Keighley group says Prime Minister should consult Muslim women before adopting measures which restrict their rights

A KEIGHLEY Muslim group says Britain’s Prime Minister should spend more time talking to Muslim women before announcing new rules which would restrict their personal choices.Keighley’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association has responded to David Cameron’s comments that more Muslim women should speak English so they are less isolated and less receptive to extremist messages from groups such as Islamic State.

Mr Cameron’s comments were followed by Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw telling inspectors in England that they could fail schools for allowing face veils.He said inspectors could rate schools inadequate if wearing Islamic face veils are a “barrier to learning”. His stance was supported by the Government’s Department of Education.Munira Hafiz, president of Keighley’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, said: “Whenever there are security concerns or necessary reasons for identification then the Government or authorities have the right to ask women to show their face and we have no objection to that.

“However, our experience is that Ahmadi Muslim women have excelled not only in Keighley but across the UK in their education, careers and become integrated and active members of society whilst abiding by their faith and wearing their Hijab.”Here in Keighley Ahmadi Muslim women serve society as doctors, optometrists, pharmacists, teachers, teaching assistants and financial administrators.”They each play an active role within society by helping the elderly, feeding the homeless, fundraising for charity at the same time as pursuing successful careers and bringing up their children to be true servants of humanity.”

“While we would not encourage banning the veil in any circumstances, let us be clear that according to Islam the standard of basic Hijab requires a Muslim woman to cover her head, hair and chin. It’s not essential for the face to be covered.”Mrs Hafiz emphasised that Ahmadiyya Muslim community UK welcomed support for migrants to learn English, but expressed concern at how the Government’s approach to this measures could impact families and the rights of the child.New rules will mean that from October, people coming to the UK on a five-year spousal visa will have to take a test after two and a half years to show they are making efforts to improve their English.

Mr Cameron has said those who fail this test will have no guarantee that they’ll be able to stay in Britain.Mrs Hafiz said: “We agree all immigrants to the UK should seek to learn English – this is essential not only for people to integrate better in society, but to communicate with their own children and develop a closer relationship.“However to separate a parent from their child, through non-extension of a spouse visa, because the parent did not speak English proficiently would be wrong and would violate the human rights of the child.”