The Burqa Debate Rages On…

Banning the burqa/niqab in Australia:

Since the most recent debacle involving two police officers and a niqab wearing Muslim woman (Carnita Matthews) hit the news, anti-Islam simpletons have been screaming for a ban for the burqa/niqab. Apparently, until now, a person wearing a burqa/niqab could refuse to lift their veil for a police officer on religious or cultural grounds. But, that did not suggest that they could simply walk away from a crime scene or investigation. Police have always had the power to demand that a person refusing to identify themselves wait until a female officer was present, or accompany the police officer back to the station.

Nonetheless, the ‘debate’ continues to rage around a few core arguments which are constantly thrown around by the rabid frothing racists. They are as follows:

1. Wearing the burqa is a security issue.

You’re allowed to enter the Australian Parliament wearing a balaclava if you want. And how many crimes have been committed by burqa/niqab wearing Muslim women in Australia?

2. You can use the burqa to rob a bank, so it should be banned.

If the burqa was banned, would people respect that legislation while robbing a bank? People who want to rob a bank are going to wear whatever the hell they want. Shall we ban cricket helmets, and beekeeper masks?

3. You can’t stop and talk to a person wearing a burqa on the street.

Well, yes you can. But who does that? And for that matter, who actually stops and speaks to anyone that they meet on the street and in the shopping centers?

4. Burqas are designed to appear anti-social.

Well let’s ban emos and goths. Let’s ban big bikie looking guys who have those hideous pubic beards on their faces, and those sagging cheap tattoos all over every inch of their bodies. Let’s ban drunken men. They look pretty anti-social as they’re either leaning out of a speeding car calling you a slut or poking your boyfriend in the chest for looking at them funny. Let’s ban punks. Anyone wearing a 12 inch mohawk, black leather, death metal band t-shirts and more metal than a teenage boy’s mouth is pretty anti-social looking. Anyone else we should ban or deny rights to? All of those people appear pretty anti-social to me, but talk to someone who knows one. Or someone that is one. And they’ll tell you that they’re alright.

5. You can’t walk into shopping centers and banks wearing a motorcycle helmet, so the burqa has to be banned.

Firstly, why the fuck would anyone want to walk around and do their grocery shopping wearing a motorcycle helmet? Anyone who has ridden one before will tell you that you practically need a shoehorn and a crowbar to get in and out of it. Secondly, if hiding your identity is so important to you, how about you wear a burqa? You’re more than welcome to. But just remember – if you’re asked to identify yourself, you must comply, as has ALWAYS been the law. Thirdly, realise that granting liberties to others doesn’t necessarily impinge on your own. Allowing Muslim women to wear the burqa doesn’t mean you have any less rights.

6. It’s not compatible with Australian society.

Smoking near non-smokers is a completely incompatible aspect of society, yet cigarettes aren’t banned. Getting shitfaced and swearing in front of your children isn’t compatible with our societal standards, but it happens and alcohol isn’t banned. Teenagers are generally trying to be incompatible with society, but they’re not banned. Men are responsible for the vast majority of all crime in Australia, yet we don’t ban men. Australian society does however suggest that we are free to wear what we want as long as it is in modesty, and we are also allowed to be part of any religion, or no religion. Wearing a burqa is entirely compatible with our societal values.

7. It’s not a part of our culture.

AFL had its origins in Ireland. Beer and BBQs are certainly not exclusive to Australia. Eating pizza in front of a DVD? Nope, that isn’t Australian culture. Cricket? Nope, that started in England. Going to the beach? Nah – Australia isn’t the only country with a beach culture. Acting like a larrikin? Nope, laughter is universal and practical jokes certainly didn’t originate in Australia. Mateship and the idea of a fair go? Australian only? You’ve got to be kidding.
Try and define Australian culture first – good luck. And then try to define what’s not in Australian culture. But make sure you define Australian-only culture before you try to tell everyone what’s not Australian. It’s only when you realise that you can’t define Australian culture that you will realise that you then cannot define what is NOT part of Australian culture.

