Breastfeeding mothers. Letters in The Daily Telegraph (16 July 2011)

Breastfeeding Mothers

John M. Airey and Anthony Stadlen

[Letters in
The Daily Telegraph 16 July 2011]

SIR: I was amazed to read that individuals at the Oldham Civic Centre were of the opinion that a mother breastfeeding her baby would cause an uproar among Muslims (report, July 14).
In 1980, working on a contract in Saudi Arabia, I was in a crowded departure lounge at Riyadh airport waiting for a flight to London.
Opposite me, sat a woman in traditional black robes: all you could see of her was her hands and eyes. She decided to breastfeed her baby. No one gave her a second glance there was certainly no uproar. Had this been offensive behaviour, then all the people around her, including the mutaween (religious police), would have descended upon her.
In a multi-cultural building, staff should be aware of what is offensive to others and what is not. Making misguided assumptions is just as offensive.

John M. Airey
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

SIR: Under the Equality Act 2010, it is against the law to prevent a mother breastfeeding in a public place, irrespective of whether any individual, ethnic community, civic centre, local council, or religion happens to be offended or supports her doing so.

Anthony Stadlen
London N22  

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