Although it would be best not to get too complacent, it seems there is very little chance of a ban on Muslim veils in Britain being imposed any time soon.
Banning the wearing of the Islamic full veil in public would be “un-British”, the immigration minister has said.
Damian Green told the Sunday Telegraph trying to pass such a law would be at odds with the UK’s “tolerant and mutually respectful society”.
Thank goodness for that. If this Parliament is going to be “the most liberal in a generation”, it can hardly start by banning people’s clothing.
What a pity for Mr. Green that some of his back-bench colleagues are not so enlightened:
A Conservative MP says he will refuse to hold meetings with Muslim women wearing full Islamic dress at his constituency surgery unless they lift their face veil.
Last night Muslim groups condemned Philip Hollobone and accused him of failing in his duty as an MP.
In an interview with The Independent, the Kettering MP said: “I would ask her to remove her veil. If she said: ‘No’, I would take the view that she could see my face, I could not see hers, I am not able to satisfy myself she is who she says she is. I would invite her to communicate with me in a different way, probably in the form of a letter.”
According to the BBC article I linked to above, Mr. Hollobone has also introduced a Private Members Bill which would make it illegal for people to cover their faces on the street.
I’m not sure there’s much more to add to this, apart from to state the obvious: Phillip Hollobone is a complete tool.