BIRMINGHAM COLLEGE BANS MUSLIMS FROM WEARING VEILS THAT OBSCURE THEIR IDENTITY – Administrators at Birmingham Metropolitan College has enforced a new rule that no person may wear any item of clothing, whether for religious purposes or not, that obscures their identity.
The administrators have sighted reasons of security for the ban which has outraged many Muslim students; with a number of them citing a breach of their religious rights and some even transferring to other colleges.
Administrators were quick to point out that the ban, which they have the right to impose, is not targeting any particular ethnic or religious group; the ban is extended to anyone including those wearing hoodies.
With growing fears to student security this action by the Birmingham Metropolitan College has been met with mixed feelings; with some stating it is paramount for security reasons while the Muslims feel they have been singled out and that the ban violates their Human Rights.
Recently Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering announced that he would refuse to see any constituents who refused to lift or remove their veils; sighting security reasons.
Some Muslim college students said the ban was disgusting and wonder if the administrators thought that one of them might bring a bomb to school. The student went on to remark that students come here to learn not to engage in terrorist activities.
Regardless to the students views the college has defended its position stating that the ban has been in effect for some time and was developed in order to keep students safe.
“To ensure that safeguarding is a priority, we have developed our policy alongside student views to ensure we keep them safe.
This needs individuals to be easily identifiable at all times when they are on college premises and this includes the removal of hoodies, hats, caps and veils so that faces are visible.” Birmingham Metropolitan College Spokesman
All schools, colleges and universities are permitted to ban the wearing of any item of clothing that obscures a person’s identity.
This was brought about after a number of high profile legal cases in which a key case, in 2007, saw a High Court judge reject a student’s right to wear her nigab in class due to security issues.
Educational administrators argued that wearing any item of clothing making it almost impossible to correctly identify a student compromises security and safety. It also prevents teaching as teachers rely on the ability to gauge a student’s reaction to questions and answers and therefore impedes their ability to teach and the student’s to learn.
The Education Department has also backed up the College’s right to ban such items of clothing as it is ‘lawful’ to restrict a student’s right to express their religious beliefs on the grounds of ‘health and safety’ and in this particular incident the administration clearly have health and safety in mind.