Women of Birminghamabad find identity

By Jonathan Guthrie No symbol of cultural difference is more emotive in modern Britain than the headscarf. To many non-Muslims it represents the refusal to integrate, resistance to UK foreign policy and the oppression of women. But to wearers, the hijab has as many meanings as an onion has layers. It can even serve as a symbol of self-determination. So it is appropriate that Muslim women, hijab-wearers among them, are emerging tentatively into public life after years of invisibility within the UK’s highest-profile minority. Superficially not a lot has changed since September 11 2001 in the predominantly Muslim district on the east side of Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city…