HEATED ISSUE: Some British Conservative Party MPs want to ban the wearing of the full face veil.
HEATED ISSUE: Some British Conservative Party MPs want to ban the wearing of the full face veil. LINDSEY Parnabyepa

British PM issues not so veiled threat to Muslims

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron has fallen short of endorsing a French-style blanket ban on full face veils, but backed the rights of schools, courts and other public institutions to do so.

Mr Cameron told BBC Radio 4 that if people chose to flout a school's uniform policy "you should always come down on the side of the school".

"When you are coming into contact with an institution or you're in court, or if you need to be able to see someone's face at the border, then I will always back the authority and institution that have put in place proper and sensible rules," the PM said.

The veil is not banned in the UK, but the courts have backed the right of schools, courts and employers to restrict their use.

Some political commentators in Britain characterised the PM's comments as an invitation for public institutions such as hospitals and police stations to impose such restrictions.

France's controversial ban on full face veils came into force in April 2011.

It was challenged in the European Court of Human Rights, which in July last year accepted the French government's argument the law was based on "a certain idea of living together".



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