Polls show widespread unease about Islamic face coverings
Posted: Tue, 24 Sep 2013
Two recent Yougov polls asked questions about the burka, niqab and hijab. The first for The Sun asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement "The burka should be banned in Britain." 66% agreed and 27% disagreed.
Pollsters then asked "So long as they are not harming anyone else people should be free to wear whatever they want in a public place, including the burka." 38% agreed and 54% disagreed.
63% thought employers ought to have the right to ban the burka in the workplace, with 23% thinking they shouldn't have the right to ban it.
The Sunday Times poll asked whether respondents would support or oppose women's right to wear a hijab (headscarf covering the hair). 25% would support a ban while 65% would oppose it.
The same question was asked about the niqab (face veil) which resulted in 66% supporting a ban with 24% opposing a ban. For the burka the result was 67% supporting a ban with 23% opposing.
When asked whether schools should be allowed to ban students wearing niqabs or burkas, 76% said they should have the right to ban them with 16% saying they shouldn't. In hospitals 81% said they would support a ban on staff wearing niqabs or burkas with 11% saying they wouldn't.
In court only 6% thought a defendant should be able to wear a veil over her face throughout the whole trial; 35% said they should be made to take it off while giving evidence but allowed to wear it the rest of the time. 54% said the veil should be removed for the whole trial.