Islamic women wearing Burqa (face-covering)

by Salt Shakers
 
Last month, Rev Fred Nile of the Christian Democratic Party tried to introduce a private member’s bill into the NSW Legislative Council that would ban the wearing of face-coverings that conceal identity. This has become known as the ‘burqa bill’ as it would prohibit the wearing of the full face-covering burqa and niqab.
He couldn’t get permission to explain the Bill – the Council voted against allowing a debate.
 
However, he has since been granted permission to introduce and explain the Bill. This explanation was supported by most of the MLCs – with the exception of the four Greens and family First MP Gordon Moyes (see article at bottom of report).
 
His media release says that, in his speech on 22 June, “Amidst angry protests, Rev Nile gave a detailed speech addressing accusations of racism and religious discrimination, stating the bill had nothing to do with race or religion.”

Read Fred’s media release –
http://www.cdp.org.au/media-release/78-people-power-forces-introduction-of-burqa-bill.html
 
In his speech, which is included in the media release, he said “The purpose of the Summary Offences Amendment (Full-face Coverings Prohibition Bill 2010) is relatively straightforward. It is based on the Belgium bill. This bill is to prohibit the concealing of a personal identity whilst in public without a reasonable excuse to do so. As I have already stated, nowhere does the bill mention “burqa” or “Muslim”. While this legislation has become known as the burqa bill, the scope of the bill is much broader than just that one item of clothing.” He goes on to explain the context of his arguments about the wearing of full face-coverings in public.
 
Some years ago, he introduced a similar bill and it was defeated – the media called him names for proposing such a bill. However, the media generally misinterpreted the bill claiming that Fred was trying to ban the wearing of the hijab or headscarf, which wasn’t the case.
 
Fred has explained that the two reasons he is proposing the bill are the rights of women (especially those who are forced to wear the face covering by others) and security.
 
The incident that prompted the bill last month was a robbery in Sydney where the robber was wearing a full face-covering burqa!  That seems like a major security issue to us!
 
At the time Liberal SA senator Cory Bernardi wrote on his blog calling for a ban on full face-coverings – he noted that he is not allowed to wear his motorbike helmet into a bank as a security measure.
Read Cory’s comment: http://www.corybernardi.com/2010/05/ban-the-burqa.html
 
Europe and the banning of burqas/face coverings…
In the past few months a number of European countries have banned the wearing of Islamic face-covering veils such as the the burqa or nicqab in public – Belgium is one nation – and France is considering a partial ban.

This report from the BBC includes a description and pictures of the various types of head coverings.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/10517707.stm
 
Belgium:
Lower House passed – April 2010: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,692212,00.html
http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-world/belgium-bans-wearing-of-islamic-burqa-in-public-20100430-ty87.html
 
France:
The French parliament is currently debating a bill to ban the wearing of the burqa or nicqab in public.
The vote is expected next week.
Report: BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/10517707.stm
Report about threats to imam who supports the burqa ban – http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,690303,00.html
 
Spain:
Late June 2010 – Spain’s upper house of parliament last week approved a motion calling on Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist government to ban the Islamic veil in public.
Catalonia – Nine areas in Catalonia have implemented bans on wearing the burqa.
On July 2, the Catalonian parliament voted not to ban the the wearing of the Islamic burqa in public places across the Spanish region – they reversed an initial vote.
See http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5in8eSe0Zgrw0Gb1SJIDOYTQj89CQ
Lleida – region of Catalonia – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/02/lleida-burqa-ban-spain
 
Now the Council of Europe has voted against the banning of burqas, saying some women may choose to wear them… but when security issues are at stake they say “that the veils could be banned when public security or professional obligations require women to show their faces”.
see http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2010/06/24/12480a9049cd
 

Media reports:

Burka ban MP accused of chasing bigot vote‎
ABC Online – 22 Jun 2010
New South Wales MP Reverend Fred Nile has introduced a private members bill to the state’s parliament, calling for people to be banned from wearing full …
Nile unveils bill to ban people hiding their faces‎ – Sydney Morning Herald
Burqa bill sees light of day‎ – Christian Today — Australia
House hears Fred Nile’s bid to ban burqa‎ – Herald Sun
all 52 news articles » 
 