8. The burqa/niqab/hijab oppresses women.

Why then, do burqa/niqab/hijab clad Muslim women turn up in droves to rallies supporting their freedom to be able to wear them? Why then do some women choose to wear such veils? In Australia, if anyone tries to force you to do anything you don’t want to do, you’re supported by laws. If there are husbands in Australia forcing their wives to wear certain kinds of clothing, they are breaking existing laws. Therefore the burqa is not oppressing anyone. If anyone is being oppressed, they are being oppressed by men who are breaking Australian laws.

9. With the burqa banned, Muslim women will have more freedom.

No. Firstly, if a woman is being forced to wear the burqa/niqab by her husband/family, a nationwide ban is going to force that woman to never leave the house. Secondly, freedom of religion and freedom of modest dress in Australia is a liberty that will be taken away if the burqa is banned.

10. Allowing the burqa gives citizens the right to refuse to identify themselves to police officers.

No it doesn’t. Never has.

11. Muslim women should embrace Western culture and dress how Western women dress, without allowing the choice to wear cultural/religious apparel.

So once the burqa is banned are we going to see Muslim women walking around our beaches topless with g-strings on? Are we going to see them spending the family savings on fingernails, toenails, spray-tans, brand name clothes, high heels, push-up bras, cosmetic surgery, blonde hair dye, fake eyelashes and make up in order to appear more natural and free? Will Muslim women who have traditionally worn the burqa suddenly be spurred into looking like a Barbie Doll?

12. Women who wear burqas are denied the opportunity to socialise.

Women who wear the burqa are free to socialise with whoever they like. And they do.

13. Women who wear the burqa are bringing their customs and religions here from their country/s.

Yeah, it’s been happening for the past 200+ years. Australia is a multicultural and secular society. Over 25% of people living in Australia were born overseas, and over 50% have relatives who were born overseas. But burqa/niqab wearing Muslim women are NOT going out of their way to force anyone else to make the same clothing choices that they are making, nor are they trying to convert anyone to Islam.

14. Calling for a ban on the burqa is not a religious restriction, as the Q’uran does not say that it is compulsory.

But for all nearly all of the reasons stated above, the Catholic nun should be also stripped of her right to wear her religious garb. Who knows what kind of bombs she could be hiding under her robes and habit? The nun refuses to wear what the rest of us are wearing. The nun aims to fit into a group of people and wants to be identified as such by wearing what she wears. The nun’s garb is not compatible with our culture. But the Catholic nun is not attacked, nor are her rights questioned, because she isn’t a Muslim.

15. Berating Muslims is not racist, because Islam is a religion, not a race.

Yet people constantly tell them to fuck off back to their own countries. Go figure.

Note: If you want to discuss any of the above issues in more depth, please refer to them specifically in your comment.

Some responses from people who refuse to post here:

37 thoughts on “The Burqa Debate Rages On…

  1. re: socialising
    I have friends who wear the niqab (face veil) and they love it when people talk to them, yes yes they do actually talk back 🙂 surprise! They have voices!
    I recently tried one on just to see how people reacted to me and I walked into a business uniform shop and received lovely service. As I was leaving I asked the lady working there how she felt about having a woman with her face covered walk into her shop and whether she felt intimidated, her response was quite pleasant; she was fine and said that we can wear what we like as it’s our religion and she even said “I hope I didn’t give the impression that I was offended or intimidated by you!”

    Also, there are scholars who consider it compulsory to wear the face veil and most of those who don’t consider it compulsory do highly recommend it.
    I find it strange that people who have no idea about the religious teachings of Islam, have probably never opened a Quran in their lives, have the audacity to try to teach us our own religion and say that Niqab is not part of our religion. Thank you, really, but maybe focus on getting the laws of discrimination through your head before deciding what is and isn’t part of a religion you don’t even follow. As for the Muslims who like to claim it’s not part of the religion, please do your research =)

    Even if it weren’t for the fact that most scholars highly recommend it (if not consider it compulsory), there are women out there who wear it simply to imitate the wives of the Prophet Muhammad saws.

    ps. a hadith from the Quran? Hadiths are words/statements spoken by the Prophet Muhammad saws that were recorded via chain of transmission, while the Quran is revelation sent down by Allah swt (God) and compiled in book form after the death of Muhammad saws.
    Although the Prophet Muhammad saws did not speak of his own will, as mentioned in the Quran, the two (hadiths and Quran) are different.

