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09/12/2016

Poll: British public heavily in favour of burqa ban

UK & Europe

Poll: British public heavily in favour of burqa ban

Burkas are a rare sight in the German capital. Berlin, August 2014.

[Metropolico.org/Flickr]

Twice as many British people support a ban on women wearing a burqa than oppose one, with a majority also in favour of outlawing the burkini, according to a poll published Thursday (31 August).

Some 57% of the 1,668 adults polled by YouGov said they supported “a law that bans people from wearing the burqa in the UK”, with 36% “strongly supporting” the ban compared with only 10% who were “strongly opposed”.

The poll comes following a row in France about the banning of the burkini in around 30 coastal resorts in the Riviera.

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The European Commission today (25 August) dodged questions over France’s controversial burkini ban but said there was nothing to stop EU officials wearing a burka to work.

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The country’s highest administrative court later suspended the ruling after it was challenged by rights groups.

Some 46% of British people would support a similar ban on the burkini, against 30% who were opposed, with 18% neither for or against.

Support for the ban on the burqa, worn by women in some Islamic traditions to hide the body and face, was uniform across supporters of all political parties, although strongest among Conservative and UK Independence Party backers.

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The only demographics to oppose the ban were 18-24 year-olds – by a margin of 6% – and those who voted to remain in the European Union, but only by a margin of 3%.

The ban was also supported across the regions, with 51% of Londoners and 63% of northerners in favour.

A similar YouGov survey in Germany found 62% in support of a burqa ban, but another in the United States found that 59% believed “people should be allowed to decide for themselves what to wear”.