Modest coverage

2nd March 2007 at 00:00
Great Britain is truly a great country that champions human rights and prides itself on freedom of belief and expression. I have seen this openness in many schools. In this case, shouldn't the Buckinghamshire pupil who wishes to cover herself in front of male staff be respected for her religious commitment? ("Veil 'helps not hinders learning'", TES, February 23).

Modesty and chastity are important in the major religions. In Islam, men and women are encouraged to preserve their modesty and reserve intimacy until they are with marriage partners. This also used to be the case in England, where remnants of the veil are still seen at weddings. The veil has been debated by Muslims for centuries but it is sad to see how the debate is developing in Britain, where misinformation is feeding intolerance.

The veil is not a mark of separation or a political statement, but represents the personal choice of a woman to present herself as a righteous person, as in the case of nuns. Modesty and chastity are demonstrably sensible, irrespective of religious arguments, especially so as pre-marital and casual sex are leading to many social and medical problems. We forget that modesty - in sexual behaviour and dress - is vital for building strong relationships and for preserving the family and, by extension, the society we all live in.

Amjad Iqbal. Wycombe Islamic Society (WISE), High Wycombe, Bucks

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