Female Muslim students at a college in Britain have been asked to remove their religious veils or face temporary suspension, as the higher education institute says the niqab is a “security” risk.
Students heavily criticized the authorities at Birmingham Metropolitan College on Tuesday after the head teacher decided to ban the veil. Some students accepted and removed the niqab, while others left and decided to seek education at another institute.
“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,” said a 17-year-old female student at the college.
Principal and chief executive of the Birmingham Metropolitan College, Dame Christine Braddock, said security “needs individuals to be easily identifiable at all times when they are on college premises and this includes the removal of hoodies, hats, caps and veils so that faces are visible.”
The new strict policy was announced days after the British parliament discussed the issue of religious dress. In 2007, the UK government gave head teachers jurisdiction to ban full-face veils if there was a threat to security, safety or learning.
Britain’s has got closer to France’s stance against Muslim traditions, which has enforced a ban on the face-covering veil in all public spaces.