Plans to ban Muslim women from covering their faces in public areas are oppressive, the leader of the Respect party said yesterday.
Salma Yaqoob’s comments came as the UK Independence Party (UKIP) announced a formal policy that would make the wearing of garments such as the burka or the niqab â€“ both of which conceal most of the face â€“ to be illegal.
Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader and MEP, said: “In a liberal democracy we want to tolerate different religions and cultures and not have a small section of society impose their world view on the rest of us.”
Ms Yaqoob said: “We do not need a man or a woman telling people what to wear.”Â Times, 18 January 2010
French president Nicolas Sarkozy backed off previous statements in support of a public ban on the full Muslim veil to prevent Jean-Francois Cope, his party’s Parliamentary leader, to rush through an “anti-burka law.”
Sarkozy opened the door to an outright ban in June, criticizing the veil as a symbol opposed to French values. But he moved quickly Wednesday to tell leaders in Parliament why an outright ban would be “unworkable.”
“The full veil is not welcome in France because it is contrary to our values and contrary to the ideals we have of a woman’s dignity,” he said. “But it is vital to conduct ourselves in a way that no-one feels stigmatised. We must find a solution which enables us to win the widest support.”
Though many members of Parliament would support the ban, it’s too early to say whether the law will pass, according to the Washington Post.
The draft of the law reads: “No one may, in spaces open to the public and on public streets, wear a garment or an accessory that has the effect of hiding the face.”…