WorldOfIslam.info - War On Hijab
MP calls for head scarf ban
LIBERAL MPs Bronwyn Bishop and Sophie
Panopolous have continued to the Federal Government's clamp down on
Islamic practices, with Bronwyn Bishop today adding her voice to Sophie
Panopolous' call for head scarves to be banned.
Ms Bishop backed the view of outspoken Liberal MP Sophie Panopoulos, who
last week said she was concerned about Muslim women not showing their
faces when they posed for photographic identification.
Ms Bishop today said the issue had been forced upon Australia, which was
experiencing a clash of cultures.
"In an ideal society you don't ban anything," she
told the Seven Network.
"But this has really been forced on us because what we're really seeing
in our country is a clash of cultures and indeed, the headscarf is being
used as a sort of iconic item of defiance," she told Channel Seven.
"I'm talking about in state schools. If people are in Islamic schools
and that's their uniform, that's fine. In private life, that's fine."
But Muslim Women's Association president Maha Krayem Abdo said such a
ban was dangerous, and that girls should be free to follow their
religious beliefs at any Australian school.
She agreed that in an ideal society nothing would be banned and said
Australia had a leadership role to play on such issues.
"I think it's so dangerous to go down that path if
we think ... that in an ideal society we would not ban anything," she
"And I think Australia takes on a leadership role in the world, that it
is a fair-go society.
"I don't see anything contravening that fair go and equality that
Australia strives for – so the hijab, no way would it in any shape or
form, contravene that."
Ms Krayem Abdo said she found it difficult to comprehend the
government's stated support for the freedom of Iraq, yet Ms Bishop's
proposition was to prevent Australian Muslims from exercising freedom of
Last year France's parliament voted overwhelmingly to outlaw the wearing
of Islamic headscarves in state schools, although concerns remain over
whether that decision merely deepened divisions within French society.
Australian Democrats leader Senator Lyn Allison has labelled Ms Bishop's
comments as "deliberately divisive" and they encouraged religious and
"I think BB is being deliberately divisive. I
think that it is insensitive that young women for religious reasons who
chose to wear a headscarf are somehow provoking a response from others,"
"It seems to me that by saying that young people who go to state schools
wish to wear a head scarf they can't but they can wear a head scarf if
they go to a religious school.
"What that says is that we want to be separated. It doesn't say we want
integration and that we want to improve relations between cultural
groups and religious groups.
"It says if you are religious, you should go to a religious school.
Education Minister Brendan Nelson said last week that he did not support
a ban on headscarves.
Source: Sunday Mail (Australia)
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