 From: The Courier Mail
 
Burqa ban bill introduced

• From: AAP – Courier Mail – June 23, 2010
CHRISTIAN Democratic Party MP Fred Nile has succeeded in introducing a bill to ban the wearing of the burqa in the NSW Upper House.
Mr Nile introduced his private member’s bill, seeking to ban the wearing of the burqa and other face veils in public, shortly after 8pm (AEST) yesterday.
Last month, a debate on the same bill was voted down by the NSW Upper House.
Greens MP John Kaye said only the four Greens MPs and Family First MP Gordon Moyes voted against introducing the bill yesterday.
“Last month the Coalition and the Government did the right thing and said no, they would not allow the Upper House to be home to this kind of racist dog whistling,” Mr Kaye said yesterday. “This time they caved in.”
Mr Kaye said Mr Nile’s bill has opened the door to a “dangerous and divisive attack on one of NSW’s communities”.

Related Coverage
• Teacher sacked over burqa Courier Mail, 8 Jun 2010
• Time to ban the burqa Perth Now, 29 May 2010
• Spanish town to ban burqa Courier Mail, 26 May 2010
• No debating the anti-burqa Bill Daily Telegraph, 20 May 2010
• Burqa rage woman rips Muslim’s veil off Daily Telegraph, 18 May 2010

“Letting loose the ugly bigotry that lies behind this bill will only encourage hostility to the Muslim community,” he said.
“While no woman should be forced to wear a burqa or any other form of clothing, this absurd bill will do nothing to enhance the rights of women.”
Mr Nile has denied the bill is racist, saying his concern lay with issues of security and women’s rights.
The bill has been adjourned until September 2010.
 
Jenny Stokes
Research Director
Salt Shakers
a: PO Box 6049, Wantirna, Victoria, 3152
p: (03) 9800 2855
m: 0413 084 145
e: jenny@saltshakers.org.au
w: www.saltshakers.org.au

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5 Responses to “‘Burqa ban’ (face-covering) bill in NSW parliament”

  1. 1 Assyrian Paul

    Good on Guys and lets get this silly face covering thing removed and made illegal for anyone to wear it

    God Bless you Guys

    Assyrian Paul

  2. 2 Audrey & Maurice

    Dear Jason, Thanks for all the emails.

    Blessings.

    Audrey & Maurice

  3. 3 Jan

    Hi Pastor,

    Thank you so much for having the courage to speak the truth. We are praying with renewed faith for the future of this great south land of the Holy Spirit. May our Almighty Yahweh protect, strengthen and bless you and your family.

    Jan

  4. 4 Nick F

    Bless you guys and everything you do! I am forever keeping the issues raised here in prayer and have been truly blessed by this ministry.

    Shouldn’t we as Christians be aware that in terms of public policy, any legislation limiting religious practice is going to impact upon us as well. If Islamic religious practices or symbols are banned by law in our country then it is only a matter of time before they ban practices or symbols of other religions too (example practices of our Christian faith). If the religious vilification case in Victoria has taught us anything its that laws that sound good to us sometimes aren’t and that any policy that pertains to limiting religious freedom may one day impact upon God’s Church.

    We need to think about how important it is to us to have the government ban Burka’s. It is no more a security risk than someone with a handbag. I would rather see politics back right away from any law to limit religion and for the Church to rise up and preach the gospel to all Australians including those that wear Burka’s. It is more important to preach righteousness and engage with politics about moral issues such as abortion. I guess what I am saying is that a law that bans Burka’s may not be just a step away from Islam but a step towards a secular society that bans all religion, including preaching Christ.

    just a thought

  5. 5 Ewan

    I’ve got news for you Nick F. The militant secularists who exercise much power in our governments are already hell bent on removing any vestige of Christian influence in the public square. Also, the ban on the burka is more of a security issue so shouldn’t be seen as an infringement on religious freedom anyway.

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