Champion of UK burka ban declares war on veil-wearing constituentsd
By ANDREW GRICE - THE INDEPENDENT
Added: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 07:00:27 UTC
A Conservative MP says he will refuse to hold meetings with Muslim women wearing full Islamic dress at his constituency surgery unless they lift their face veil.
Last night Muslim groups condemned Philip Hollobone and accused him of failing in his duty as an MP.
In an interview with The Independent, the Kettering MP said: "I would ask her to remove her veil. If she said: 'No', I would take the view that she could see my face, I could not see hers, I am not able to satisfy myself she is who she says she is. I would invite her to communicate with me in a different way, probably in the form of a letter."
He said the vast majority of Muslim women wore dress allowing people to see their face and claimed no Islamic scholars or clerics said wearing the burka or niqab was a religious requirement. "It is not a necessity," he said.
"I just take what I regard as a common sense view. If you want to engage in normal, daily, interactive dialogue with your fellow human beings, you can only really do this properly by seeing each other's face.
"Seventy-five per cent of the usual communication between two human beings is done with personal experience. God gave us faces to be expressive. It is not just the words we utter but whether we are smiling, sad, angry or frustrated. You don't get any of that if your face is covered."
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