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.