London, Mar 12(ANI): British politician Philip Hollobone has urged ministers to "seriously consider" banning burkhas in public, saying the full-face burkha was "oppressive and regressive" to advancement of women.
Addressing the Commons debate to mark this week's International Women's Day, Hollobone said: "This is Britain. We are not a Muslim country. Covering your face in public is strange and to many people both intimidating and offensive."
"How inappropriate and offensive it is for people to wear this apparel in the 21st century. In my view, and the view of my constituents, wearing the burkha is not an acceptable form of dress and the banning of it should be seriously considered," The Daily Express quoted Hollobone, as saying.
Hollobone further said that wearing burkhas goes against the British way of life.
"If we all went around wearing burkhas, our country would be a very sad place," he said.
However, earlier in the Commons debate, Pakistan-born Labour MP Mohammad Sarwar said: "I think that's the women's choice. Yes, there should be action taken against those who are forcing women to wear hijabs. But I don't think it's a big issue in this country and I don't think there's a need for this to be debated."
The comments came after opinion polls in Britain revealed strong support for restricting the wearing of burkhas in banks and airports, although there is less support for a ban in all public places and no demands for an outright ban.
According to Harris Poll, almost two-thirds of Britons think women should be barred from wearing the burkha in public.
Figures show that 57 per cent of people - Muslim and non-Muslim - say they would support a ban on the head-to-toe garment like the one being considered in France.
Moderate Muslims supported the move here, pointing out that the burkha had no justification in Islamic teachings.
In a poll for the Daily Express last year, 98 per cent of voters had also said that Britain should ban burkhas. (ANI)