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Burqa laws hit the Assembly

By johnboy - 20 March 2012 77

burqa

Simon Corbell has announced the start of debate on burqa laws in the ACT:

The new laws, if passed, will also be used in situations under the road transport legislation when it is necessary to confirm a person?s identity, such as when a person is applying for a driver licence or having their photo taken for inclusion on their driver licence.

Mr Corbell reinforced that this legislation was not targeting any particular cultural group, and community groups had been consulted during the development stages of the legislation.

“The Government understands that this may be perceived as action to target a certain group in the community, but it is crucial to point out that cultural sensitivities have been taken into account when drafting the legislation,” Mr Corbell said.

“The laws include an option for a female with a head-covering to request that it only be removed in the presence of a female police officer in a private place in accordance with their cultural beliefs and practices.

“This new law is predominantly in response to previous cases where motorists have refused to remove items such as motorcycle helmets, balaclavas, large sunglasses and hoodies.”

A special defence applies where wearing the item that covers all or part of the person?s face is necessary for the person?s medical treatment. In such cases, the person is not required to remove that item.

Hard to see the Liberals saying no to this.

[Photo by tinou bao CC BY]

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77 Responses to
Burqa laws hit the Assembly
farnarkler 12:00 pm 20 Mar 12

If the muslims want to wear a covering in public who gives a toss. Let them look like a shaved Cousin it.

DUB 11:46 am 20 Mar 12

CrocodileGandhi said :

For instance, homosexuality is punishable by death in Uganda. Why don’t we start doing that?

Indeed, I would support that.:D

The thing is that we all saw the news, as mentioned, so prevention is better than a cure.As from what I have seen, it is these new “aussies” who always think that they are better than anyone else and demand to be treated like Royals.
P.S. I have seen burqa wearing identities in Canberra.

trevar 11:43 am 20 Mar 12

Sgt.Bungers said :

we find it confronting. We’re used to a person covering their face being a sign that they do not want to be identified and are probably up to something wrong.

As much as I understand what you’re saying, I don’t appreciate you talking on my behalf with the royal ‘we’. I can post to RA too, so there’s no need!

I think the laws are a reasonable compromise between the Sergeant’s concerns and the cultural sensitivities of those who wear the burqa. I lean towards the civil liberties side of this argument, and think that Australians should be allowed to wear whatever they damn well want, but the Sgt Bungerses of this world have me swayed just a little, and I don’t mind the legislation Corbell is proposing.

Oh no! I agree with a member of the Laboral party! Again!

Kill me now!

johnboy 11:43 am 20 Mar 12

The police and the law weren’t mad keen for Ned Kelly either.

Diggety 11:38 am 20 Mar 12

Yep, this legislation makes sense, although I would rather the request for removal extend to all police officers.

I’m surprise some Australians take offence to an individuals choice to wear the burqa. If someone wants to dress as a post-office box, they should be free to do so. Remember we have our own very famous one in our history: Ned Kelly!

CrocodileGandhi 11:31 am 20 Mar 12

DUB said :

They should be illegal, similar to France.Doubt that burqa will qualify as item required for medical treatment. 🙂
To those opposing- just remember that you have to follow other country’s custom laws when you live or visit there- no short sleeve shirts, shorts, women must cover their heads.

Indeed. We should always simply mimc other countries, regardless of how stupid or opressive their laws are. For instance, homosexuality is punishable by death in Uganda. Why don’t we start doing that? Or why not bring in Iranian blasphemy laws?

Jim Jones 11:28 am 20 Mar 12

Looks like sensible legislation.

I fail to see what ra ra ra muzzies ra ra ra freedom ra ra ra has to do with any of it.

Henry82 10:51 am 20 Mar 12

makes sense to me.

sneakers 10:46 am 20 Mar 12

No, they should not be illegal. I like ninjas.

However, for identification purposes, they should be required to be removed if required. We all saw how the whole Carnita Matthews thing turned out.

colourful sydney rac 10:45 am 20 Mar 12

This should be supported by all in the Assembly.

