UK Politics

Taking the veil

Last week it was the Daily Star. This week it is lads magazine Zoo they’re all having a pop at Muslims.

In case you missed the story last week, the Daily Star was set to run a spoof making fun of Muslims.

The Richard Desmond-owned paper had in the end to drop its planned feature, which was to have been dubbed ‘The Daily Fatwa’ after journalists threatened a walk out.

The Daily Star idea was to have included a “Page 3 Burkha Babes Special”, a reader competition to “burn a flag, win a Corsa”, and a leader column headed “Allah is Great”, entirely blank save for a “censored” stamp. “No news, no goss, no fun” was to be the page’s strapline.

The idea was over seen by deputy editor Ben Knowles – who joined from Zoo. Never one to let an idea go to waste his former colleagues have pinched the idea and run it in this week’s issue with a spoof headlined “Your all-new veil-friendly Zoo!”

As well as throwing itself into the veil debate, other headlines include “Public stonings!”, “Beheadings!” and “Absolutely nobody having any fun whatsoever”.

The spread also features a woman in a burqa, covered head to toe with only her eyes showing alongside the headline, “A girl! As you’ve never seen her before!”

It goes on to read: “Maybe shariah law isn’t so controversial after all. Muslims who practise it to the letter are able to divorce their wives (up to four allowed) by text message. Wives are banned from being in a car with a man who is not a blood relative. And — common sense a-go-go — women aren’t allowed to drive cars anyway!”

You get the picture. It’s despicable behaviour. This all in the week that Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, has said “that we are, as a society, becoming more socially polarised by race and faith”.

Funnily enough, he said the only place where this may not be true is in our schools, which is where most of Zoos readers spend their days.