Britain is currently contemplating the introduction of identity cards. It’s possible to debate the rights and wrongs of such a move, but what is completely unacceptable is the idea that many Muslim women should be exempted from the requirement to be photographed on supposedly ‘religious’ grounds. Part of the reason that the West has gotten into such a muddle with its Muslim populations is its unwillingness to deal with the intellectual challenge that fundamentalist Islam represents, and in particular the refusal to insist that, like any other faith, Islam must submit to the requirements of a predominantly secular society. In respecting the supposed ‘right’ of these women to submit to seventh century fashion codes, the British government is insulting everyone else. Other possibly profound philosophical objections to aspects of an identity card system count, apparently, for nothing. Only Islam has a veto.
If Britain is to introduce an identity card system, the rules should apply equally to everyone. If they do not, Britons should, quite simply, refuse to have anything to do with them.