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Saturday, May 15, 2010

NSW Reverend says Ban the Burka

Original article here.

Right says Fred Nile, ban the burqa

May 14th, 2010.
THE Reverend Fred Nile will introduce a Bill to parliament calling for a ban on the Islamic burqa head and body veil.

The Christian Democrats MP wants NSW to follow France and other European countries, which have moved to ban women from wearing the full head and body covering in public.

But Muslim leaders yesterday said it was inappropriate for a man to tell a woman to remove clothing.

The private member's Bill will likely be introduced next Thursday.

"We should establish that in Australia we are an open society, that people don't cover up their faces. If they are involved in criminal activity they do," Mr Nile said yesterday.

"They do it with the burqa, it is not part of our culture and tradition."

Muslim spokesman Keysar Trad attacked the proposed law, and said it was an attack on women's freedom.

Muslim women will be disgusted, especially that a man who is supposedly a man of God is telling them to remove items of clothing and telling them how to dress," he said. "While I don't advocate the face cover, I will defend the rights of any Muslim woman who wishes to wear it and if she doesn't choose to wear it, I defend her as well."

Mr Nile asked the State Government to ban the burqa eight years ago in a move that sparked a furore at the time.

But his private member's Bill will almost certainly not succeed because he lacks the required numbers.
Opposition spokeswoman for women Pru Goward said society was split but the burqa did not fit with her view of women's rights in the same way as the overt sexualisation of women at the opposite end of the spectrum.

"It is very difficult ... everyone has the choice to dress the way they want to. The question is are they dressing like that because they have to or because they feel they have to? You can't answer that question," she said.

Mr Nile told parliament on Wednesday night there were also security fears as terrorists in the Middle East and Russia had launched attacks while concealing their identity under a burqa.

By Gemma Jones.

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