British candidate wants to ban sharia courts, prohibit Muslim veil in public places

A UK Independence Party candidate is calling for a ban on Muslim women wearing veils in public.

In a speech in London on Monday, UKIP leadership hopeful Lisa Duffy was also expected to call for shutting down Islamic faith schools and prohibiting sharia courts in Britain, The Guardian reported.

Duffy, who called for prohibiting veils shopping centers, public transportation and other public places, said her plans are designed to help Muslims integrate into British society.

“Muslims who were born in this country … are as British as I am and I simply want them to feel as British as I do,” she said.

Though Duffy was not calling for a complete ban on the veil, she said she would lead the UKIP party with a “show your face in public” policy.

“On our public transport networks, in public buildings, banks, stores and shopping precincts — all those places where teenagers are told to take their hoodies down and where motorcyclists are expected to remove their helmets— it is only reasonable to expect everyone to show their faces,” she said.

“Again, it is about making sure there is one law for all, rather than making an exception for a community because we are frightened of causing [offense]. There is no [offense] to be taken if all are treated equally,” Duffy said, adding that the rule should apply “just as much to the retinues accompanying Middle Eastern princes to London as it will to Muslim women living in Britain.”

Duffy also demanded closing Islamic faith schools until Islamist terrorism is dealt with. She also wants a “complete and comprehensive ban” on sharia courts in the United Kingdom, according to the Guardian.

Duffy’s rival, UKIP Member of the European Parliament Bill Etheridge has launched his campaign as the “unity candidate” and warned against appearing “small-minded.”

“I am proposing that as a party we focus on our policies, cementing libertarianism into our DNA,” Etheridge said. “That means not focusing on small issues like Islam which makes us look small-minded — I’m not chasing the bigot vote.”

Duffy characterized the veil as “a symbol of aggressive separatism that can only foster extremism,” claiming it’s often “forced on women by men who view them as their property.”

“Why should I, as a white, Christian woman, effectively enjoy greater civil and human rights and freedoms than others?” Duffy asked. “My ambition is that everyone, from every community, should be able to enjoy the same rights and have the same independent control over their lives and their bodies as I do.”

Six candidates, including Duffy and Etheridge, are vying for leadership of UKIP, the right-wing, anti-EU party that played a part in pushing the U.K. referendum to leave the European Union in June.

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Frieda Powers

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