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BURQA BAN BANK BRAWL: Radio host says no face covering in banks but is he race-baiting?

smithy A Brisbane radio host has fired up a huge debate over the wearing of a burqa that obscures the face.

Fairfax Radio’s Michael Smith has said that he’s concerned that people ought not be able to wear them in settings where criminals could abuse them to prevent them being identified.

Wikipedia defines burqa:

The burqa is the garment that covers women most completely: either only the eyes are visible, or nothing at all. Originating in what is now Pakistan, it is more commonly associated with Afghanistan.

It’s a scary debate that Smith has started at one level because vilifying people on religious grounds or for their religious customs that don’t harm others can be a slippery slope.

But Smith makes the argument that motorcyclists are required to remove their helmets in retail and bank settings. He says that there is a very real prospect that victims of armed robbery who work in banks would be terrified by confronting with someone with a largely masked face.

The National Retailers Association agrees with him.

Visitors to the Gold Coast in particular have noticed a steady increase in the number of people wearing all-black and all-covering burqas that obscure everything other than eyes. It’s certainly not what outsiders expect to see in the beach paradise of the white shoe and the meter maid.

This social change in south-east Queensland is clearly causing issues in the state, not always regarded as a hub of cultural diversity by preachy southerners.

Part of the complexity is that some Muslims – and other religions for that matter – wear hair-covering as part of their religious tradition. Presumably no one other than the bigoted have an issue with that.

Hopefully the legitimate issue of canvassing security concerns in banks or other vulnerable areas that could be terror or robbery targets won’t be confused with the agenda of those who wish to vilify one of the world’s great religions.


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  1. What’s so great about Islam?

    Posted by Bearded Burbler | January 15, 2009, 15:51
  2. Shouldn’t these craven harlots be back in their homes, performing their domestic duties like good women? The only reason they would be outside is to enrage the uncontrollable inner rapist of all men with their sexy, uncovered eyes.

    Posted by loves2spooj | January 15, 2009, 16:20
  3. The rule would also take in nuns and a collection of pale faced Christians out there. Don’t the chicks from the Exclusive Brethren wear head scarves as well? While we’re at it, let’s extend the idea to dreadlocks (could be a wig)and start a complete ban on the Wilderness Society koala (definite threat to national security if I ever saw one).

    Posted by Right Said Fred | January 15, 2009, 17:15
  4. He’s the man. The feminazis dont know what to do. Bag him and support the belittling of women by Islam OR support him and thereby bag Islam.

    Top bloke.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 15, 2009, 17:26
  5. I SO hope someone kicks his filthy racist face to a pulp.

    Posted by anon | January 15, 2009, 22:10
  6. I arived in Australia in 1984 fresh from Pommy land and was immideately branded a pomme bastard. And if I wanted to stay in Australia I had to cop it sweet as they say, I have absolutly no regrets what soever and became an Australian citizen and belive it to be the best move I ever made and I love this country for the massive opertunities it has given me, and left my pomme traditions back in England .
    If you want to live in Australia then live as Australians do and cope it sweet Mate, and leave you traditions back from where you came and you will be accepted with open arms as I was.
    Yours sincerly
    a Happy Pome

    Posted by daniel breen | January 16, 2009, 9:23
  7. Pity for Daniel Breen that one of the opertunities (sic) did not include spelling lessons. :)

    Posted by hedgehog | January 16, 2009, 12:46
  8. Come on landeryou have a go against this prick. I agree with you about Irwin and israel but if you don’t condemn this F*&^ER it is a double standard

    Posted by Jimbob | January 16, 2009, 12:52
  9. Jimbob,

    Not really.

    Posted by Daniel Lewis | January 17, 2009, 17:47
  10. Hmmm…. Personally, I think that women in Australia should not wear veils. If you visit Moslem countries, Buddhist countries or Southern European countries there are expected dress codes – no exposed arms in churches, no bare (or sandal) feet in Buddhist shrines, etc. It is quite reasonable that in Australia it is understood that it is extremely rude not to display your face.

    However, pushing this as a security issue is ridiculous. I would have to check the statistics (sarcasm) but I’m pretty sure that the number of crooks holding up petrol stations dressed in burqas would be pretty low.

    This guy is playing a pretty nasty race card and should be seen as such. Mind you, getting rid of the Wilderness Society koala might not be a bad thing.

    Posted by PB | January 18, 2009, 15:14
  11. People should act as who they are and respect each other. I am pretty sure that if those Muslim woman didn’t believe that they have to wear burqa they would not wear it. As long as they follow the laws, respect one another they should be left alone, they are part of the community that makes Australia. We should open our arms to them rather than exclude them from the community.
    If someone is going to be robbing a bank they will still wear something to cover their face. Whats next, take off caps, glasses etc.
    Stop picking on the weak, just makes you weaker

    Posted by freedom | January 18, 2009, 19:16
  12. However, pushing this as a security issue is ridiculous.

    I believe people should be up-front about their agenda. For example, opposing the Camden Islamic school proposal on the basis of Jihadism, not on the basis of traffic concerns.

    So in that sense, you are correct.

    However, there have certainly been security issues directly related to the Burkha.

    For example, the case of a male Somali asylum seeker wanted for the murder of a London police officer who fled Britain using his sister’s passport, dressed as a woman wearing a Muslim niqab.


    Don’t get me started on airport security and profiling…

    Posted by Daniel Lewis | January 18, 2009, 20:19
  13. For those who believe otherwise, there was a bank robbery committed by two men wearing burqa’s in Philadelphia last year. Covering one’s face is offensive in our culture and we shouldn’t be cowed into saying otherwise by the multicultural fascists. A woman can dress modestly and still show her identity. Conversely, wearing one won’t prevent a rape and a headscarf can show the desired religious association.

    Posted by Athena | June 28, 2009, 5:36
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  18. why are we even giving in to these people-for so many years every1 has bagged out christians for spreading the good news to protect future generations from wacked out islamic teachings & other rubbish corrupting our men /women & kids,,this is a christian nation-its in the constitution..one simple comandment-(OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND)-HOW HARD IS THAT??God gave u a face,you were meant to live in light not darkness,as a sign of respect & obedience to our laws show your face

    Posted by danny | July 9, 2010, 17:28
  19. also i believe the teachings of islam is a threat to the words-HOPE/FREEDOM/LOVE,it should be stopped there sole purpose is to over populate and take over the world turning it into a islamic nation,,it goes against what this nation stands for.. it seems ISRAEL GODS CHOSEN PEOPLE,are the only nation that has sence & can see their are threat to the words humanity

    Posted by danny | July 9, 2010, 17:34


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