Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Majority 'backs public niqab ban'

A majority of people believe women should not wear the niqab in public, a poll suggests.

More than half the public believe women should not be allowed to wear the niqab in public, according to an opinion poll.

The ComRes poll for Channel 4 News found 56% opposed the wearing of the Muslim full-face veil, which shows only the wearer's eyes, while 55% supported an outright ban like that in France.

An even higher proportion, 81%, said they would support a ban on wearing the niqab in certain specified public places, such as schools, courts or hospitals.

The findings come after recent controversies which saw a college in Birmingham forced to drop a ban on niqabs and a ruling by a judge that Muslim women must remove the veil to give evidence in court.

The poll found that three-quarters (76%) said they were unsure of how to relate to women wearing the full face veil, while more than half (56%) thought it was demeaning to women who wear it.

:: ComRes interviewed 1,077 GB adults aged 18 and over online on October 23.

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