Sending shockwaves among Muslim students and staff, a leading British university has banned Islamic face-veil, or niqab, inside its campus, citing security reasons.
"It upsets me that we are being discriminated against,” a 17-year-old Muslim student at Birmingham Metropolitan College, who did not want to be named, told The Telegraph.
"It's disgusting. It is a personal choice and I find it absolutely shocking that this has been brought in at a college in Birmingham city centre when the city is so multicultural and so many of the students are Muslim.
"I don't think my niqab prevents me from studying or communicating with anyone - I've never had any problems in the city before."
Citing security reasons, Birmingham has issued a ban on face covering to be applied on all students, staff and visitors.
The college managing claimed that the ban, which applies from the beginning of this school year, aims at making Individual ‘easily identifiable at all times’, and providing a ‘safer’ and welcoming learning environment.
"We have a very robust equality, diversity and inclusion policy at Birmingham Metropolitan College but we are committed to ensuring that students are provided with a safe and welcoming learning environment whilst studying with us,” Dame Christine Braddock, the college’s principal told the Birmingham Mail.
"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.”
While hijab is an obligatory code of dress for Muslim women, the majority of Muslim scholars agree that a woman is not obliged to wear the face veil.
Scholars believe it is up to women to decide whether to take on the veil or burqa, a loose outfit covering the whole body from head to toe and wore by some Muslim women.