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Ban on Muslim Veil: Disrespecting Freedom of Choice

18/09/2013 09:49 BST | Updated 18/09/2013 09:49 BST

Liberal Democrat Jeremy Browne's call for a national debate into banning the veil is yet another show of religious intolerance and disrespect for freedom of choice.

Ironically Mr Browne told the Telegraph that, "I think this is a good topic for national debate. People of liberal instincts will have competing notions of how to protect and promote freedom of choice."

Taking away the right for a Muslim woman who chooses to wear the face veil on her own accord is not giving anyone the freedom to choose how they practice their faith.

Out of the 1.4 billion Muslim women in Britain there are only a minority of Muslim women who choose to wear the face veil, yet it continues to be brought up as a pressing issue as if there aren't any other important issues to worry about in the world.

It would be wrong to ask a Christian nun who wears similar clothing to the Islamic headdress to remove their head veil, yet if a government official had imposed a ban on nun's veils there would be uproar and rightly so. The same respect should be given to a Muslim woman who through religious devotion wants to wear the face veil.

The issue of wearing a face veil when in court is something that Muslim women can work with and a female official can easily identify them. Many Muslim women who wear the face veil have had no problems being identified by a female and would also want to abide by the law of the land.

In all the debate about whether or not there should be a general ban on the niqab has anyone actually thought about the Muslim women who wear it?

Sahar al-Faifi, a molecular geneticist from Cardiff told HuffPost UK that, "I began it as an act of worship, but it has come to have a deeper meaning for me, as a message to show I am not oppressed. My sister and my mother do not wear it. It is a totally personal choice, to bring me closer to God."

Shalina Litt, a radio presenter and community activist from Birmingham who has worn the face veil for over five years also told HuffPost UK that, "My message to Jeremy Browne and Nick Clegg, and to other MPs speaking on the subject, is that, for me, the primary job of an MP is to make Britain a safer and better place. And what harm is a woman in a niqab doing?

In Britain we live in a multicultural, diverse nation and I would like to believe that the majority of citizens in the UK are all for religious tolerance. If the government does take away the freedom to wear the face veil they can no longer claim that the UK is a religiously tolerant country and they would have therefore taking away a basic human right to practice your faith the way you choose to.