Muslim Women Wearing Veils

An exclusive poll by Ipsos MORI for ITV's Tonight Show shows that the British public believe Muslim women have a right to wear a veil - but not in the classroom, on television or on the beat.

Muslim Women Wearing Veils

An exclusive poll by Ipsos MORI for ITV's Tonight Show shows that the British public believe Muslim women have a right to wear a veil — but not in the classroom, on television or on the beat.

Very few people claim to feel frightened or intimidated by women wearing a veil (14% of the public say they do), but the majority of the public think Muslim women are segregating themselves by wearing a veil (61%) and they are a clear statement of separation and difference (59%).

Technical details

Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,023 British adults aged 18+ on 11th October 2006. Fieldwork was conducted by telephone. Data are weighted to reflect the national population profile.

Q1 As you may have seen or heard, the Labour Cabinet Minister Jack Straw recently suggested that Muslim women concealing their faces in veils is bad for race relations. I now want to read to you a number of statements people have made about his comments and for each one I read out please tell me to what extent you agree or disagree with them? Base: All adults aged 18+

  Strongly agree Tend to agree Neither agree nor disagree Tend to disagree Strongly disagree Refused Don't know
  % % % % % % %
Jack Straw was right to raise the issue of Muslim women wearing veils 35 24 7 14 17 * 2
Veils are a visible statement of separation and difference 33 25 9 16 13 1 2
Jack Straw's comments will damage race relations between communities 24 27 9 18 19 1 3
Muslim women should have the right to wear a veil 44 33 6 7 9 1 1
I feel frightened or intimidated by women wearing a veil 7 7 9 23 52 * 1
By wearing a veil Muslim women are segregating themselves 36 25 7 16 13 1 2
Children at schools in the UK should be allowed to wear Islamic dress. For example headscarves or other religious headgear 30 30 4 11 22 1 2
I understand why some Muslim women wear a veil 38 36 6 7 10 * 3
Television Newsreaders should be allowed to wear a veil when reading the news 14 18 6 16 43 1 2
I would be happy to be seen by a GP who wears a veil 28 24 6 12 28 1 1
Teachers should be allowed to wear a veil at work 17 18 8 16 38 1 1
Police women should be allowed to wear a veil at work 14 15 7 16 45 * 1
In an election, I would be less likely to vote for a candidate if she wore a veil than if she did not 27 15 9 17 29 1 3

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