We are saddened to see that the Leader of UKIP, Paul Nuttall has said that UKIP will attempt to ban the niqab or the full face veil as part of its general election manifesto.

Citing integration and security risks, his focus on the niqab is a cheap ploy to play on the fears of some within communities, as an easy way to win votes.

The reality is that the number of women who wear the niqab in the United Kingdom is unknown and may well be very small. Yet, at a time when the nation needs to heal divides, such policy making is unwelcome and highly divisive. Furthermore, in the end, is it the place of the State or Government or political parties, to judge what a woman can and can’t wear? The answer to that is simply, no.

Our data and our information has also shown time and time again, women who wear the niqab or the face veil, suffer more aggressive anti-Muslim hate incidents and more incidents. Surely, now is the time to stop focussing on these women and try and ensure that we bring people and communities together, rather than building up grievances?

We believe that now is the time to steer away from the politics of what women wear and focus on the policies and principles that can provide opportunities to communities. In the end, what someone wears is their choice. If through their choice, they self-limit their futures then that is something that they have decided for themselves. Ensuring that there are employment opportunities, housing and access to goods and services are where the real policy battles are to be had. Let us stick to those areas which require focus and attention.

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