MUSLIM women should not be allowed to cover their faces in public as there is no formal requirement in their religion, a Tory MP said yesterday.
Philip Hollobone was putting forward a Bill seeking to prohibit the wearing of face coverings, in particular the Muslim veil and balaclavas.
Presenting his Face Coverings (Prohibition) Bill, the Kettering MP expressed regret that his campaign had “come to this”.
Speaking during the bill’s second reading, he said: “But there’s growing concern amongst my constituents and across the country about the increasing number of people who are going about in public places covering their faces and this is causing alarm and distress to many people.”
During the debate, passport control officials were criticised for “waving through” a woman without asking her to remove her full-face veil.
Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, told the Commons he witnessed the scene at Heathrow as a woman underwent checks to enter the UK after flying in from Saudi Arabia. He insisted all women wearing a “full Islamic veil” should have to compulsorily remove it to be identified by immigration officials.
Mr Hollobone told the Commons that he had received correspondence from alarmed Britons across the country.
His bill would prevent the use of balaclavas, favoured by some demonstrators, as well as full-face Islamic veils such as burkas and niqabs.
He said: “I can find absolutely nowhere at all anywhere in the world any prescription that women are required by Islam to cover their face.
“As far as I can understand it, the Koran – the holy book to Muslims – requires women to dress modestly.”