Girl Loses Veil Challenge, UK 

niqabSky News 

A 12-year-old Muslim girl has lost her High Court challenge to her school's ban on wearing the niqab full-face veil. 

Lawyers for the girl and her father had argued the ban was "irrational" and a breach of human rights.  

But Mr Justice Silber rejected their plea for a judicial review.

After the judgement, the girl's lawyers said she and her family were "bitterly disappointed" and were considering an appeal. 

The girl, referred to as X as she is protected by an anonymity order, argued the ban thwarted her "legitimate expectation" she would be allowed to wear the niqab. 

It also breached her right to freedom of "thought, conscience and religion" under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

The Buckinghamshire school - also not identified - told X last September, when she started wearing the niqab on reaching puberty, that it was not acceptable.  

It said teachers believed the veil, which covers all the face except the eyes, would make communication and learning difficult. 

It is thought X is the only pupil among the school's 1,300 pupils demanding to wear the full-face veil when taught by male teachers or in the presence of male staff. 

She is currently receiving tuition at home and has been offered a place at a different school which permits the niqab, but she wants to go back to her original school. 

The school contested the case with the backing of The Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, which stresses that not all Muslims agree with the wearing of the niqab. 

The girl's solicitor, Shah Qureshi, said after the ruling: "This is a case about religious tolerance and the freedom to practice your religion as long as it does not interfere with others."