(Photo courtesy of the Armidale Express)
Ban the burqa?—some would say it is politically incorrect to even raise the subject, but it is a conversation that Australia must get into. Should the political attire of a segment of Australians prevail in our Westernised society especially if it prevents community cohesion and causes road safety and security concerns?
Security people across the board admit that anyone could be under that burqa. Australia has already had its first burqa bank heist. They argue that if we have banned full face helmets from entering many premises for security reasons —the law about facial visibility should apply unilaterally. It is a solid argument as we are a democracy and equality is a core value of Australia.
We are not the first country to consider this ban
France, was the first European country to ban the public use of face covering veils in 2011.
The Belgian government introduced a similar ban in 2011.
In Spain the city of Barcelona along with a dozen other cities to have banned the burqa in public spaces such as council buildings, markets and libraries since 2010.
Covering the face in public in Italy has been illegal since the 1970s against because of security issues.
Germany, Russia and the Netherlands are adopting burqa bans again for security and driver safety reasons
Since 1981, women in Tunisia have been prohibited from wearing Islamic dress, including headscarves, in schools or government offices. The president described the headscarf as a “sectarian form of dress which had come into Tunisia uninvited.” Other officials explained that Islamic dress was being promoted by extremists who exploited religion for political aims.
In 2006, in neighbouring Morocco, a picture of a mother and daughter wearing headscarves was removed from a textbook. The education minister explained, “This issue isn’t really about religion, it’s about politics … the headscarf for women is a political symbol in the same way as the beard is for men.”
On July 18, 2010, Syria became the latest Muslim state to ban full face veils in some public places, barring female students from wearing the full face cover on Syrian university campuses. The Syrian minister of higher education indicated that the face veil ran counter to Syrian academic values and traditions.
So what do Australians think about this issue.
The Q Polls show us that the issue does divide along party lines. The Greens and Labor being less likely to be in favour of any burqa ban and the Nationals at 80% (not shown), LIBs and PUP being most for the ban on burqas. This Poll was taken in 2013 by Roy Morgan.
On Thursday morning after a discussion on the matter brought about by Jacqui Lambie’s controversial anti burqa stand on Sunrise TV program, the first of our newspaper polls emerged from the Sydney Morning Herald. It finished at 8.30 that night.
The ABC Drum Poll then followed with their own version of the burqa debate specifically to do with burqas in Parliament house.
(Again a pro banning result.)
Then Fairfax via a Queensland paper—the Armidale Express, decided to run their own poll on Friday, with another pro ban result.
Now this morning we find the The Age is doing yet another one—I guess these papers are just going to keep going until they get the result they want.
From our perspective it is a political argument NOT a cultural or religious argument. Only modest dress is required from women by the Koran. However Political Islam —Sharia Law has specified this draconian attire for women.
We note in the Reliance of the Traveller—the Handbook of Sharia Law for Sunni Muslims, that it is very clear—hijabs and burqas are “Obligatory” clothing for women.
That is why we in the world witness as soon as a country adopts Sharia Law or are taken over by fundamentalist jihad groups like ISIS, the women are immediately coerced into “covering up”.
Maybe we should consider giving Islamic women a break and insist they taste the freedom of being fully self expressed by banning all forms of this oppressive political garb from our shores. We are after all a democracy under English/Australian Law not Islamic Law.