Govt has no plans ban face veils, but poll shows most Britons disagree.
He told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that a ban similar to that approved in France, and which a poll on Friday showed was backed by 67% of Britons, was a “rather un-British thing to do.”
A fellow Conservative lawmaker had earlier said he refused to meet female constituent who wore the face veil, also called the burqa, and has proposed a law to ban the practice.
However, Green said: “Telling people that they can and can’t wear, if they’re just walking down the street, is a rather un-British thing to do. We’re a tolerant and mutually respectful society. ”
The immigration ministers acknowledged they were occasions when it was important to be able to see someone’s face.
“But I think it’s very unlikely and it would be undesirable for the British parliament to try and pass a law dictating what people wore. ” he said.
Green added that unlike France, “Britain’s not aggressively secular”
This week French lawmaker voted overwhelmingly to ban face-covering veils in public, in a bill which will go to the Senate for approval.
Philip Hollobone, a member of parliament (MP) from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party, said Saturday that he demands women remove their face veils when they visit him in his constituency in central England.
“If she said: ‘No’, I would take the view that she could see my face, but I could not see hers, so I am not able to satisfy myself she is who she says she is,” he told the Independent newspaper.
“I would invite her to communicate with me in a different ways, probably in the form of a letter.”
Hollobone has also tabled a Bill in parliament to regulate certain face coverings, although it will not be debated until December.
About 400 Muslims live in Kettering, Hollobone’s constituency, according to the local Muslim association, out of the total of 50,000 people in the town.-APF
19 JULY 2010