Phil Woolas, minister for “community cohesion” and race relations, last week called for Aishah Azmi, a Muslim teaching assistant who has been suspended for wearing the Islamic veil, to be sacked.
Azmi was suspended from Headfield school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, in February this year. Her case hit the headlines in the media frenzy following Jack Straw’s attack on the veil.
“Jack Straw has set a dangerous precedent here,” said James Dean, a teacher and NUT union rep in nearby Bradford. “The teaching profession needs to stand united against Islamophobia.
“We must tackle it in the classroom - but also take on the school authorities if they promote racism in any shape.”
Another attack on workers’ rights took place last week when British Airways banned Heathrow check-in worker Nadia Eweida from wearing her crucifix at work.