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Strict rules for girls who already wear long purple tunics over black trousers so no flesh is exposedCameron says government should backs institutions like school, courts and immigration centres on banning face-covering veils
Pupils are being forced to wear hijabs in and out of class for the first time at a state-backed school in Blackburn.
The cover-up was ordered at the 800-pupil Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School where students already have to dress in long purple tunics over black trousers to ensure flesh is not seen.
Under new rules, pupils must ‘wear the hijab outside the school and home, recite the Koran at a least once a week’ and not have stationery which shows ‘unIslamic images’ like pictures of pop stars
Ten per cent of the students in the sixth-form wear the niqab veil which covers the face except the eyes.
The voluntary-aided school is the flagship of the Tauheedul charitable trust which wants to open 12 Muslim free schools across the country.
Three have been approved so far with one in Hackney opening this month, despite concerns raised by a former government advisor on the prevention of terrorism.
Haris Rafiq told the Sunday Times: ‘I think it threatens to create young British Muslims who are not able to integrate in the wider society, who are living in isolation and outside the wider community.’
School headmaster Hamid Patel said some of the girls do not wear the hijab at home despite the school crackdown.
Meanwhile, David Cameron said today the state should back institutions such as schools, courthouses and immigration centres which require individuals to remove face-covering veils.
Mr Cameron said he did not believe there should be a ban on wearing the niqab – which conceals the whole face – in the streets.
But he made clear he was ‘happy’ to look at the issue of whether the state needed to do more to back up institutions which choose to implement a ban.
Mr Cameron told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘We are a free country and people should be free to wear whatever clothes they like in public or in private.
‘But we should support those institutions that need to put in place rules so that those institutions can work properly.
‘So for instance in a school, if they want that particular dress code, I believe the Government should back them. The same for courts, the same for immigration.
‘I think we should back those institutions that want to have sensible policies that actually have a particular purpose.’
Asked if he would respond to a judge’s suggestion that there should be national guidelines on the wearing of the niqab in court, Mr Cameron said: ‘I’m very happy to look at that.
‘Obviously, in court the jury needs to be able to look at someone’s face. I’ve sat on a jury, that’s part of what you do.
‘When someone is coming into the country, an immigration officer needs to see someone’s face.
‘In a school, it’s very difficult to teach unless you can look at your pupils in the eye.
‘It’s a free country and I think a free country should have free and independent institutions. No plans for anything on the street, but if the Government needs to do more to back up institutions, then I would be happy to look at that.’
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