The shadow parliamentary secretary assisting Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi, has called for Islamic women to be banned from wearing the burqa in a pointer to the growing assertiveness of the party’s conservative wing.
Writing on his blog yesterday, he argued his case on law and order grounds and the basis of respect for women. ”The burqa is no longer simply the symbol of female repression and Islamic culture, it is now emerging as a disguise of bandits and n’er do wells,” he wrote. He was responding to a police report describing a hold-up in Sydney by a suspect in a burqa and sunglasses and said the garb could be used as a disguise.
”Perhaps some of you will consider that burqa wearing should be a matter of personal choice, consistent with the freedoms our forefathers fought for. I disagree,” the senator wrote. ”New arrivals to this country should not come here to re-create the living environment they have just left. They should come here for a better life based on the freedoms and values that have built our great nation.”
See also “Burqa ban is ‘un-Australian’ say Muslims”, Herald Sun, 7 May 2010