Your correspondent of April 28th, Robin Parker, is correct in his statement there is no mention of Muslim women having to wear the veil or indeed cover their face completely in the Holy Quran.
I worked in Saudi Arabia for over 10 years and have an authorised English/Arabic translated Holy Koran that was given to me by a Saudi friend who confirmed to me on the question of total covering of the female body as being not religion, but customary practice, which was practiced by only 5% of the practicing Islam people in the world.
With regards to Mr Parker’s reference to Muslim women not having to be veiled, he is quite correct, the verse he refers to is the Sura xxiv 30 – 31, which covers the behaviour of men and women.
For women it states they should (among other things) guard their modesty by not displaying their beauty and ornaments and also cover their bosoms with a veil when not with their immediate family. It covers a lot more items for the behaviour of both sexes, which are not only sensible but prudent, but does not mention anything about total covering of the body by the female.
What we have in this country at the moment is a conflict of English law and cultures. On the one hand there are laws in place that govern the appearance in public of people in regard to covering the face by masks, helmets, ski type masks, scarves etc, all designated against the English populace at large.
On the other we have in place, it seems, another interpretation of that same Law that goes the opposite direction when it is applied to a different set of people, who claim it’s a religious item (when in fact it’s a custom from one area of the world only).
Until we have the same law applying to everyone who lives in the UK, without favour, we will never have harmony in this land.
I think that very old English saying about the law being an ass rings true in this case.