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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 December 2006, 11:19 GMT
Bishop calls for veil legislation
Bishop Nazir-Ali
Bishop Nazir-Ali has security concerns about the Muslim veil
Legislation should be introduced giving some officials the power to remove the veil worn by Muslim women, the Bishop of Rochester has said.

The Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali told the Sunday Telegraph that "an unprecedented security situation" called for such legislation.

He also said people were "too worried about offending Muslims".

Mr Nazir-Ali has previously said jobs like teaching could require Muslim women not to wear full-face veils.

His comments come after it was claimed that a murder suspect may have fled the UK in a Muslim veil.

Opposition MPs have called for an inquiry into the claim about Mustaf Jamma, wanted in connection with the murder of Bradford Pc Sharon Beshenivsky.

But the Home Office said the claim was unlikely to be true as women can be asked to lift veils in identity checks.

'Inappropriate'

Mr Nazir-Ali, an Anglican bishop born in Pakistan, told the Sunday Telegraph that the Muslim community must increase its efforts to integrate into British society.

"It is fine if they want to wear the veil in private," he said.

"But there are occasions in public life when it is inappropriate for them to wear it."

And in an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Mr Nazir-Ali said Christmas was in danger of being destroyed by "thoughtless bureaucracy and the desire to be politically correct".

He said there were people in "Whitehall and town hall... who want to write Christ out of Christmas altogether".




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