Cabinet Minister Jack Straw has said he would prefer Muslim women not to wear veils which cover the face.
The Commons leader said he did not want to be "prescriptive" but he believed that covering people's faces could make community relations more difficult.
Mr Straw has said he asks Muslim women at his Blackburn constituency surgeries if they would mind removing veils.
Some Muslim women called his remarks insulting, but other Muslims said they understood his concerns....
"Communities are bound together partly by informal chance relations between strangers - people being able to acknowledge each other in the street or being able pass the time of day," he said.
"That's made more difficult if people are wearing a veil. That's just a fact of life.
"I understand the concerns but I hope, however, there can be a mature debate about this.
"I come to this out of a profound commitment to equal rights for Muslim communities and an equal concern about adverse development about parallel communities." [Link]
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