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Landry: Why burqas have no place in Australia

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry has spoken out against the burqa and niqab (pictured above).
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry has spoken out against the burqa and niqab (pictured above). FRED ERNST

CAPRICORNIA MP Michelle Landry has spoken out against the burqa, saying it doesn't have a place in Australian society.

On Sunday, National Party members will consider a ban on the burka at their federal conference.

A motion from Dawson MP George Christensen proposes a ban on wearing the burka and niqab in public, arguing the Muslim garment is not conducive to the Australian way of life.

Ms Landry said her position against the burqa wasn't just about public safety, but also the restriction it placed on the women that wore them.

 

Michelle Landry says she doesn't think the religious argument for burqas has much credibility.
Michelle Landry says she doesn't think the religious argument for burqas has much credibility. Melanie Plane

"Women wearing the burqa can't drive and their movements are very restricted," Ms Landry said.

"From a safety perspective, I don't think the burqa should be worn in public places where security is a risk.

 

BURQA BAN: Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen.
BURQA BAN: Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen. Peter Holt

"I personally don't have an issue with the Hijab or Chador - in fact the Old Testament refers to very similar requirements for modesty.

"So there is religious context for these garments even though they were used long before Islam."

She said neither the burqa or niqab had a place in Australian society.

"The premise of women covering their faces is based on the belief that their presence creates desire in men," Ms Landry said.

"I don't think as a country we should condone such a belief - by doing so we are tolerating this perception of women and their role in physical or sexual violence.

 

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry. Contributed

"Morally, I don't think this is okay."

She said the burqa was not required to be worn by women in the strictest Islamic countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

"I don't think the religious argument actually has much credibility," Ms Landry said.

"I appreciate that many are arguing about religious freedom and the rights of women.

 

One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson takes off a burqa during Senate Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra last month.
One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson takes off a burqa during Senate Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra last month. LUKAS COCH

"I seriously question how much choice a woman has who thinks she has to cover her whole face to preserve her modesty.

"The fact is that the only places it is worn in any large number are in countries where it is forced upon women - like Afghanistan and ISIS held territories."

Topics:  burqa ban capricornia mp michelle landry editors picks


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