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20 February 2010

Banning the Burkha and Face Veil in the UK – Recent Surveys

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

(1) 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
StatementAgree DisagreeDon't Know
There should be no legal restrictions on wearing a burkha/face veil43524
It should be illegal to wear a burkha/face veil in places like banks and airports64334
Schools should be allowed to prevent teachers from wearing burkhas/face veils if they wish61354
It should be illegal to wear a burkha/face veil in any public place 36595

(2) 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
StyleAgreeDisagreeNot sure

% Agree or disagree with banning at airports
StyleAgreeDisagreeNot sure

Garments that conceal a woman’s face are an affront to British values
% Agree% Disagree% Not sure

The Government should not tell individuals what they can or cannot wear
% Agree% Disagree% Not sure

(3) 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:
NationalityHeadscarfFace veilYarmulkeTurbanLarge cross

Percentage of Non-Muslims who say "it is necessary". Removing the:
Nationality HeadscarfFace veilYarmulkeTurbanLarge cross

Percentage gap between Muslims and non-Muslims
Nationality HeadscarfFace veilYarmulkeTurbanLarge cross

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.