A number of European countries have banned the burqa veils: France, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands have various laws restricting their wearing in public places. Could the UK be next?
Lib Dem Home Office minister Jeremy Browne has called for national debate and possible ban from girls wearing veils in public places such as schools.
This was a reaction to the news that Birmingham Metropolitan College had dropped a ban on pupils wearing full-face veils due to protests.
The Qur'an and the Hadith require both men and women to dress and behave modestly in public, known as hijab. This has then been interpreted in many different ways by Muslim scholars and communities. Some communities do believe that a burqa is mandatory. If it is worn, it is often by young, unmarried women.
Any ban is likely to cause problems with the Muslim community. Mohammed Khaliel, founder of Islamix, a group that aims to build understanding between communities, said: "A small section of the Muslim community do believe that the face veil is mandatory... Now, why should I go and rip that off their face saying 'I don't think you should believe that'?"
The debate is a complex one with many comments already been made on the topic. Does it create division or unity for the UK population?
Do you think the burqa should be banned in the UK? Does it make society 'more free' by banning it? Do you think it is wrong to make young girls wear it at a young age before they really know what they are doing? Do you think it should be banned just in places like schools?
Read more <here>
The Sun demands vital reforms:
1) BAN veils in school, courts and hospitals
2) BAN them in airports, banks and secure areas
3) LET employer decide if ok in the workplace
4) BUT freedom to wear them in the street
Read more <here>
Full-face veils aren't barbaric – but our response can be
"It is crucial to distinguish such legitimate debate, and reasonable legal regulation, from political and legal responses such as those in France and Belgium that construct Muslim religious difference as barbaric – thereby targeting veiled Muslim women as the latest victims in Europe's long history of persecution."
Interesting Guardian Comment <here>