The president of a Liverpool women’s Muslim group has spoken out over the government’s controversial proposal to ban the veil.Farida Laeeq, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, has called for Prime Minister David Cameron to spend more time talking to women before introducing measures, she says, would limit personal choice.Mr Cameron has supported measures to ban women from wearing Hijab veils in schools, courts and other British institutions – in a measure, he claims, would promote integration between faiths.As part of the new plans, ministers will pledge to outlaw gender segregation during meetings in public buildings amid concerns that some Muslim organisations are forcing women to sit separately.But Mrs Laeeeq criticised the measure saying how a person dresses in a democratic society should not be dictated.Mrs Laeeq said: “The UK is a beacon of freedom of choice so we, as Muslim women, strongly feel that men and women should be free to choose where they would like to sit.
“Is that not better than the Government imposing restrictions or limitations on personal choice? The Government should at least consult Muslim women and ask their views.”The president says women from the association have no objections over showing their faces on matters of security.She added: “Our experience is that Ahmadiyya Muslim women have excelled in the UK in their education careers and become integrated and active members of society whilst abiding by their faith and wearing the Hijab.
“If the Government seeks to remove the Hijab or creates conditions to make it difficult for Muslim women to continue with their work or education, then it would deny the UK of a talented and loyal workforce.“Such a motive would stifle opportunities for educated Muslim women and be a loss to the nation.“Serving the nation and abiding by the teachings of Islam are not mutually exclusive.”The Ahmadiyya community says while it welcomes support for migrants to learn English, they are concerned about what dress requirements may be imposed following Mr Cameron’s announcement.Last week, the Government announced a £20m language fund, specifically targeting Muslim women. The Prime Minister reported that one in five, 22%, speak little or no English.According to Islam the standard of basic Hijab requires a Muslim woman to cover her head, hair and chin.