October 8th, 2006

View from study (sunny)

Veils and deafness

Now why has none of the news coverage mentioned deafness with regard to Jack Straw? Why did I have to be made aware of this via a link on LiveJournal?

Jack Straw's now infamous article, in which he mentioned that he always requests veiled Muslim women to remove their veil and which has resulted in far more heat than light being shed on the issue, didn't think it important to mention the following:

Jack Straw: I am very sympathetic to the points raised because, as the hon. Gentleman may know, I suffer from deafness. Indeed, I could not hear part of his question because it came from the wrong side, so I understand the problems. There will be an opportunity to raise the matter in the debate on the summer Adjournment on Tuesday, and I hope that he does so.

It seems there is even more to all this than meets the eye. Deafness tends to be a hidden problem anyway and will remain so if a man in a prominent position dare not mention that he has perfectly good reasons for needing to see a person's face and not have their voice muffled by cloth.
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