The Burqa Should Not Be Banned in Australia

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The burqa should not be banned in Australia

A nun can be covered from head to toe in order to devote herself to god. But when a Muslim woman does the same she is being oppressed. It may be argued that wearing a burqa benefits only a few and brings more harm than good to society. The real question is who does it harm? That should be the basis for banning this piece of clothing, not one based on fear or an arguably feeble argument that the women do not have a choice. To say that a ban on a specific item like this is undemocratic is an understatement. Following the French senate’s unanimous vote in favour of banning the burqa in late 2010, many European and western countries including Belgium and Spain have made the decision to take the same action. In 2010, Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi called for the burqa to be banned, branding it "un-Australian". The ban did not go ahead, however debate about the burqa continues. Although it seems unlikely that this law will pass in Australia, it is indisputable that putting a ban on the burqa is both morally wrong, and is driven by religious discrimination.

Although the burqa is commonly seen in the western world as the Islamic symbol of oppression and a display of male dominance, in truth the burqa is merely an expression of devoted faith, modesty and purity. The generalisation that women wearing burqas are oppressed is merely an assumption with no supporting evidence. This is because the western culture sees, ‘covering-up’ as a symbol of women being silenced. If this is truly an issue concerning the women’s rights, the women in question should be given a chance to voice their opinions and explain their side of the story. In addition, criminalising these women is hardly going to free them from their so called ‘oppression’. Furthermore in a country with strongly enforced laws regarding violence against women and numerous domestic help services, it is highly unlikely that women would tolerate being...
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