Ramsey councillor calls for ban on Muslim schools and face-veils as she launches leadership challenge

UKIP leadership hopeful, Lisa Duffy

UKIP leadership hopeful, Lisa Duffy - Credit: Archant

Ramsey councillor, Lisa Duffy has officially launched her bid to become the next leader of UKIP by calling for a ban on Muslim women wearing veils in public.

The mother-of-six caught the attention of the national press today (Monday) after calling for a ‘total ban’ on Muslim faith schools and Sharia law, while also saying that burkas should not be worn in high security areas.

Ms Duffy is bidding to succeed Nigel Farage as leader of UKIP.

“We need to be very tough on radicalisation and there is clear proof out there that Muslim faith schools are a place where it starts,” she told The Hunts Post.

“I would be saying the same thing if it was in a Christian school. I am not attacking an individual religion.”

Ms Duffy said she would like to see children who attend Muslim faith schools placed into mainstream state schools instead, and that it is important for everyone’s communities to work together.

“We have to be honest and I think the Muslim community where they have these schools need to be honest as well and need to work with our community and we need to talk about it,” she continued.

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“It’s about equality and fairness and working together and there should not be frictions within our community, and we should feel just as comfortable working with Muslims in our community as Christians and other religions,” she said.

Keen for communities to unite, she also said more needs to be done to eradicate the perception of fear about immigration, including asking some Muslims to not always wear a burka.

“There is an unspoken fear [about immigration] and I was round doing a surgery and had people coming in saying they were on an aeroplane and someone was wearing a burka and felt fearful,” she added.

“There is a perception and we have to get over that. If we were talking face-to-face you would be able to tell how I felt by my face, but when you have a burka on you can’t see that.

“I’m not asking for a blanket ban, but it has been UKIP policy for some time that you should uncover your face in areas of high security, just like a bike helmet. It’s important that they understand why we ask them to uncover their faces.”

She also said that educating youngsters about religion is important for dissolving fear.

“One of things we need to look at is religious education in our country and that all faiths are discussed and taught to give our young people to make their decision on what religion, if any, to follow.”

Ms Duffy is also keen to start conversations about her “positive vision” on Muslim women’s freedoms in the UK.

She added: “What I am looking for its equality, fairness and working together so we can have a harmonious community. That’s really important to me.”