Ukip leadership candidate calls for ban on niqab in UK

Women wears a full-face veil as they shop in London September 16, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

Women wears a full-face veil as they shop in London September 16, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

A contender for the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) leadership has said Muslim women should be stopped from wearing the face veil in public places in the UK.

Lisa Duffy is demanding women should not be allowed to wear a niqab, in public buildings, on transport or in shopping centres, claiming the move will help Muslims integrate and promote women’s rights.

The Ukip councillor launched her leadership bid with the claim she wanted a “modernised version of British Islam.”

She has also asked for an end to sharia courts and a “total ban” on Muslim state schools. She said the measures would tackle extremism in the UK.

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Duffy described the veil as a “symbol of aggressive separatism that can only foster extremism”.

During her speech she rejected comparison made between her policies and that of Donald Trump, who controversially called for a ban on Muslims entering the US.

President of the Muslim Association of Britain, Omer El-Hamdoon told The Independent, “Ms Duffy said she’s not chasing the bigot vote, but in fact she is. Her whole narrative is undermining civil liberties. It will marginalise Muslims and we know this puts them at greater risk of radicalisation.”

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El-Hamdoon said Islamic schools were essential to bringing up young Muslims who would contribute to the UK.

“By teaching young people about Islamic values and morals, you will get a generation of Muslims who feel proud to be British and be better citizens,” he said.

The next leader of the party will be announced at Ukip’s annual conference on September 15.

This article originally appeared on Independent

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