Muslim students in Stourbridge and Brierley Hill banned from wearing the veil (From Stourbridge News)
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Muslim students in Stourbridge and Brierley Hill banned from wearing the veil
1:00pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in News
MUSLIM students in Stourbridge and Brierley Hill have been banned from wearing veils and hajibs by Birmingham Metropolitan College.
Due to the controversial take over of Stourbridge College by B-Met earlier this year students at the Hagley Road and Venture Way campuses now have to adhere to the huge Birmingham college’s diktats and rules.
The move has sparked outrage in the Muslim community in Birmingham with MPs, councillors and religious leaders condemning the move as “a backward step”.
Birmingham councillor Waseem Zafaar lead the criticisms against B-Met College.
He said: “What's fundamental to me is no one should dictate to anyone else whether to cover or uncover.
“We value the freedom that allows us to wear what we want.
“I feel it's highly patronising – not to mention, anti-feminist – to take away that choice, or to say that a woman is only acceptable to the college if she dresses in the way you approve of.”
He added: “Now B-Met is a super college with campuses (which used to be individual colleges) across the region including Stourbridge and Brierley Hill, those that want to wear a veil are being excluded from provision within these and have less choice.”
However, B-Met, which now has 35,000 students, defended the banning of veils and hajibs claiming it is a security issue.
College principal Dame Christine Braddock DBE said: “We have a very robust equality, diversity and inclusion policy but we are committed to ensuring that students are provided with a safe and welcoming learning environment whilst studying with us.
“To ensure that safeguarding is a priority, we have developed our policy alongside student views to ensure we keep them safe.
“This needs individuals to be easily identifiable at all times when they are on college premises and this includes the removal of hoodies, hats, caps and veils so that faces are visible."
She added: “All prospective and progressing students, as well as staff, have been advised of the policy, which will mean everyone allowed on the premises can understand and know each other in a safe environment.”
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