Greens NSW MP and Multicultural Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called the push by politicians to ban the burqa racist, oppressive and patronising to women. Dr Faruqi is the sole female Muslim MP in any Australian state or federal parliament.
Dr Faruqi said:
“We live in a society where people have the right to wear what they want. Muslim women have the right to freedom of choice, just like every other Australian.
“No one in Australia has the right to tell a woman how to dress, least of all the Government. It is a woman’s right to choose what she wears.
“In NSW, women who cover their faces can simply ask to be identified by a female officer in a private place showing that the national security argument doesn’t stack up.
“These proposals are about racist dog whistling and attempts to fracture our multicultural community. Sadly it has already greenlighted racist violence against Muslims across the country, including a Muslim woman being thrown from a train in Melbourne. As usual, it is women who bear the brunt of these racist attacks, brought on by a patronising attempt to ‘liberate’ them.
“This is a time for leaders to show wisdom, courage and leadership, not add fuel to the fire.
“Australians value our inclusive society. Regressive moves that tells women what they can and cannot wear undermines religious freedom, women’s rights and harmony in our liberal democratic society” she concluded.