Veiled UK Muslim to Read Xmas Message

A British face-veiled Muslim will appear on Channel 4, a public-service television broadcaster in the United Kingdom, to deliver its annual alternative Christmas speech, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday, December 6.

Veiled UK Muslim to Read Xmas Message

"We felt it fitting that Channel 4's alternative Christmas message should be given by a Muslim woman in a year when issues of religious and racial identity and freedom of expression have dominated the news agenda," said a spokesman for the broadcaster.

Khadija, a freelance teacher and lecturer in Islamic studies, has been hand-picked after a month-long search to deliver the annual alternative speech.

She caught TV bosses' attention for "being articulate, engaging and interesting," said the British newspaper.

"Khadija has a wide range of interesting views about life as a British Muslim woman," said the spokesman.

The 10-minute speech will be shown at the same time Queen Elizabeth's traditional broadcast is aired on BBC1 and ITV1, which many Britons watch just after eating their Christmas turkey.

Created by an Act of Parliament, Channel 4 began regular broadcasts on 2 November 1982.

Channel 4 began its alternative Christmas messages in 1993.

Previous speeches featured a varied selection of speakers including Quentin Crisp, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, Ali G, Sharon Osbourne and The Simpsons.

Burning Issues

Khadija, who has been wearing niqab for the past ten year, will record the speech within the coming two weeks.

The Zimbabwean-born Muslim woman will tackle a number of last year's burning issues.

"The right to wear religious symbols from niqabs to crucifixes, remarks made by the Pope about Islam and the publication of Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed have all generated a debate about multiculturalism, secularism and integration," said the Channel 4 spokesman.

"A debate in which British Muslims have played a key role and one that will shape the future of British society."


Khadija has been picked after a month-long search for "being articulate, engaging and interesting." (Courtesy Daily Mail)

The issue of face-veil was recently thrust into the spotlight after former foreign secretary and incumbent leader of the House of Common Jack Straw revealed asking Muslim women visiting his constituency office to show their faces.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has since described veil as a "mark of separation," was reportedly mulling a face-veil ban in public institutions, including schools.

Aishah Azmi, a 24-year-old Muslim teacher in Headfield Church of England junior school in Dewsbury, was recently sacked over her veil.

The young woman had expressed willingness to remove her veil in front of children - but not when male colleagues were present.

British Airways, the flag carrier, recently came under fire and boycott threats from devout Christians in and outside Britain for not allowing an employee to show her cross necklace.

Nadia Eweida, a check-in worker at Heathrow Airport, said she was effectively "forced" to take unpaid leave after refusing to conceal her cross under a cravat.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that a British ban on the veil and other religious insignia would be "politically dangerous."


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16