Published: 12:30AM BST 11 Apr 2010
Female staff who follow the Islamic faith will be allowed to cover their arms to preserve their modesty despite earlier guidance that all staff should be "bare below the elbow"....
My personal opinion as an ex-Muslim, is that some of these Muslim doctors and nurses are just trying to stick to the rules of their religion, and now face some uncomfortably incompatible issues with working in the West, where exposing arms for women is nothing immodest at all. There are many other such issues such as the free mixing of the sexes in hospitals and workplaces etc.
There are some Muslims (particularly from the Salafi/Wahhabi sect), who get defensive and try to push their ways because they strongly believe that Islam is superior and should not be walked over (at least that's what they feel they are required to believe). However, many of these Muslims also believe that Muslims should not be living in the West in the first place, and should emigrate to a good Muslim country as soon as practically possible. That sounds logical to me, but while they are here, they should follow the rules of the land, in my view. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".
There are also the (whom I call) backdoor Islamists, such as groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, who are prepared to engage in politics in the West to influence policy towards a more Islamic way; groups like the Muslim Association of Britain and Federation of Student Islamic Societies.
There's no doubt in my mind that these groups are Islamists, meaning they are not interested secularising/elightening Islam. However, it may also be true that they currently serve as an antedote against more militant Islam in the form of Al-Muhajiroun descendants and Hizb-ut-Tahrir. These two groups don't believe in engaging in western democracy, and the former are particularly militant. Here's a website that's frequented by Muslim extremists of their kind: http://forums.islamicawakening.com/
Whilst in the short term it may be wise not to fight Muslim Brotherhood linked lobby groups, in the long run, we really need to make sure the vast majority of Muslims support the form of Islam advocated by groups like the http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/.