Ukip leadership candidate Lisa Duffy calls for ban on Islamic veil

Veil is 'symbol of aggressive separatism that can only foster extremism', Ukip councillor says

Harriet Agerholm
Tuesday 09 August 2016 08:58 BST
Ukip leadership candidate Lisa Duffy calls for ban on Islamic veil

Muslim women should be stopped from wearing the Islamic face veil in public places, according to a contender for the Ukip leadership.

Lisa Duffy is demanding women should not be allowed to wear the cloth, called a niqab, in public buildings, on transport or in shopping centres.

The Ukip councillor, who launched her leadership bid with the claim she wanted a “modernised version of British Islam”, has also asked for an end to sharia courts and a “total ban” on Muslim state schools. She said the measures would tackle extremism in the UK.

She claimed banning the burka would help Muslims integrate and promote women’s rights.

She asked: "Why should I, as a white, Christian woman, effectively enjoy greater civil and human rights and freedoms than others?", she said.

My ambition is that everyone, from every community, should be able to enjoy the same rights and have the same independent control over their lives and their bodies as I do."

She described the veil as a “symbol of aggressive separatism that can only foster extremism”.

During her speech she rejected comparisons made between her policies and that of Donald Trump, who controversially called for a ban on Muslims entering the US.

President of the Muslim Association of Britain, Omer El-Hamdoon told The Independent: "Ms Duffy said she's not chasing the bigot vote, but in fact she is.

"Her whole narrative is undermining civil liberties

"It will marginalise Muslims and we know this puts them at greater risk of radicalisation."

Mr El-Hamdoon added that Islamic schols were essential to bringing up young Muslims who would contribute to the UK.

Lisa Duffy has grassroots party support

"By teaching young people about Islamic values and morals, you will get a generation of Muslims who feel proud to be British and be better citizens," he said.

The resignation of Mr Farage after the UK voted to leave the EU triggered a fiercely contended leadership race, with six candidates in the running.

Ms Duffy is thought to be second favourite for the leadership role to Diane James, but she has strong support from the grassroots of the party.

The councillor in Ramsey also has the backing of Suzanne Evans, who said she represents the “common sense" needed for the future of Ukip.

Ms Duffy’s remarks contrast with the stance held by fellow leadership contender Bill Etheridge. Launching his leadership campaign, Mr Etheridge will say that focussing on “small issues like Islam” makes the party look “small minded”, the Guardian reports.

But banning the burka, along with the reintroduction of the death penalty, remain at the centre of Mr Etheridge’s campaign.

The next leader of the party will be announced at Ukip's annual conference on 15 September.

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