Citing "security reasons," England's Birmingham Metropolitan College has banned the use of religious veils on its campus, thus provoking anger among Muslim students and staff, the Spero Forum website reports today (September 12, 2013).
It is the women's "niqab" veil -- which leaves only a small gap for the eyes -- that the college has deemed a risk, having decided that individuals should be "easily identifiable at all times" so that all students can study in a "safe and welcoming learning environment."
"We have a very robust equality, diversity, and inclusion policy at Birmingham Metropolitan College, but to ensure that safeguarding is a priority, we have developed our policy alongside student views to ensure we keep them safe," principal and chief-executive Dame Christine Braddock said to the media.
The veiling of Muslim women varies from place to place, and from sect to sect. In secularized Muslim-majority countries, women appear unveiled in public, while in more traditional Muslim countries they may be entirely covered, as are the women of Afghanistan who are traditionally compelled to have even their eyes covered.