A prominent Church of England bishop said officials should have the power to ban face-covering veils in public, reopening an increasingly divisive debate in Britain on the Muslim garment.
In comments published Sunday, the bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, urged Muslim women not to wear the veil outside the home.
"It is fine if they want to wear the veil in private," he was quoted as saying by the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. "But there are occasions in public life when it is inappropriate for them to wear it."
Nazir-Ali, who was born in Pakistan, said authorities should have the power to ban the veil in some situations. Newspapers have reported that a male suspect in the shooting of a police officer may recently have escaped Britain dressed as a Muslim woman.