Parliamentary burqa ban

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he doesn’t support banning the burqa from being worn in Australia, but he appears to back a ban on the burqa being worn in Parliament House. While ASIO and the federal police conduct an independent security assessment of the risks of full facial coverings, the decision as to whether the burqa ban inside Parliament House will go ahead, should be made within a week.

Mr Abbott says, “We are free country, we are a free society and it’s not the business of government to tell people what they should and shouldn’t wear.”

Mr Abbott then went on to say. “I’ve said before I find it a fairly confronting form of attire and frankly I wish it weren’t worn… but I just want to stress that this [Parliament House] is a secure building and it should be governed by the rules that are appropriate for a secure building and obviously people need to be identifiable in a secure building such as this,”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten does not support a burqa ban in Parliament House.

Read more at the SMH.

Common-sense must prevail

Australia is one of the most open-minded countries in the world, yet when it comes to a piece of headwear partly covering one’s face, people, including our Prime Minister, claim to feel uncomfortable. There are a lot of things that make me feel uncomfortable in public: from a mother breast feeding her child, two people kissing on public transport or simply seeing people wearing speedos at my local beach or swimming pool. None of these actions are offensive or illegal, and common sense says it’s me who has the problem.

It’s a person’s right to choose what they wear in public, and the burqa has to be included in this right. To suggest that the burqa needs to be banned altogether is a disappointing point of view. It comes down to the individual to decide what the burqa stands for, not the public. I can understand the Prime Minister’s thinking when it comes to upholding the security of Parliament House and other government buildings, but provided there is no objection to the removal of the headwear to verify identification to the security staff, then wearing it in public shouldn’t be illegal.

We need to start using a little more common sense in this country and stop discriminating against people for their religious and cultural beliefs. As far as I’m concerned, wear whatever makes you happy.

What do you think? In the interest of security should the burqa be banned in Parliament House? Does the government have the right to stop people from wearing it, and any other form of clothing?

Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).