Updated 1 October 2014
Women who dress in black like this give me the creeps and they look so intimidating. Even on very hot days I have seen them walk around like this on Melbourne streets. Maybe it’s just a hangover on my part from the days of my childhood when I was locked up in a convent with Catholic nuns all wearing black from head to toe, but at least the nuns in Catholic schools and convents showed their faces. We children could ascertain immediately whether a particular nun was ‘friend or foe’.
In all my travels to overseas countries, I’ve followed the axiom ‘when in Rome do [dress] as the Romans do’. It’s a mark of respect.
Having said that, I would never dream of showing disrespect to anyone in Australia dressing up in a burqa, but I certainly wouldn’t want to do business with a person in a burqa; sans ID, sans gender, sans eye contact.
Banks don’t allow men to wear full crash helmets when entering their establishments because it conceals a person’s identity so why should women be allowed to hide their faces behind a burqa? I think it is rude when people talk to you and keep their sun glasses on. In our culture we like to make eye contact so we can see emotional expression through the other person’s eyes. For example, would you sit across a table and sign a contract for a property with a real estate agent who is wearing sun glasses or a burqa? I certainly wouldn’t! And what about passport photos? Thank goodness a Perth court decision prevented a muslim woman from giving evidence in a fraud case while wearing a burqa.
WORLD NEWS ITEM:
Even though the law is generally taken to refer to burqas worn by Muslim women, the wording of the rule is carefully constructed so as not to single out Muslims. The ban has been called the “anti-burqa law”, but the official name for it is “the bill to forbid concealing one’s face in public.” It refers neither to Islam, nor to veils in any way. Officials say the law is not discriminatory because it applies to everyone, not just to Muslims. Exceptions to the ban include motorcycle helmets, masks for health reasons, fencing, skiing, or carnivals. Violators of the law will be fined 150 euros ($190) and/or a citizenship course as punishment. The law also targets anyone who forces a woman to wear a veil–these people risk a year in prison or a 15,000-euro ($19,000) fine. Although the law was passed last month, it won’t be enforced for another 6 months, which will give authorities time to persuade women who veil themselves voluntarily to stop.
PERTH NEWS ITEM:
A PERTH judge has ruled that a Muslim woman must remove a full burqa while giving evidence before a jury in a fraud case.
A lawyer argued that the Muslim woman should remove her burqa to give evidence in the fraud trial, just as she would have to appear without the covering in an Islamic court.
The judge heard lawyers’ submissions on whether a 36-year-old Muslim woman should be allowed to wear a full burqa, also called a niqab, while giving evidence in a serious fraud trial.
The woman, an Islamic studies teacher, is due to give evidence for the prosecution in the fraud trial of a Muslim college director.
In court, defence lawyer Mark Trowell said the woman’s wish to wear the burqa was a “preference she has”.
“It’s not an essential part of the Islamic faith. If she was in an Islamic court she would be required to remove it,” he said. Oh, so it’s not ok in her own country?
Judge Deane replied: “This isn’t an Islamic court.”
Defence lawyers raised concerns about how the jury could be expected to read the woman’s facial expressions if they could not see her face.
Prosecutor Mark Ritter told the court the woman wanted to give evidence but would feel uncomfortable without the burqa and that could affect her evidence. What a pathetic excuse.
The school is run by Muslim Link Australia, and Sayed is the director. He is accused of fraudulently obtaining up to $752,000 from a total of $1.125 million in state and federal grants for the school by falsifying enrolment numbers. We tax payers foot the bills.
BRITISH academic and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins has angered Muslim groups by comparing the burqa to a trash bag.
The 69-year-old author referred to the burqa as a “full bin-liner thing” in a magazine interview while discussing his forthcoming documentary about the dangers of faith schools.
Muslim organisations reacted angrily to the throwaway comment.
“I think it is ignorant and Islamaphobic,” said Seyyed Ferjani, of the Muslim Association of Britain.
“Britain is a diverse and free society. It is a woman’s choice if she wishes to wear a burqa, a niqab or not. Why does it matter to this man what a woman is wearing? We should be encouraging respect and understanding for each other.”
Professor Dawkins, who is the author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, stood by his remark, made in the Radio Times, in a subsequent interview with the Daily Mail. “I do feel visceral revulsion at the burqa because for me it is a symbol of the oppression of women.”
But he said he was not keen to endorse a full ban on the burqa in Britain – as the French Government voted to do last month.
“As a liberal I would hesitate to propose a blanket ban on any style of dress because of the implications for individual liberty and freedom of choice,” he said.
The Oxford University evolutionary biologist said that religious schools encouraged social segregation. This is so true, I have experienced it!
In one Muslim school he investigated for his documentary none of the pupils believed in evolution.
He said: “Their first recourse was not ‘What’s the evidence?’ but ‘What does the Koran say?'”
Professor Dawkins usually attracts criticism for his views on Christianity, but he has upset Muslims before.
In 2008 he said: “It’s almost impossible to say anything against Islam in this country, because you are accused of being racist or Islamophobic.”