Should we ban the burqa?

Pauline Hanson wants a plebiscite on banning the burqa, saying it has already been banned or restricted in many countries, including Muslim countries.

The One Nation leader, who caused controversy in August by wearing a burqa into the Senate chamber, has described the burqa as "offensive".

Federal Attorney-General George Brandis labelled her action a stunt.

But a burqa ban has gained support from conservative crossbencher Cory Bernardi who described the garment as a "flag of fundamentalism" and suggested terror threats could be identified by targeting those wearing the garment.

Another crossbencher, Jacqui Lambie, introduced a private bill to parliament this week seeking a ban on full-face coverings in Commonwealth jurisdictions, such as airports as well as the ACT and Northern Territory.

Should the burqa be banned? Or is the wearing of it a democratic right? 

Comments   135 Comments

Maggie H: "How many Aussies have been killed by Muslims?" I have absolutely no idea! "And how many Aussies have been killed by Aussies." Ditto! But who has killed Aussies only because they were not Muslims? Only Muslims.

"Please cite how many Muslim burqa-wearing women have been involved in terror anywhere." I've already given these details - just read my earlier comments! Do I have to keep repeating these facts?

I'm sorry Maggie H, but I find your comments very aggressive and tiresome. If you aren't prepared to try to understand my comments, I have no intention of explaining them again!

Here is an excellent article for you to read: It is 'The Dying Art of Disagreement' by Bret Stephens (NY Times). As BG said below, it should be mandatory reading for all bloggers!

Further to Lorikeet's statement about accepting a diversity across a range of behaviors. Aren't we lucky to be able to look at what customs and foods immigration has brought to this country. We have been able to assimilate the good aspects to the benefit of all. We should not be forced to accept what is generally seen as not good. The tent like clothing of some extreme Muslims is generally seen by most as not good. And we are dealing with refugees who are seeking our support and protection whilst demanding we conform with their customs.

Under the Shar of Persia few women in the then Persia wore the tent like apparatus. He was deposed by a religious despot how had to demand women conform with his version of Islam under treat of punishment. That is how its use began to grow in our modern world.

Lorikeet, it isn’t that “we should be forced to accept everyone and everything”. We don’t have to insist that everyone must live according to “our” ways either. My philosophy is live and let live. Unless someone is harming another person or damaging the planet they should be pretty much entitled to live their lives in peace, without interference.

If you dig into my approach you will find gaps and inconsistencies; I admit that. We all have to obey the same laws and there has to be a reasonable social safety net for those most in need. But it is my general approach to life and it has served me well as a useful guide.

You can call it “left wing indoctrination” if you like and I am generally left of centre but I don’t see it in “left and right” terms. It is simply a matter of respect. Nobody is asking you to embrace the burqa, only to respect that some women do wear it for their own reasons. BG.

One more thing Anon, 25 Sep.

"Integration by any nationality in Australia is evident by the third generation, as evidenced by previous large influxes of European/Asian immigrants. Give them time please."

I made exactly the same point a couple of days ago in a reply to Extreme. I'm not sure why you're having a go at me about it. Cheers, BG.

Anon, 25 Sep: “BG and Bob B, 25 September, why do you try to speak for those Muslims who wear burqas? What right have you men to say how these women feel about their burqas. How many have you interviewed, and where are the results of your survey.”

I’m not speaking for Muslim women; I’m giving my opinion that women who wear burqas have done nothing to justify a ban on their garments. It’s a shame there don’t seem to be any Islamic voices on the blog giving their opinions first hand. The comments about humiliation came from a Muslim lady who went to a function at my wife’s church. I thought I made that clear. I also said a ban would be unnecessarily and unreasonably oppressive. Again, my opinion.

I’m not trying to dictate “white Christian values”. I’m actually an atheist; my wife is the Christian in the family. The point is about respecting differences, not enforcing assimilation.

Other than that, I agree with much of your post. BG.

JM: "Certain bloggers who describe the world climate experts as "climate alarmists" can't have much facts to back their case if they have to resort to puerile name-calling." You mean like anyone who has dared to question the CO2 orthodoxy has been labelled a "climate denier"? By your logic, the CO2 believers mustn't have "much facts to back their case" given their "puerile name-calling" for many long years now! Be careful - your flawed 'logic' cuts both ways!

BTW I don't know of any scientists who claim that there is no such thing as climate change! The debate is about how much CO2 is contributing the change (given climate changes in the past) and therefore whether economy-busting emissions reduction schemes are being applied too quickly - hence the link to the current base-load energy crisis. Everyone supports a gradual reduction of fossil fuel use and a gradual move to renewables - but fossil fuels currently supply around 75% of the world's energy supply.

BG: Yes, a good article by Bret Stephens. I also read the other excellent article which was championed by Janet Albrechtsen.

This is my main concern - the refusal by many to debate climate change theories. Anyone who questions the IPCC models in any way is just labelled a "climate denier", a highly offensive term associated with "Holocaust denier". As you say, the IPCC does review its models and adjusts accordingly - like they have recently as the warming has proven to be not as great as earlier predictions. There are in fact many equally reputable scientists who have concerns about how the climate change message has been handled - by opportunists like Al Gore.

Re "massaging" temperature records - a criticism directed at BOM - which it has responded to by updating recording devices.

BG: "Their children have a sharing of the old and the new and they are the ones who really integrate the family. Their grandkids are the ones who grow up in an integrated society." Sadly not always so.

I think banning the burqa would more likely liberate those forced to wear it. It would relieve them from oppression, not cause it. People on this blog have expressed various excellent reasons for a burqa ban. It's too bad lefties choose to ignore valid arguments, and favour this idea that we must "accept" diversity across a range of behaviours, whether or not they are good for the society.

I would like to challenge those belonging to "the new left" on their idea that we should be forced to accept everyone and everything, as if this ought to be the norm. There is no reason we should have to accept, tolerate or embrace ideology simply because the Greens want it that way.

It's amazing how many older people simply regurgitate left wing indoctrination and use it to castigate anyone who has not swallowed it hook, line and sinker. I do not blindly accept Climate Change ideologies pushed by either side of the argument, nor do I accept that Australia needs to embrace the anti-female burqa. This is Australia, not extremist Muslimia.

Regarding the comparison between tattoos and the burqa, most tattoos do not completely obscure a person's identity. They are generally not symbols of male domination and are mostly considered body art these days.

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