A MUSLIM group in Oxford has backed controversial proposals from UKIP to ban full face veils in public.
Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford director Dr Taj Hargey stressed his organisation did not endorse the party's 'right-wing agenda' but supported the 'sensible proposal' to ban the burka and niqab.
He did not comment on other plans unveiled by UKIP's leader Paul Nuttall today, which include a moratorium on the creation of new Islamic faith schools, banning sharia law and calls to prosecute parents of girls who are subjected to female genital mutilation. These were branded 'full-throttled Islamophobia' by critics.
Dr Hargey, Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation, said in a statement: "By banning the burka, Britain would belatedly follow the courageous lead of France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Morocco, Chad, Niger and other nations in outlawing this hideous tribal rag that has nothing to do with Islam, but only besmirches the Holy Qur’an.
"Instead of the liberal pandering to burgeoning Muslim extremism in the UK – which champions facial concealment as a religious requirement and ‘personal choice’ – the British public should be advised that there is no obligation for female facial coverings in Islam’s divine scripture.
"This nefarious Wahhabi-imported fad from Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and other backward places, derives not from Islam’s sacred text, but from the highly-suspect patriarchal sayings, hadith, of the Prophet Muhammad that were compiled some 300 years after his death."
He added: "If the major political parties do not have the foresight or fortitude to tackle this toxic gateway ideology that reflects a virulent and militant shari’ah contagion that is gaining ground in this country, then Ukip should be saluted for doing so."
Speaking this morning, Mr Nuttall insisted his party's plans would 'promote integration' and he believed Ukip was '10 years ahead of our time' on such issues.
He added: "Today's message will be a message of positivity, it will not be about negativity.
"What we will say today is not designed to sow the seeds of division.
"It is about promoting integration in British society."
But Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said: "Ukip's 'integration agenda' is an assault on multiculturalism and an attack on Muslims. It's full-throttled Islamaphobia.
"Now that the referendum has passed Nuttall's party is desperately scrabbling around for relevance and seem to have settled upon attacks on Muslims and fringe far-right politics as their new home.
"In this election the Green Party will be standing up to the politics of hate spewing from Ukip and putting forward a vision for a multicultural, welcoming Britain which we can all be proud of."