Sep 15 2013
Birmingham Metropolitan college that brought in a Muslim full-face covering veil ban has come under fire after it backpedalled in an embarrassing U-turn.
UK Daily Mail Islamic Militants have forced a college to drop its ban on students wearing full facial veils. The U-turn came in the face of a planned mass demonstration against ‘Islamophobia’ and an online petition signed by 9,000.
The headbag ban had been in place at Birmingham Metropolitan College for eight years without protest. But an anonymous prospective student complained to her local paper, saying she was being discriminated against. When the story broke it sparked claims of racism and even rumours that the college was planning to ban prayer on its premises.
Late on Thursday, the college climbed down and ‘modified’ the ruling against veils, hoodies and hats, which had been brought in to ensure students were always ‘easily identifiable’.
Aaron Kiely, the left-wing student activist who organised the 9,000-name petition, is best known for opposing the extradition of Islamofascist hate preacher Abu Hamza. He was also forced to apologize for defending the London rioters of 2009 and has suggested the police are institutionally racist.
Last night Tory MP Philip Hollobone, who is championing a law to ban face coverings in public, said he was sorry the college had ‘caved in’. And Downing Street stepped in to the row to reveal that David Cameron would back a ban on Muslim veils at his children’s school. The Prime Minister is being pressured to give headteachers more protection against similar backlashes.
The college, which is the third largest in the UK, with 44,000 students, insisted the policy was designed to protect students.
It stopped female Muslim pupils from wearing the niqab, the full facial veil in which only the eyes are visible, or the burqa where the eye area is covered in mesh. The policy was attacked by local Muslim councillors, MPs and the NUS Black Students’ Campaign, headed by Mr Kiely.
Mr Cameron had backed the college’s original decision to enforce the uniform code. ‘The college will still need to be able to confirm an individual’s identity in order to maintain safeguarding and security.’