Birmingham Met bans niqab - Shabana responds

In response to news that Birmingham Met has banned female Muslim students from wearing the niqab, Shabana Mahmood MP said:

"I am shocked to hear that Birmingham Met has banned female Muslim students from wearing the veil. For those that chose to wear the full veil, it is an important article of faith.

"I would like to know how many students are affected and a full explanation as to why the compromise suggested by students at the College that the veil is removed for security staff to check and verify identity before being put back on was not accepted by the College.

"I am deeply concerned that other colleges may follow suit as a result of which increasing numbers of women will be locked out of education and skills training - we must not allow this to happen.

"Birmingham Met College is a popular and well regarded institution with a diverse student body, which is precisely why I am seeking an urgent meeting with the College to discussion how we can sort this out.

"The questions which I am seeking urgent clarification on are:

What security concerns prompted this policy?
How many students are affected?
What are the details of the consultation that was done with niqab wearing students?
What discussions have taken place with the local authority, the police and other education establishments?
What discussions have taken place with local faith leaders?"