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Behind the veil

The week's news at a glance.

London

An elementary school teacher’s aide who was suspended for wearing a veil over her face said she would fight the ruling in court. Aishah Azmi said the veil, which shows only her eyes, is part of her religious observance as a Muslim. But school officials said that children were having a hard time understanding her muffled voice, and some Muslim leaders are siding with the school. “It’s just common sense,” said Shahid Malik, the member of Parliament for Azmi’s district and himself a Muslim. “If you are not able to fulfill your job requirements, then obviously it will be difficult for you to continue in that particular role.” Veils have been the focus of national debate since MP Jack Straw revealed two weeks ago that he asks veiled constituents to remove their veils to speak to him. Said Prime Minister Tony Blair: “We need to confront this issue about how we integrate people properly into our society.”

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