TheDancingDjinn 10:42 am 20 Mar 12

DUB said :

They should be illegal, similar to France.Doubt that burqa will qualify as item required for medical treatment. 🙂
To those opposing- just remember that you have to follow other country’s custom laws when you live or visit there- no short sleeve shirts, shorts, women must cover their heads.

They are following our rules – we do’t have a dress code here in Australia, we can wear what we want to wear, Which is what they are doing – they want to wear it becasue it’s part of their own religion. Why is it so difficult to believe that they want to wear it so that they are observing their own religion? Catholics were not allowed to have uncovered heads in church – its just the same, but they have it all the time. – Personally i am yet to see a full faced burqa on a woman here, hijab, and niqjab yes but never the full covering of the face – and why even bother talking about laws regarding it? a cloth of someone you don’t know ooohh it has so much aring on your life – Whoever wanted this to happen should maybe go and find some real problems to fix.

DUB 10:36 am 20 Mar 12

Sgt.Bungers said :

I wonder if this topic will become as controversial as RA’s cyclist vs cars arguements 🙂

It should, will be different, Violet69 and UniStudent can participate and make valuable contributions.

longshanks 10:34 am 20 Mar 12

DUB said :

They should be illegal, similar to France.Doubt that burqa will qualify as item required for medical treatment. 🙂
To those opposing- just remember that you have to follow other country’s custom laws when you live or visit there- no short sleeve shirts, shorts, women must cover their heads.

I see your point, but I would like to think that here in Australia something that sets us apart from the “other countries” you’re referring to is the degree of freedom that we all enjoy. This includes the freedom to dress as we choose.

The argument that “In [insert name of conservative Islamic country] western women have to cover their heads, therefore in Australia Muslim women should have to uncover theirs”, is completely illogical, and implies that we should somehow be basing our own social and cultural freedoms on those of other countries.

Having said that, the freedom we enjoy exists alongside, and must respect, the law of the land. Therefore, if there is a law which allows police to enforce the removal of helmets, hats, hoodies, balaclavas, etc. then it is entirely logical, sensible and reasonable to apply that law to head coverings such as scarves and burqas.

For once the government seems to be going about this the right way – although I’m sure there are plenty of people (on both sides of the debate) who will find something to whinge about.

Sgt.Bungers 10:27 am 20 Mar 12

I wonder if this topic will become as controversial as RA’s cyclist vs cars arguements 🙂

After the 2005 London bombings, one of the male suspects as able to escape London by wearing a Burka.

As a society who identifies people by face, I personally feel that burkas do not have a place in public places in Australia… we find it confronting. We’re used to a person covering their face being a sign that they do not want to be identified and are probably up to something wrong.

How many people here would recoil at the sight of a couple of blokes walking though civic with balaclavas on?

The burka laws being discussed at minimum should give female police the rights to require a burka wearing person to unveil for identification purposes, if that person is suspected of doing something wrong. Ideally though, any police officer should be perfectly entitled request the removal of a face covering veil if that person is a potential suspect of any crime.

How would society respond to requests of balaclava wearing men to be unveiled only by a certain gendered police officer in a police station? Or a person in a party mask? Or a person in some sort of head to toe costime? In almost every circumstance, it would be considered a joke and a completely unreasonable request.

As a country who’s meant to have a seperation of church and state, why should people covering their faces for religious reasons be treated any differently by our laws?

When Australians go to a predominantly Muslim country, we have to respect their rules and beliefs, no matter how ridiculous, confronting, and unfair we may beleive they are. If we don’t, we can be put do death.

We are perfectly entitled to set rules and precedents surrounding public conduct and dress, and should not be ashamed to do so.

DUB 10:10 am 20 Mar 12

They should be illegal, similar to France.Doubt that burqa will qualify as item required for medical treatment. 🙂
To those opposing- just remember that you have to follow other country’s custom laws when you live or visit there- no short sleeve shirts, shorts, women must cover their heads.

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