Jack Straw's comments seem to have resulted in a series of anti-Muslim incidents. These are totally disgraceful but, unfortunately, exactly what you might expect from racist thugs who are no better than the radical Islamists they prey on.
However, who exactly, is to blame. The MCB and other Muslim groups, predictably, lay the blame straight at the feet of Jack Straw. Once again, comment and criticism of Islam is met with shouts of "Islamaphobia". Yet, can Mr Straw really be responsible?
As a short article in The Telegraph points out (well worth a quick read):
All he did was raise the question of whether women who wear a veil that covers their face help or hinder community relations, and add that he finds it easier to talk to women whose faces he can see. He did not advocate banning the veil, or in any way restricting a woman's freedom to wear it....
The blatant absurdity of that [the "Islamophobia" claim] reaction is unfortunately typical of a section of the Muslim community, which does its best to suppress any form of debate because it fears its inevitable result: the bigoted and narrow intolerance of its own vision will become evident to an ever-larger majority of people.
So, who is to blame for the violence? Personally, I believe the blame lies with those Muslim groups who use every excuse to push their "victim" status. The blame also lies with the government and the BBC (among other media outlets) for giving these unelected and unrepresentative groups the time of day.
Just as a side note, The Times is reporting (the timing is no coincidence) that a terror suspect in Britain used a veil to elude capture. This is just one more example of the problems that concealing one's face presents.
UPDATE: Muslims in Blackburn (Straw's constituency) are now "angry" at his comments. A report in the Daily Express quotes Ibrahim Master, a member of the Labour Party, as saying "The Muslim community feels angry". A protest was organised outside the town hall. The organiser said "We want him to apologise and will keep on protesting until he does. I feel outraged and want him out of his job. The majority of Muslim women want him out."
I suppose that would be the same women who were happy to oblige his request. When the MCB said that "Straw's Comments Play Into The Hands of The Intolerant" they surely meant radical Muslims as well as racist Britons.