Somebody is jonesing for another fatwah against him:
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, held to mark the opening of a new joint exhibition with sculptor Amish Kapoor, he backed Mr Straw to the hilt.
“Speaking as somebody with three sisters and a very largely female Muslim family, there’s not a single woman I know in my family or in their friends who would have accepted wearing the veil.
“I think the battle against the veil has been a long and continuing battle against the limitation of women, so in that sense I’m completely on [Straw’s] side.
“He was expressing an important opinion, which is that veils suck, which they do. I think the veil is a way of taking power away from women.”
Mr Straw triggered anger last week when he revealed he asked Muslim women visiting his constituency surgery to remove their veils.
He said that seeing someone’s face made it easier to communicate and felt the garment was a barrier to integration and good community relations.
The publication of the Satanic Verses in 1989 triggered not just the fatwah from Iran but also riots in Pakistan, India and Turkey among Muslims who felt he had insulted the prophet.