The Mail is reporting that David Cameron yesterday declared that the government would back schools, courts and any other public institution which wants to ban Muslim women from wearing the veil.
…Detailing his latest integration strategy, the PM said he would not back a French-style outright ban on wearing the veil in public.
But he did endorse local policies, when properly thought out, which would require people to show their face – such as for border checks.
Mr Cameron – who yesterday also threatened to deport Muslim women who fail to learn English – said: ‘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.
‘What does matter is if, for instance, a school has a uniform policy, sensitively put in place, 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.’
He 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.’
…Although there is no legal ban on any form of veil in the UK, the right to wear a veil may be restricted at work or in schools.
This has been challenged in courts as discrimination on grounds of religion – but a ban has been approved for schools and courts.
In 2006, the House of Lords ruled that banning Shabina Begum, 17, from wearing the jilbab, a long, flowing garment, at Denbigh High School in Luton did not breach her rights.
In 2014, a Muslim teenager was barred from a top state school in London for wearing a full-face veil…
Last night a government spokesman said: ‘We support the right of individual organisations such as schools, colleges and employers to restrict the wearing of face coverings if they feel they need to as a result of legitimate dress codes or for reasons of security, identification or health and safety.
‘Where such legitimate reasons exist, lawful restrictions can already be imposed on wearing a veil under the appropriate circumstances. The Government does not support a general legal ban on the wearing of a veil in public.’
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies said: ‘Muslim women who wear the veil should not be made to feel excluded or be made to feel that it is difficult for them to go about their daily life.’
So nothing is actually changing here in terms of legislation, but the prime minister is signalling his support for schools if they do choose to ban veils.
What do you think? Is this something schools feel the need to do?
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