I take exception to Student Rabbi Gabriel Webber’s words, (‘No place for such letters’, 4 October) and his accusation I “openly incited discrimination against Muslims … [by] seeking a pretext to ban burkas while making sure Jewish religious clothing is unrestricted”.
If he had understood what I had written (‘The burka’s place in Britain’, 27 September), he could not have made such a mischievous suggestion.
I had merely pointed out “a ban could be imposed on balaclavas and similar identity-masking facial covering on grounds of security, especially since they are used by bank robbers and others to carry out criminal activities”. That might include the burka, which was “used by one of the male terrorists involved in the London bombings on 7 July 2005 to evade arrest and flee the country”, but it was NOT a religious matter whatsoever.
In fact, I stressed “that any clothing that does not compromise security, such as the [Muslim] hijab …” should be explicitly excluded from any such ban.
This sort of thought-policing advocated by Mr Webber is fairly typical of the way Progressives try to censor those with whom they disagree, by distorting what they write.
It is extremely dangerous
That he should write of himself in his blog “I also engage in some journalistic litigation surrounding the Freedom of Information Act 2000” is therefore doubly ironic.
To quote his own letter, I regret “I’m again forced to write to ask you to stop publishing [such] letters”.
Martin D. Stern, Salford
Memorial is a monstrosity
In the furore about the proposed £50million Holocaust memorial, one essential fact seems to have been ignored; there was no Holocaust in this country.
The location for the memorial is completely divorced from the events it purports to represent.
It is proper for countries responsible for the atrocities and share guilt for what happened to erect appropriate memorials.
But given the well-known history of Britain’s stand against Nazism, it is offensive to many British people.
The nearby Imperial War Museum already contains a excellent new Holocaust centre, which places the narrative of events within the wider historical context of the Second World War.
Instead of the proposed monstrosity, an information panel in Victoria Gardens could direct people to the museum.
George Rooker, Whetstone
Problem with bigotry
Student rabbi Gabriel Webber (Letters, 4 October) should have revised better and comprehended that it was indeed the burka wearer who was doing the bullying. I intervened only to defend the young Asian shop assistant.
How dare Gabriel be so pompous to accuse Jewish News of being irresponsible when through theological study he would have categorically established that the burka is not a religious requirement? It is merely a visual sign that discriminates between the sexes and is not part of Western culture.
It seems it is student rabbi Webber who is doing so much damage by encouraging the degradation of women.
It is he who has a serious imagined problem with bigotry towards Muslim citizens, not Jewish News or the Jewish community.
Melvyn Abrahams, Edgware
Why make Israel the problem?
The fine letter from Alan Marcin (4 October) had many good points, but may I pick just one? Sheila Gewolb’s concern is about Israel’s Nation State Law, which takes nothing away from its non-Jewish population. I was born in this Christian country and served in this country’s forces. There may be fewer practising Christians, but it still is a Christian country.
There are many Muslim countries. India is Hindu – why does the world have a problem only with Israel? Living here has never been a problem for me. Until now.
Sidney Sands, N12
Seeking names for the field of remembrance
Every November since 1928, the Royal British Legion has organised a Field of Remembrance on the lawn of St Margaret’s Church next to Westminster Abbey. There are 250 plots and AJEX, the Jewish Military Association UK, is proud to have one.
If a member of your family was killed in action while serving in the British armed forces, contact us with the name, regiment, age, date and place of death and AJEX will place a Magen David marker in the plot to honour them.
Brian Bloom, AJEX Vice President
You state (Jewish News, 11 October) that Chelsea Football Club wants to send fans on educational trips to Auschwitz. Chairman Bruce Buck claims: “It is hard to act when a group of 100 people are chanting.” Rubbish! Presumably it’s also hard to act if a group of 100 are smashing seats? Police would take appropriate action regardless. This is just Chelsea being seen to do something positive when offenders know they can keep their season tickets.
Russell Balen, By email
Recent letters regarding the burka miss an essential point. While it has to be more than obvious that the burka can be a security risk, human communication needs more than just a voice. The face has many expressions and is very much part of what is being said. It can be happy, sad, angry, tearful and so on. The burka limits the human communication of the face. Due to this and very serious concerns over reasons, it should be banned.
Malcolm Factor, Enfield