national security issue.
Far from it when I see anyone who society perceives as different I think we should be celebrating that difference and trying to engage with them. Whether someone has tattoos, metal studs, or is wearing a baseball cap, or a hoodie I do not feel threatened and I think the majority of British people feel the exact same way as I do.
Instead what we are witnessing is nothing more than a war on the Muslim veil this week with a disturbing trend of headlines like the Sun who are educating the masses about the threat of Muslim women wearing the veil. The Sun's front page headline 'Unveiled', followed with demands that veils be banned in school, courts, hospitals, in airports, banks and secure areas. I'm surprised they didn't include banning the veil in gardens, local parks, the Odeon and Nandos.
A great piece of tokenism but I think I can speak for the majority in saying the Sun should concentrate less on page 3 models and more on tackling the hate they have perpetuated because of their ideological hate against Islam.
But its not just the Sun of course who are using this publicity stunt to target Muslim communities because we also have had a college in Birmingham calling for a similar ban only for them to reverse their decision after a public outcry. And today's news that ministers would also like hospitals to have a universal principle against Muslim women wearing the veil seems to be adding to the hysteria.
So as I finish my rant I would just like to offer two possible solutions to the so called problem of the veil. For the men and women who are making the decisions to ban the veil I think you should try wearing a full face veil for a day and let me know whether or not you suffer any discrimination. And secondly those same people should go out and try meeting someone with a veil and talking to them and ask them why are they wearing it? and have they been forced?
You see I have already asked Muslim women wearing the full face veil why do you wear the the veil? And the reply always is 'Because its my choice'!!!