A Muslim student says she is "emotionally traumatised" after her local college prevented her from enrolling because she wore a veil.
Woman in veil
Wearing a veil is a choice and a right, says Shawana
Shawana Bilqes, 18, claims the decision by Burnley College has left her humiliated and has disrupted her studies.
Shawana told Sky News: "I was willing to take it off as a compromise for identification checks, security or whatever. But they said I couldn't wear it anywhere on the premises."
In a statement, college Principal John Smith insisted that unimpeded communication with students was impossible if the face was not fully visible.
"All members of the college community should be identifiable at all times when in the college," he said.
Shawana insists it is her own choice and right to wear the veil. She has been training as a cadet with Lancashire Police and says it has never been a problem to remove the veil in the classroom but wear it outside as long as it is practical.
Her 21-year-old sister Nadia, who also wears the veil and studies at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston told Sky News: "It's totally absurd to think it is glued to our face, the college can't hide behind the security excuse."
"We are law abiding British citizens. If someone asks us to remove it for identification purposes we will."
"Those politicians like Jack Straw who've discussed the veil have gone about it the wrong way - it's given everyone leeway to discriminate but that means it's seen as OK to attack anyone who wears the veil, which is a totally unacceptable situation."
Shawana is now trying to pursue her education elsewhere and hopes the setback will not prevent her from embarking on a medical career.
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|Yes - The veil hides her identity & is a security risk|
|No - Her religious beliefs outweigh the colleges policy|
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