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Outrageous ban on Niqaab in Birmingham Metropolitan College

Written By: Ajmal-Masroor
15/09/2013 21:40 10/09/2013 23:24

I received a distressed lady’s call this morning. She was upset by the Birmingham Metropolitan College’s decision to ban Niqaab on its campuses. The lady informed me that some of her friends have decided to leave the college and this is upsetting them, as this would disrupt their education and made them feel fundamentally violated.

I checked various websites and news agencies and established that this was reported widely. I was angered by what I read and was spurred into action. I believe a woman must have the freedom to choose what she wants to wear and no body should impose their wishes over them. I felt angry by the blatant violation of a woman civil liberty. Birmingham is a multicultural and multi-faith city and to deny a woman the right to wear Niqaab amounts to an attack on all of us. 

My own position on Niqaab is different, I do not believe a woman should wear Niqaab as I feel this is not based on any Islamic injunctions but more a cultural choice. Muslim women should not wear it. However, I would fight my utmost for a woman’s right to chose to wear Niqab if she wishes and against those who attack the freedom of anyone in general and women in particular. This news left me feeling personally insulted and attacked. 

I immediately called the college and was put through to a woman who spoke to me with authority and determination. I introduced myself and asked her if she could explain to me what was going on. She said that the college had a policy to safeguard children therefore they must be able to identify everyone who is in the college at all times. Face covering prevented them from providing a safe environment for the students in the college. Their policy was to ask students to remove all types of face covering while in the campus. She also said that all students are informed of this policy during enrolment and if a student did not agree with the college policy she was free to go to any other college. 

I could not believe what I was hearing. I challenged her and told her my feelings. I was astonished to hear that in the 21st century Britain there were people like this and a college was able to get away with such a brazen discriminatory policy. I told the director that their decision was a step in the wrong direction, their policy sounded similar to the French secular fundamentalists ban on Niqaab and certainly against civil liberty that is enshrined in our democracy. I was incensed by the director’s dispassionate and irrational approach. 

I asked for her name and she refused to give it to me at first. I was more shocked by her attitude and challenged her even further. Eventually she told me that her name was Debbie Good and she was the Director of the college. I could not believe the director of the college was so pugnacious and blinkered. She promised to get someone to call me but I have not received any calls from anyone yet. I made the first phone call at 11am! 

I promised to raise awareness of this and bring it to the attention of the wider community. I promised to fight until such bigotry and discrimination is wiped out of our community. I would like to call upon everyone to email or telephone the college and place pressure on the college management so that they will change their draconian and anti-freedom policy immediately. 

This is clear injustice and you have a duty to fight against it. This is against civil liberty and you must stand up against it. This is against our democracy and you must protest against it. This is intolerable and you cannot stay silent after such an attack on women. Rise people and take the college to task. 

[Update news]

The barrage of phone calls, emails, Facebook and Twitter campaigns, the pressure from the masses of students, politicians, community and faith leaders have caused a deluge of condemnation and international outcry. The college leadership have crumbled under the mammoth public pressure and changed its policy.The college has made a huge U-turn on its diabolical policy and lifted the ban. Who says peoples' power does not work? Hooray!

See details: Birmingham Metropolitan College drops controversial Muslim veil ban

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About Ajmal-Masroor

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  • Name: Ajmal Masroor
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    Ajmal Masroor is an Author, Broadcaster, Relationship Counsellor , Politician and Imam based in London, UK. His facebook profile can be followed

    This Blog is made by his Fan and all writings are collected from his Facebook page which is Public.


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