Wellington: A Muslim scholar and jurist has entered New Zealand`s ongoing ‘burqas-on-buses debate’ saying that Muslim women should take off their face veils.
The debate had erupted in May when two Muslim women were not allowed to enter buses in Auckland because they were wearing face veils.
Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, who is visiting New Zealand to give lectures on anti-extremism and tolerance, said that ‘covering the face, according to the Koran, is not mandatory’.
He said that strictures around covering the body applied to the head and body ‘except the hands, face and feet’.
“For women living here, it’s not a Koranic obligation. They should follow the law of the land,” Stuff.co.nz quoted Tahir-ul-Qadri, as saying.
At a meeting of Muslim women conducted in the wake of the controversy arose, a spokeswoman, Regina Rasheed, said it was a personal choice whether a woman chose to wear a veil.
However, Tahir-ul-Qadri said citizenship was a ‘covenant’.
He pointed out that face-veils were used in the Muslim world where women were harassed and felt uneasy.
“Women [in New Zealand] do not feel uneasy,” he said.