One in three people would support a ban on Muslim women wearing veils which cover their faces in public places, according to a new survey.
The ICM survey for the BBC asked if people would approve the introduction by the Government of such a plan.
Thirty-three per cent of respondents said they would approve the introduction of such a ban, while 56 per cent said they would not and just under one in 10 said they did not know.
Asked if they would support prohibition in specific circumstances, 61 per cent said they would approve a ban in airports and at passport control, 53 per cent in courtrooms and 53 per cent in schools.
Forty-one per cent said they would support a workplace ban, but 56 per cent said they would oppose a ban on Muslim women wearing veils while travelling on public transport.
Last month former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw sparked a national debate when he revealed that he asked Muslim women to remove their veils when they visited his constituency surgery.
Zareen Roohi Ahmed, chief executive of the British Muslim Forum, told the BBC: "If security is at stake, such as at an airport, then yes, of course, the veil should be removed.
"If it proves difficult in performing a task such as in a school, then it is up to the individual who is wearing the veil whether they want to work there or not.
"Given everything else that is going on in the world right now, from Iraq to Afghanistan, we are talking about a piece of cloth."
Ms Ahmed added that debate over the veil had become harder because some parts of the media had blown the issue out of proportion.
The corporation said a nationally representative sample of people were questioned in the survey.Reuse content