There is no need to “panic” about Muslim primary school teachers wearing the full-face veil in class, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams, has insisted. He said concerns that young children would struggle to learn from a woman whose face was covered were “largely misplaced” and that there are other ways to “read” what people are saying. David Cameron rejected the idea of a ban but said he would “back up” schools and courts that ask women to remove veils.

Dr Sheikh Hojjat Ramzy welcomed remarks by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams that fears about the increasing use of the niqab in Britain are ‘misplaced’ but said young children nevertheless need to see their teachers’ facial expressions.

He said that even for the most strict Muslims education must be “paramount” and, when it comes to communicating with small children, facial expressions are essential because “a picture paints a thousand words”.

Dr. Sheikh Ramzy states that “although the words of the former Archbishop Rowan Williams greatly help dispel some of the hysteria that often surrounds the full face veil, in my opinion as an Islamic scholar, educationalist and former Chair of the Muslim Council of Britain’s Education Committee, I do not recommend that teachers wear the full face veil in primary school classrooms while they are teaching.”

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