School bans Muslim mother from parents' evening for wearing veil

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Muslim with veil  
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A mother was barred from a parents’ evening at her child’s school because she was wearing a veil.

The mother-of-one arrived at the function wearing a full veil which covers every part of the body except the eyes.

But she was turned away by on health, safety and security grounds after the headteacher said visitors’ faces should be visible at all times.

The woman, who is a former pupil of the school, is furious with her treatment and says her religion should not affect her access to the Catholic school.

The incident happened in Blackburn, Lancs, which was at the centre of controversy three years ago when Jack Straw MP angered Muslim groups by suggesting women who wear veils over their face can make community relations harder.

The former foreign secretary branded the veil is a ‘visible statement of separation and of difference’ in 2006.

The move caused fury among Muslim groups who condemned Mr Straw and accused him of discrimination.

The latest incident is set to reignite the row over the right to wear whatever clothing the religious believer chooses.

Many Muslim women in the UK choose to wear a hijab or head scarf in the UK with only a minority of women wearing the full-length niqab veil.

The latest incident happened at Our Lady and St John Catholic Art College, in Blackburn, Lancs, last week.

jack straw

Escapes his responsibiliies: Dhimmi Jack Straw

Three years ago Blackburn MP Jack Straw suggested women who wear veils over their face can make community relations harder

The mother-of-one from Blackburn said: ‘I don’t like going to the school anymore because I  leave crying. I can understand that people should be identified but I am just a  normal person, trying to lead a normal life. Why should how I dress make a difference?’

She said: ‘In September 2007, when I attended a parents’ evening I got told not to go into the hall because I was wearing a  veil. I explained I was willing to take the veil off in front of female teachers but not the male teachers.’

The school already had a policy which ruled that hoodies and crash helmets need to be removed before access is granted to the school but after the incident in 2007 this was amended to include full-face veils.

The 34-year-old woman added: ‘This week at parents’ evening I signed myself in and saw two teachers in the library as I was not allowed in the main hall. Then I was asked by a member of staff whether I was aware of the school’s  policy on identification?’

But the woman, who lives in the town, says the policy was not in force when she enrolled her son, nor was it included in the school prospectus.

‘My son enjoys going to the school and has settled in and I am now in a strange situation where I can’t see how he is progressing or even go to drop him off inside.

‘If I had been told this was their  intended policy then maybe I would not have considered sending my son to the  school in the first place.

Anjum Anwar, chair of Woman’s Voice an advice group for the Asian community in Lancashire, has been liaising between the mother and school in an attempt to find a solution.


Our Lady and St John Catholic Art College, in Blackburn, Lancs, where the incident occurred

She said: “After meeting with the headteacher and governing body, we had hoped that the situation would have been resolved.

‘We are saddened to hear this young lady is still not given access to participate in her child’s education because of her faith.’

Headteacher Colette Gillen said it was important parents were able to discuss children’s progress with staff and revealed she had offered to set up one-to-one meetings between the woman and staff members in her private office.

‘This means neither position would be compromised,”  said Mrs Gillen. ‘While this would be acceptable, the difficulty would be if a number of ladies wearing veils were free to wander the corridors  or rooms.

‘It would not be feasible to monitor who is who. All policies and procedures have to attempt to cater for every eventuality.’

Mrs Gillen pointed to their Ofsted report which rated the school ‘outstanding’ for its community cohesion, care and guidance.

Jack Straw MP yesterday refused to comment on the latest row over veils in his constituency.


9 thoughts on “School bans Muslim mother from parents' evening for wearing veil”

  1. * ‘We are saddened to hear this young lady is still not given access to
    participate in her child’s education because of her faith.’

    From my understanding of her “faith”, she would not be permitted
    to go to the school (or leave her house) without being accompanied
    by her husband, or whatever male her ‘faith” requires. Where’s
    the muttawa? Oh, her “faith” can be flexible – perhaps she drove
    a car, or had two eyes visible when one is enough.

    Of course, muslim “human rights” must prevail, even when
    inconsistent with some other muslim “human right” – keeps
    the dhimmies on their toes, ready to fawn, appease and cough
    up jizyah.

  2. The question is this: As a bank manager would you allow a person to enter your bank wearing a full faced bike helmet?

    Sheik: I really like your new look. It’s terrific!

  3. What is this “thing” doing near a Catholic school anyway. It is a CATHOLIC school, if you want live within a 7th century ideology send the kid to a Madrassa!


  5. Its not against her religion that she is not allowed to enter the school with a mask on but because she cannot be identified. Why does every criticism be against the muslim religion, get real and stop moaning. I hate women wearing masks, they frighten me, how do I know its not a man under those horrible black robes. What about my human rights, born and bred in this country. Do my feelings not count. My grandfather died in the 1st world war, and for what. He would turn over in his grave if he knew his decendants were treated as second class citizens.
    A English Catholic and proud of it.

  6. No, you’re not a normal person – you’re a moslem.
    If you’re determined to wander about dressed up like a beekeeper there are plenty of other countries where you’ll be welcome. Please choose one and go there.

  7. Go back to your country they may!!! treat you better. What are you doing in this country anyway? These people are good enough to let you in,please don’t ask for more.

  8. The school should not be blamed for doing the right thing. It would have put everyone’s life in danger for letting in the ”thing”. How could they know who it is or is not carrying a gun under its veil.

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