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Ban The Muslim Veil In Public, Says Ukip Leadership Candidate

Photo: Peter Dench/Getty Images.
Muslim women should be banned from wearing the veil in public buildings, shopping centres and on public transport, according to Lisa Duffy, a candidate hoping to become Ukip's next leader.

Duffy, the party's former director, believes her plans would promote integration. She described the veil as "a symbol of aggressive separatism that can only foster extremism" and said it is often "forced on women by men who view them as their property", The Guardian reported.

She stopped short of calling for a complete ban, but said under her leadership Ukip would back a "show your face in public" policy.

"On our public transport networks, in public buildings, banks, stores and shopping precincts – all those places where teenagers are told to take their hoodies down and where motorcyclists are expected to remove their helmets – it is only reasonable to expect everyone to show their faces," she said.

She added there should be "one law for all, rather than making an exception for a community because we are frightened of causing offence," and that it shouldn't be considered Islamophobic to ask a woman to remove her veil in public.

Duffy tried to present her proposal as beneficial for Muslim women in Britain. She said: “I have a positive vision for British Islam where girls can grow up with equal rights to men and be given the rights of self-determination the rest of us take for granted."

Muslim women in France have been banned from wearing the full-face veil in public spaces since 2011 and those who do so risk fines. However, Muslim women have criticised the law, calling it a violation of their freedom of religion and expression.

Duffy previously called for Islamic faith schools to be shut down and for a "complete and comprehensive ban" on sharia courts in the UK.

However, a rival candidate in the race to become Ukip leader, MEP Bill Etheridge, hinted that Duffy's focus on Islam was an example of "chasing the bigot vote", and that the party shouldn't focus on small issues like Islam which makes us look small-minded".

There are six candidates in the running to lead Ukip, after Nigel Farage resigned (again) last month. The winner will be announced at the party's annual conference on 15th of September.