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Way In

A nation of burkhas

Wayinburka.jpgMore than a third of British people want to outlaw the wearing of burkhas in public, according to a poll by ComRes, and 64% believe it should be illegal in banks and air- ports.

On the other hand, 43% of people ques- tioned said there should be no legal restric- tions on the burkha. So whatever else the poll reveals about attitudes to Islam, it shows they're muddled, as at least 7% of people support both banning burkhas from certain places and having no restrictions at all.

Among those polled, islamophobia - or burkhaphobia - seems to increase with age, as one might expect, though perhaps more steeply than one would envisage. The proportion of those over 65 who want burkhas banned from all public places is almost four times the proportion of 18-24- year-olds.

There are marked regional variations as well, with the north of England being the most hostile, and Scotland, then the south- east the most tolerant. The survey also found that 61% think that schools should be allowed to prevent teachers from wearing burkhas.

The poll was conducted for the Independent at the end of January, with 1,016 people. Read the full results of the survey here.