  2. Loved your post so much that words simply can’t express my emotions, :p

    I just have to add on that oppression point. I too have had many an argument with simple minded neanderthals insisting that burqa clad women are oppressed. I simply do not understand it. I have plenty of Niqab/Burqa wearing friends, and none, I repeat none, are oppressed and choose to wear what they wear.

    Like the above poster, M, I have worn a niqab for the day out of choice. It was a fascinating experience, yet I must stress that I wore it out of my own accord. When I’ve pointed this out to bogans, they still insist that I am “brainwashed.” Wth??? I mean seriously, it amazes me that they think they know our lives better than we do.

    In my opinion, the solution to this seemingly never ending Burqa debate is for the anti-burqas to actually overcome their fears and approach Burqa wearing women and have a constructive dialogue with them. With positive interaction amonst the two groups, I am sure that those opposing Burqas will overcome their pervasive misconceptions and come to understand the Burqa. I guess this is because those who support the ban on the burqa have never actually asked such Muslim women about what they really want. Maybe I’m a pathetic optimist, but I sincerely believe that positive, constuctive dialogue and interaction is what we really need to solve this issue 🙂

    • I know where you are coming from Anon but the way the anti-burqa bigots carry on one could forgive the veiled women if they immediately call the police if one of them is approached. Already the Facebook rabble are threatening violence and encouraging stalking of unfortunate individuals.

  3. Great post, however I fear it is in vain. You’re preaching to the converted, TAB. Those with the greatest need to absorb the message are the least likely to; they’d write it off as being ‘farkin’ intellechual poofter shit’ and having no relevance to ‘the rool world’.

    Still, if it gets at least one of these anti-burqa fucktards to wake up to themselves, then it’s not a total waste.

      • I’m happy to oblige. Thankfully, I know very few people with this mindset. I am still happy to leave the link lying around the place, just in case I’ve unwittingly overestimated any of my associates.

      • I worry that this is unlikely to make much of an impression on the intended audience. However, here are some handy tips for Muslims seeking acceptance from our red-necked brethren.

        1. Promise to stop something, and be unwavering in your commitment to stop it. Then repeat this pledge ad-nauseam. They love unequivocal jargon.

        2. Spend some time in the country, preferably wearing an akubra hat over your burqa (maybe someone could invent the driz-a-burqa) . Show empathy to a farmer who’s “doing it tough”.

        3. Spend some time on a building site, preferably wearing a HI-VIS burqa. Shovel some sand, making a clever quip.

        4. Continually describe any behaviour which is not acceptable to the subject as “Un-Australian”.

        5. Most importantly, never stop telling them that the whole world is against them. Reassure them that their tough, unprivileged life is the result of fat cats in Canberra, dole bludgers, dodgy builders, failed miracle weight loss cures or any combination thereof.

  4. Great post. Keep fighting the good fight, TAB.

    And I don’t think you’re preaching to the converted. Judging by the reactions of bogan targets of recent posts, I suspect a lot of racists have their eyes on this blog. There’s no such thing as bad publicity…..

  5. I agree with pretty much all of your post. My issue isn’t with the burqa, niqab etc. It’s with overt displays of religion of any kind. A person has a right to wear whatever they like, as I equally have the right to think that people of faith suffer from a form of mental illness.

    People wearing religious symbols of any kind (and the burqa is an obvious one) will always get this from me – pity.

    But I am a ‘liberal’ so I will never try to force others to change what they wear or how they conduct themselves as long as they leave me alone. I know in the long run organised is dying a slow death and it’s likely their kids, grandkids and/or great-grandkids will be atheists. Education in a society with largely secular, humanist values does that! 🙂

  6. Oh by the way. I live down the road from a mosque and pass it every day. I’ve never seen a burqua (Seriously, nobody wears the damn thing. Banning its a bit like banning unicorns here in WA) but a small handful of ladies do wear the naqib. Know what? I’ll stop and chat with them, and it turns out most are just average aussie women like the rest.

    Get over the silly hat fear people. Its just hats for religions, its no dafter nor saner than anything else. Its just shit peope wear.

    • I see it as like Christians wearing the cross. Except the hijab, burqa and niqab are bigger. And offer sun protection

      • ^ that’s an excellent point. Burqas, niqabs and hijabs offer great sun protection. Considering the climate in many Muslim countries is very similar to Australia in summer, it’s an incredibly sensible piece of clothing. I’d love to know what the skin cancer rates are in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan compared to Australia. I’m sure it’s a lot lower than it is here.

