British Prime Minister Tony Blair praised his former foreign secretary on Tuesday for raising the difficult issue of whether Muslim women visiting his office should remove their veils.
The comment by Jack Straw, now leader of the House of Commons, has plunged Britain into a debate over Islamic integration.
"It's important these issues are raised and discussed, and I think it's perfectly sensible if you raise it in a measured and considered way, which he did," Blair said of Straw during an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. television outside his office.
"I think we can have these discussions without people becoming hysterical either way about it," Blair said.
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