The far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP) has pledged in its general election manifesto to ban the burqas or the full face veils in public places, citing among others a bizarre reason that they “prevent intake of essential vitamin D from sunlight”.
“Clothing that hides identity, puts up barriers to communication, limits employment opportunities, hides evidence of domestic abuse, and prevents intake of essential vitamin D from sunlight, is not liberating,” the UKIP election manifesto says.
The Paul Nuttall-led UKIP broke ranks with the other major parties yesterday by resuming national campaigning with the launch of its manifesto just days after the Manchester concert bombing that claimed 22 lives.
The UKIP pledged that it would introduce a ban on the wearing of the “dehumanising” burqa and full-face coverings in public places, The Telegraph reported.
“Face coverings such as these are barriers to integration. We will not accept these dehumanising symbols of segregation and oppression, nor the security risks they pose,” it says. Suggestions that UKIP is undermining liberty with this policy are absurd, the manifesto argues.
“There is no human right to conceal your identity. If anything prevents liberty, it is the niqab, by preventing women from being perceived as individuals in their own right,” it says.
“We want to open opportunities to all women so that they can participate fully in life and in the workplace,” it states. However, the burqa ban was not the only eyebrow-raising promise in the manifesto.
The party also pledged to introduce a “social attitudes” test as part of a points-based immigration system which would stop people who believe women or gay people are “second-class citizens” from entering the country.