Survey – Banning the Burkha and Face Veil in the UK

(1) ComRes
(2) Angus Reid
(3) Gallup Coexist Index 2009

ComRes poll carried out on behalf of The Independent newspaper

ComRes telephoned 1,016 GB adults on 27-28 January 2010. Data were weighted to be representative of all adults.

% Agreeing or disagreeing with following statements
Statement Agree Disagree Don’t Know
There should be no legal restrictions on wearing a burkha/face veil 43 52 4
It should be illegal to wear a burkha/face veil in places like banks and airports 64 33 4
Schools should be allowed to prevent teachers from wearing burkhas/face veils if they wish 61 35 4
It should be illegal to wear a burkha/face veil in any public place 36 59 5

Angus Reid Global Monitor

Angus Reid Public Opinion carried out online interviews with 2,001 British adults. They were conducted on Jan. 20 and Jan. 21, 2010. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.

% Agree or disagree with banning in public places
Style Agree Disagree Not sure
Hijab 22 75 4
Niqab 66 30 4
Burqa 72 23 4
% Agree or disagree with banning at airports
Style Agree Disagree Not sure
Hijab 34 63 3
Niqab 85 12 3
Burqa 87 10 3
Garments that conceal a woman’s face are an affront to British values
% Agree % Disagree % Not sure
67 25 8
The Government should not tell individuals what they can or cannot wear
% Agree % Disagree % Not sure
58 36 6

Gallup Coexist Index 2009

The 2009 Gallup Coexist Index survey involved 513, 506, and 504 interviews of French, German and British Muslims respectively and of 1006, 1011, and 1001 non-Muslims respectively.

The survey had several questions addressing what respondents understood by integration which referred to forms of dress such as headscarfs and veils.

Q. Many people are discussing the issue of “integration” of ethnic and religious minorities into society in this country. What does “integration” mean to you? To answer this, I will ask you a series of actions and you tell me if you think it is necessary or not necessary for minorities to do these things in order to integrate into society in this country.

Percentage of Muslims who say “it is necessary”. Removing the:
Nationality Headscarf Face veil Yarmulke Turban Large cross
French 22 32 23 23 24
German 6 29 10 11 11
British 3 12 1 3 2
Percentage of Non-Muslims who say “it is necessary”. Removing the:
Nationality Headscarf Face veil Yarmulke Turban Large cross
French 62 63 55 59 50
German 36 45 27 33 20
British 32 53 24 18 17
Percentage gap between Muslims and non-Muslims
Nationality Headscarf Face veil Yarmulke Turban Large cross
French 40 31 32 36 26
German 30 16 17 22 9
British 29 41 23 15 15

The British compared with the French and Germans appear more relaxed but clearly there is a huge gap of 41 percentage points between what British Muslims and other British people feel about the veil.

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