Most Australians found the full traditional garb of Muslim women confronting, Australian prime minister John Howard said today.
“I don’t mind the headscarf but it’s really the whole outfit, I think most Australians would find it confronting. I don’t believe that you should ban wearing headscarfs but I do think the full garb is confronting and that is how most people feel. Now, that is not meant disrespectfully to Muslims because most Muslim women, a great majority of them in Australia, don’t even wear headscarfs and very few of them wear the full garb.”
Note that while Howard is reported as ruling out a change in the law regarding any form of Islamic dress, in the actual quotes he only rules out a ban on the headscarf.