In Britain, for better or worse, a law that prevented child-minders or teachers from covering their heads (ie from wearing the standard Muslim hijab) would be very hard to imagine. True, English courts have backed the right of head teachers to stop girls wearing the face-covering niqab or the body-hugging jilbab to school. An English teacher who was asked to remove her niqab received a more mixed result when she went to court: it rejected her claim of religious discrimination but awarded her compensation for the mishandling of her case. But nobody has proposed that British women who teach or look after young children should be stopped from wearing hijab, which does not in any obvious way impede the wearer from imparting or receiving information. "Such a prohibition has never been suggested here," a prominent British Muslim told me. Hijab is now part of the urban British scene; a version of it is an option for London policewomen (pictured). As for the French ban on wearing full-face veils in any public setting, the Britain Home Office was categorical: "It is not for the government to say what people can and cannot wear. Such a proscriptive approach would be out of keeping with our nation's longstanding approach of tolerance." In other words, it would be as foreign as eating frogs' legs.