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Muslims in EuropeCameron supports bans on Muslim face veils

Published 19 January 2016

Prime Minister David Cameron said Muslim women can be banned from wearing veils in schools, courts, and other British institutions. Cameron said he will give his backing to public authorities which put in place “proper and sensible” rules to ban women from wearing face veils in comments which will reignite debates. Camron made his views known as his government is set to announce a series of measures aimed at stop British Muslims becoming radicalized.

Muslim women wearing a Naqib (l.) and what appears to be a Hijab // Source: harvard.edu

Prime Minister David Cameron said Muslim women can be banned from wearing veils in schools, courts, and other British institutions. Cameron said he will give his backing to public authorities which put in place “proper and sensible” rules to ban women from wearing face veils in comments which will reignite debates. The Telegraph notes that Camron made his views known as his government is set to announce a series of measures aimed at stop British Muslims becoming radicalized.

The plans call for ministers to pledge to outlaw gender segregation during meetings in public buildings amid reports that some Muslim organizations are forcing women to sit separately.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan today (Tuesday) will announce plans to force schools to help stop teenagers travelling abroad to fight alongside jihadist groups such as ISIS.

Schools will be required to inform councils when pupils stop attending without any explanation, and Muslim parents will be encouraged to carry out checks to ensure their children are not being radicalized.

Morgan will announce a new Web site to help parents and teachers identify potential victims of radicalization.

The Web site warns parents and teachers about “excessive time spent online or on mobile phones” as well as being wary of children with a “susceptibility to conspiracy theories and a feeling of persecution.”

She will also announce plans to ensure that schools register with local authorities any pupils that stop attending lessons.

Morgan will say: “We are determined to keep children safe in and out of school. Today’s announcement of resources and tougher powers to protect young, impressionable minds from radical views sends a clear message to extremists: our children are firmly out of your reach.”

Cameron has also announced that tens of thousands of Muslim women will face deportation unless they pass a series of English language tests after coming to Britain on spouse visas.

Cameron, though, has refused to endorse a French-style blanket ban but made clear that individual organizations can choose to stop Muslim women wearing the veil.

In 2013 the Daily Telegraph reported that more than a dozen NHS hospitals had instructed staff not to wear the niqab — a full veil which covers the face — while in contact with patients.

A number of Conservative MPs said they want the government to consider a full ban on the veil.

“I think in our country people should be free to wear what they like, within limits live how they like, and all the rest of it,” Cameron told BBC Radio 4.

“What does matter is if, for instance, a school has a uniform policy, sensitively put in place and all the rest of it, and people want to flout that uniform policy, often for reasons that aren’t connected to religion, you should always come down on the side of the school.”

Cameron added: “When you are coming into contact with an institution or you’re in court, or if you need to be able to see someone’s face at the border, then I will always back the authority and institution that have put in place proper and sensible rules.

“Going for the more sort of French approach of banning an item of clothing, I don’t think that’s the way we do things in this country and I don’t think that would help.”

France in 2010 banned full-face veils after years of debate.

Philip Hollobone, a Conservative MP, told the Telegraph: “What the Prime Minister says is extremely welcome and a step in the right direction but given the stridency with which Muslim group’s advance their cause sooner or later this will be put to the test.

It should apply to any public official including schools, hospitals, councils, the police, border force, hospitals, GP surgeries. Anywhere where members of the public come into contact and an official needs to have his or her face visible.”

He added: “I don’t want to live in a country where a police officer is veiled, where a news reader is veiled, where a nurse or doctor is veiled.”