The Burqa Should Not Be Banned in Australia

1077 words 5 pages
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
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To enforce a legislative restraint on a cultural and religious choice is inconsistent with the fundamental freedom of expression. Women choose to wear a burqa, hijab or other forms of veils and by banning the burqa we are taking away their ability to make this decision. Having met these women who have chosen to wear the burqa, it is apparent to me that the only form of oppression they may experience is having their freedom to choose taken from them. Banning the burqa is a thoughtless regulation that takes away their freedoms by imposing the views of some on the whole community. These women, who have caused no harm to their communities, should not be forced to sacrifice their freedom. What they wish to do does not cause others harm nor does it restrict the freedom of others.
Anonymity is not a crime. We live in an open democracy that values a woman’s right to dress as she pleases. If we object to this, we are discouraging freedom of religion, which is hypocritical as other forms of religious symbols are openly accepted. What is considered acceptable dress in any society is very deeply culturally embedded, and is an expression of one’s identity.
Nuns wore habits for many years and were admired for their commitment to their religion. So why don’t we do the same to women in other forms of religious dress. Irrational and baseless fear should not be the gateway for discrimination particularly against the innocent. I believe that this discrimination