This House Believes the Veil Empowers Women, The Cambridge Union Society
Date recorded: 17/03/2011
Presidential Debate: This House Believes the Veil Empowers Women, The Cambridge Union Society
THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
LAUREN DAVIDSON is a third year Theology student from Christ's College, and the outgoing president of the Cambridge Union. She loves all things Marmite, and has no idea why she's agreed to debate this line-up.
KRISTA BREMER is a California-born essayist and writer. Her husband is Libyan and her Western-raised daughter chose to wear a headscarf at a young age. Growing up amongst the feminist ideas of 1970s California, Bremer was initially taken aback but has subsequently written in support of women's choice to wear the veil.
NAGIHAN HALILOGLU, born in Istanbul, is a Muslim academic. She specialises in gender issues in Islam, having focused her PhD on representations of female selves in literature and published articles on topics of identity and diaspora. A wearer of the hijab, Haliloglu has written extensively on this issue.
HOURIYA AHMED is a member of Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE), the first women's counter-terrorism group, set up by Women Without Borders. She is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Cohesion and has written for The Times, Standpoint and Prospect magazines on the face veil and headscarf.
DR TAJ HARGEY is the chairman of the Muslim Education Centre of Oxford. He has been critical of Muslims in the press, notably on BBC's 'Panorama' in 2005, and has written extensively to The Times about the burqa calling it a "trendy fad" in one letter.
DAVID AARONOVITCH is a notable columnist and broadcaster, winning the Orwell Prize for journalism in 2001. He is senior leader writer for The Times, and has written for The Guardian as well as appearing on 'Have I Got News For You'. Aaronovitch has been critical both of political Islam and of the lack of understanding of Muslims shown in mainstream British media.