A vistory for common sense

24th March 2006 at 00:00
The Muslim headteacher and her staff at Denbigh high school in Luton took trouble to develop a uniform policy which respected the faiths, cultures and safety of all. Shabina Begum blew that out of the water when she decided she wanted to wear the jilbab, a head-to-toe body cover to preserve her modesty now she was menstruating. Since then she has chosen to restrict her education while she dragged the school through the courts to protest that she had been denied the right to an education and to express her religious beliefs.

Shabina was poised to make common-sense uniform requirements in schools illegal until the Law Lords ruled this week that Denbigh high had acted appropriately. After the ruling she said she was glad it was over so she could move on. Heads, who would have had to tie themselves up in racially divisive knots to accommodate this kind of religious extremism, will agree.

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