Cler­ics call for burka ban in pub­lic

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - World -

A se­nior Church of Eng­land bishop has called for full face cover­ings such as the burka and niqab to be banned where peo­ple in­ter­act — in­clud­ing hos­pi­tals, doc­tors’ surg­eries, univer­si­ties and schools.

The former Bishop of Rochester, Pak­istani-born Michael NazirAli who held the po­si­tion from 1994 to2009, made the com­ments at the week­end. He said the ban should also ex­tend to ar­eas where there were le­git­i­mate se­cu­rity and safety con­cerns, such as at air­ports or while driv­ing a car, but it was ac­cept­able for women to wear face veils at home, while in the street and at prayer.

“Where there is wide­spread use of the face veil, there will be greater iso­la­tion from one an­other and a sense of se­gre­ga­tion will grow.” Mr Nazir-Ali said.

Lord Carey, the former Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury, agreed and said “op­pres­sive” veils should not be­come “nor­malised”.

They fol­low former for­eign sec­re­tary Boris John­son’s com­ments in an opin­ion piece last week com­par­ing women in burkas to “let­ter boxes” and “bank rob­bers”.

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