A Ukip leadership candidate today denied she was “chasing the bigot vote” as she called for a ban on Muslim faith schools and the full veil in public places.
Lisa Duffy claimed she was not “attacking a minority” after delivering a speech focused on how she felt British Muslims should integrate into society.
Duffy, whose leadership bid is supported by former Ukip Deputy Chairman Suzanne Evans, said all Muslim faith schools should be shut down until “the Islamist terror threat is securely in remission.”
She also argued the UK should adopt a “show your face in a public place” rule, which would mean a ban on the full veil.
In a dig at Duffy, rival leadership challenger Bill Etheridge said the Ukip must “not focusing on small issues like Islam which makes us look small-minded – I’m not chasing the bigot vote.”
Speaking in London this morning, Duffy denied she was trying to “drive hatred”.
She said: “What I’m setting out is a very positive vision, this is not about singling out. This is about making sure we have a well-rounded community, a community that has an opportunity for all.
Duffy added: “It’s not about trying to drive hatred, it’s not attacking a minority it’s about trying to work within their communities to develop opportunity for all and equality for all, and that’s really where I’m coming from today.”
In setting out her bans on the face veil and Islamic schools, Duffy argued she was trying come up with a solution “that will protect British society and safeguard our values, our way of life, our security and our cohesiveness.”
She also claimed such measures would “help ensure young British Muslims are able to fulfill their potential within our society, and have the same freedoms that are second nature to most of us.”
On banning the face veil:
“Under my leadership, UKIP will call for people to ‘show your face in a public place’. Bonds between neighbours and communities can only be fostered if people at least have a chance to get to know each other, to say hello and nice to see you.
“The veil is, in my view, a symbol of aggressive separatism that can only foster extremism. And let’s face it, the veil is often – though I realise by no means always – forced on women by men who view them as their property.”
On banning Islamic faith schools:
“Until the Islamist terror threat is securely in remission, Islamic faith schools should be closed. Some may see this as discriminatory, but it is not. If any other faith community becomes the host – unwitting or not – of a significant threat to mainstream society born out of separatism then I can assure you I will campaign for that community’s faith schools to be closed as well.
It is not acceptable for children’s minds to be filled with sexist ideas that women are not as significant as men, for instance; that homosexuality is sinful and should be criminalised; that sharia law is superior to British law; or that the Jews are engaged in a world-wide conspiracy against Muslims. I do not want extremist or anti-Western views to go unchallenged in any school.”