Angry Muslim students have hit out at college chiefs after being banned from wearing religious veils for “security” reasons.
All students, staff and visitors to Birmingham Metropolitan College have been told to remove any face coverings so individuals are “easily identifiable at all times”. But the controversial ban of the niqab – a veil that leaves only a slot for the eyes – has sparked fury among some Muslim girls, who say they are being discriminated against.
The policy was revealed just days after politicians discussed banning the burka. Kettering MP Philip Hollobone – who refuses to see constituents who will not lift their veils – raised the issue in a Private Member’s Bill, saying it “goes against the basic part of the British way of life”.
News of the policy at the Birmingham college was broken to one prospective Muslim student at the start of the new term last week. The angry 17-year-old girl, who did not want to be named, said:
“It’s disgusting. It is a personal choice and I find it absolutely shocking that this has been brought in at a college in Birmingham city centre when the city is so multicultural and so many of the students are Muslim. It upsets me that we are being discriminated against. I don’t think my niqab prevents me from studying or communicating with anyone – I’ve never had any problems in the city before.”