2007: Moving on after the veil row

The year 2006 saw much debate over Islam and multiculturalism in England. From the global row over cartoons of the prophet Mohammad in a Danish newspaper, to the public British debate over the veil, Islam and its role in European society was constantly making British headlines. So where are we heading in 2007? Jack Straw once again raised the question of the veil’s role in integration, in such a tone that even Muslims who do not veil (which is by far the majority) were threatened by the defensiveness of his words. A key test for the government in the coming year will be to see how much action is taken to follow through on its rhetoric. The government is supporting British Muslim organizations in an effort to cultivate a new generation of British-raised and British-educated Muslim leaders.