16 April 2011
The Muslim Council of Britain, supposedly representing all Muslim groups and voices in the UK, has published a policy statement on their website saying that it is obligatory for Muslim women to cover their face. The statement read: “We advise all Muslims to exercise extreme caution on this issue, since denying any part of Islam may lead to disbelief. Not practising something enjoined by Allah and his Messenger… is a shortcoming. Denying it is much more serious.” The statement was signed by 27 “Islamic groups and scholars”, all male, including a spokesman of the extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir.
Haras Rafiq, of the moderate Muslim think tank Centri, said that by this statement “the MCB have put themselves at the opposite extreme of the spectrum”. The debate stirred up at the time of the implementation of the French face-veil ban.