According to reports that have appeared in the press,
a Muslim mother from West London has launched legal action against her daughter’s
school after she was BANNED from wearing a veil on the premises.
This has been reported in The Guardian.
Rachida Serroukh, who is 37 years old and has three children,
has decided to take the action against Holland Park
School where her 11-year-old daughter is due to start in September.
According to Rachida, when she recently visited the school she was taken to one side by
a member of staff and told that it was against school policy to wear any sort of face coverings on the site.
Rachida herself has said that she has worn the religious face covering for the last 14 years.
Although there is no UK-wide restriction on wearing a Muslim veil or similar face covering,
naturally it is down to individual institutions to decide about whether or not they allow them on their own premises.
The deputy headteacher of the school Ross Wilson has been in touch with Rachida to say that it is a ‘health and safety issue’ regarding the need to be able to quickly identify any individual who may be on the school premises.
According to the article, Rachida replied: “How are you able to justify banning the face veil for all which come onto school grounds? I had shown my face prior to coming onto school grounds therefore security cannot have been a cause for concern.”
This ‘test case’ is now going to focus on whether or not this is a case of religious discrimination.
Her solicitor Attiq Malik has said: “The government constantly talks about British values. To me, those values include diversity and multiculturalism. If a school in London is doing this, what might be happening elsewhere?”
It will be interesting to see the outcome of this test case, because the result could have huge consequences for similar situations for many years to come.
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