        Muslim women are a lot more intelligent than the average slack jawed Australian gives them credit for. Whilst I don’t have any empirical evidence handly, anecdotal evidence suggests that many Muslim women wear a burqa, niqab or hijab by choice because they have the freedom to do so. If that isn’t being empowered, I don’t know what is.

        • I think the majority of Muslim women at my Uni wear a burqa, which is probably a genius idea considering the amount of mosquitos…

  7. It is an interesting debate going on now isn’t it. Agreed on women who wear the Hijab I know plenty and believe me they are not ‘slaves’ to their husbands OR un-social there just normal Aussie women .I know I’ve just said basically the same thing as someone above but hey its true 🙂

    HOWEVER Carnita Matthews and her ‘gang’ of followers is why people think all Muslims are terrorists completely unacceptable behaviour from them

  8. Looks like they deleted the link. Proof that there’s only one thing these dimwitted inbreds hate more than Muslims, and that’s people calling them out on their bull shit. Fuck ’em all!

    • Oh, Cass! I got half way through those comments and nearly puked! I had to stop reading. It’s so depressing to realise there are so many uneducated Australians who actually think like that

  9. You guys should stop criticising these people for not being able to make a single credible argument in favour of dictating to people what they can and cannot wear. Can’t you see how right Diane Jackson is when she explains that the burqa ‘is a health risk to the women who wear it’?

  10. what gives anyone the right to critisise peoples beliefs/religion(including what they wear). nothing. people find some clothing an offence or worry but do not fail to reckonise that from the other side of the fence the feeling is mutual.
    I personally have no religion, however I respect other peoples beliefs.

    Try spending 9 months over seas and viewing for your self the culture and lifestyle alot of these people come from.

    As they say “ignorence is bliss”

  11. “Anyone wearing a 12 inch mohawk, black leather, death metal band t-shirts and more metal than a teenage boy’s mouth is pretty anti-social looking.”
    Get fucked you stupid cunt, just because I like metal and wear band tshirts doesn’t mean I’m antisocial. Stereotyping slut.

    • Speaking of stupid cunts, read the last line of that paragraph:

      “All of those people appear pretty anti-social to me, but talk to someone who knows one. Or someone that is one. And they’ll tell you that they’re alright.”

    • You seem to be pretty offended by someone suggesting that what you wear is anti-social Ben, this is exactly the point TAB was making.
      Stop trying to victimize yourself you idiot.

  12. Punks & Emo’s don’t want a ‘punk state’ but the Muslims want to make Australia an Islamic state and implement sharia law. The islamification of Europe has already begun we must stop the islamification of Australia while we still can

    • Do you want to stop Muslim immigration? Good luck with that..

      Airport Security: Are you a Muslim?
      Muslim girl: Nope
      Airport Security: Welcome to Australia

  13. we berate those that are for the banning of the burka for stereotyping by calling them ignorant redneck bogans…….? huh.

    i can see the possible security concerns that would arise from any widely accepted full head covering, such as making CCTV obsolete. However it seems to be a knee jerk reaction, and if im out on a cold day with my beanie and scarf, you’d be lucky to identify me buying ticktaks at 7/11.

  14. brilliant! just had a massive debate with most of the people in my class, i’m so bummed i didn’t think of half these aruguements! everyone always talks about how its an offense to women’s rights, yet forcing someone to not be able to wearing what they want to is kind a violation of human rights, don’t you think? and why oh why dont we ban nuns outfits? oh right, because they are white and we do not instantly assume terriost! god some people as idiots

  15. its their choice. Accept it. We all have choices and not everyone is going to agree with our decisions. For example, if you really liked a shirt that you saw in the shops< would you buy it or would you get opinions from other? would you want the power to control your destiny? or what you believe in? ….. ha, If you ask me, i think those against the burqa are all weak and selfish you to blind to accept others and those that Dont are Un-Australian.
    AND has it ever occurred to you ppl that, the reason why bank robbers wear burqas is because of debates such as this.
    We are injecting new ways and means of theft into our society.
    Seriously theres more issues going on in our country, than a couple hundred women covering their faces……

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