A GROUP of Halesowen Muslims have urged the Prime Minister to talk to women who follow the faith before banning the wearing of the veil and segregation in public places.The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are “concerned” at David Cameron’s remarks on measures he claims will help to promote integration.They are calling on him to spend more time talking to Muslim women, in particular, before announcing measures which they claim would “impose restrictions and limitations on personal choice”.
Saima Irfan, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association Halesowen said issues of gender segregation and dress codes in compliance with religious beliefs should remain a matter of personal choice.Mr Cameron said Muslim women could be banned from from wearing veils in schools, courts and other British institutions His comments came as the government prepare to announce measures designed to stop British Muslims becoming radicalised and travelling to the Middle East to join terrorist groups.
As part of the plans, ministers will pledge to outlaw gender segregation during meetings in public buildings amid concerns that some Muslim organisations are forcing women to sit separately.But Mrs Irfan said the UK was a “beacon of freedom of choice” and Muslim women felt strongly that men and women should be free to choose where they would like to sit and urged Mr Cameron to first consult Muslim women.She said women who wore the veil had no objection to the government or authorities having the right to ask them to show their face for identification reasons.
But she added: “However, our experience is that Ahmadi Muslim women have excelled in the UK in their education, careers and become integrated and active members of society whilst abiding by their faith and wearing their Hijab.“If the Government seeks to remove the Hijab or creates conditions to make it difficult for Muslim women to continue with their work or education, then it would deny the UK of a talented and loyal workforce.”
Mr Cameron’s announcement that Muslim women will face deportation unless they pass a series of English language tests after coming to Britain on spouse visas was also slammed by the Halesowen’s Ahmadiyya Muslims.Their president Dr Masood Majoka said support should be given to all migrants to learn English but warned children would suffer if their mothers were deported because they did not speak English proficiently.