BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 10:04 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 11:04 UK

UKIP makes 'ban the burka' call

Lord Pearson on 5 live Breakfast phone-in

The leader of UKIP has said the Islamic veil, the burka, should be banned as it represents fear and is a security risk.

Speaking in a phone-in on BBC 5 live, Lord Pearson said there was a "problem" within Islam because some people used the Koran to justify terrorist acts.

He also said his love of stag hunting was "eco-friendly" as it controlled their population.

And he defended the party's "sod the lot of them" poster, saying it reflected the anger over MPs' expenses.

Speaking to Nicky Campbell, Lord Pearson said: "I constantly say to my mild Muslim friends, listen, you must realise these days, when we use the word 'terrorism' we are almost always referring to a problem which comes from violent Islam.

"You must realise that we do not hate you, but we fear your violent co-religionists and we have good reason to do that. And we see the burka in public and the niqab as a symbol of that and we fear it. The hatred is coming towards us."

Lord Pearson said there was an inherent problem in the religion.

"The later verses in the Koran hold sway over the earlier verses and as the Prophet Muhammad moved through life he did live a more violent life, what he said later tended to be more violent."

On stag hunting, Lord Pearson said it was eco-friendly, adding that venison is very tasty "if it's properly hung".

"We have to control them because they're too many in number and if we don't shoot them they die of starvation," he said.

UKIP believes they are on target to more than double their share of the vote in the election.

A spokeswoman said they expected to get 5% of votes in the poll on Thursday, up from 2.2% in 2005.

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