A British Muslim woman was barred from attending a parents' evening at her son's school when she refused to remove her niqab, a full-face veil.
Alarabiya reported Maroon Rafique was apprehended by security staff at The Manchester College, and told the college imposed a ban on full face veils for the security of teachers and children. Mrs Rafique said "I was really upset because whenever I’ve visited the college before there’s never been a problem, in fact the tutors have been welcoming and friendly."
According to the Daily Mail Mrs Rafique has worn the niqab for seven years. She said "I’m born in this country and British. Why should what I wear offend anyone? I didn’t want to make any fuss. All I wanted was to find out the information to help my son go to university." She added "I do get abuse every now and again in the street, which I just have to deal with. However, I was very surprised when I was treated this way by the college."
Her son, 18-year-old Awais, said "It was really embarrassing when they told her she couldn’t come in. We’ve never, ever been told about any rule about what parents can wear."
According to the BBC "There is no ban on Islamic dress in the UK, but schools are allowed to forge their own dress code after a 2007 directive which followed several high-profile court cases." The Manchester College chooses to operate a dress code that allows them to identify all individuals easily for safety and security.
The college said it is taking the incident concerning Mrs Rafique seriously, saying "Our dress code is reviewed through our quality improvement group and we will take this situation into account at the next review."