Given the opportunity to clearly condemn attacks against Muslims, she repeatedly refused to do so. Instead she generalised by saying she condemned all violence and hatred. She has moral authority like no other person in Burma. When she speaks, people listen. If she strongly condemned attacks on Muslims it would make a difference.
If the accusation is that the banning of the niqab goes against religious freedom, the foremost question must be whether the niqab itself has any kind of theological basis. Until now there has been no compelling evidence to suggest that it has, and this is what appears to have got lost in the debate.
I wondered how UK Christians might respond to Ramadan and Eid. Could British churches follow the lead of the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury in sending greetings to British Muslims? Apart from our most senior religious leaders, who have been trailblazers and pioneers of inter faith encounter, we have not seen such recognition of Muslim festivals. This is a new approach for a different era.
Real-life Muslims have considerable contradictions in practical, day-to-day life: we have a disproportionately high number of Muslims in the prison population that is worrisome; there is a visible, although tiny, number of violent extremists who have been putting Muslims in the docks through their mindless acts. The Ramadan message needs to reach all Muslims.
I'm really starting to enjoy fasting. There, I said it. In my first blog post I wrote about how I wasn't quite sure about giving up food and drink this year; due to a combination of questioning my faith and also the impending heat wave but now we are almost a week in I find myself looking at things differently and so far there are three things I have come to realise.