More than half the British public think that Muslim women SHOULD NOT be allowed to wear the niqab in public. A ComRes opinion poll for Channel 4 found that 56% of respondents said they opposed the wearing of the full face-veil, while 55% said they would support a national ban, similar to legislation that was passed in France in 2010.
The niqab, which only shows the eyes of the wearer, has been the subject of intense debate in the UK, particularly over whether it should be permissible to wear the covering when giving evidence in court. The poll asked whether the niqab should be banned in public places, such as courtrooms, schools and hospitals, with 81% saying they would support such a ban.
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The findings come after recent controversies that saw a college in Birmingham forced to drop a ban on niqabs and a ruling by a judge that Muslim women must remove the veil to give evidence in court. The poll found that three-quarters (76%) said they were unsure of how to relate to women wearing the full face veil, while more than half (56%) thought it was demeaning to women who wear it.
ComRes interviewed 1,077 GB adults aged 18 and over online on October 23.