Australian MP backs headscarf ban




 
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Boots
 
August 28th, 2005  
Locke
 
 

Topic: Australian MP backs headscarf ban


Taken from The Age Online

Quote:
Liberal backbencher Bronwyn Bishop has backed a push to ban Muslim girls from wearing headscarves at public schools, describing their use as an iconic act of defiance.

Ms Bishop backed the view of outspoken Liberal MP Sophie Panopoulos, who last week said she was concerned about Muslim women not showing their faces when they posed for photographic identification.

Ms Bishop today said the issue had been forced upon Australia, which was experiencing a clash of cultures.

"In an ideal society you don't ban anything," she told the Seven Network.

"But this has really been forced on us because what we're really seeing in our country is a clash of cultures and indeed, the headscarf is being used as a sort of iconic item of defiance," she told Channel Seven.

"I'm talking about in state schools. If people are in Islamic schools and that's their uniform, that's fine. In private life, that's fine."

But Muslim Women's Association president Maha Krayem Abdo said such a ban was dangerous, and that girls should be free to follow their religious beliefs at any Australian school.
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She agreed that in an ideal society nothing would be banned and said Australia had a leadership role to play on such issues.

"I think it's so dangerous to go down that path if we think ... that in an ideal society we would not ban anything," she said.

"And I think Australia takes on a leadership role in the world, that it is a fair-go society.

"I don't see anything contravening that fair go and equality that Australia strives for - so the hijab, no way would it in any shape or form, contravene that."

Ms Krayem Abdo said she found it difficult to comprehend the government's stated support for the freedom of Iraq, yet Ms Bishop's proposition was to prevent Australian Muslims from exercising freedom of religious rights.

Last year France's parliament voted overwhelmingly to outlaw the wearing of Islamic headscarves in state schools, although concerns remain over whether that decision merely deepened divisions within French society.

Education Minister Brendan Nelson said last week that he did not support a ban on headscarves.

The Australian Democrats leader Senator Lyn Allison said a push to ban Muslim girls from wearing headscarves at state schools was "deliberately divisive".

Senator Allison said Ms Bishop's comments encouraged religious and cultural separation.

"I think BB is being deliberately divisive. I think that it is insensitive that young women for religious reasons who chose to wear a headscarf are somehow provoking a response from others," she said.

"It seems to me that by saying that young people who go to state schools wish to wear a head scarf they can't but they can wear a head scarf if they go to a religious school.

"What that says is that we want to be separated. It doesn't say we want integration and that we want to improve relations between cultural groups and religious groups.

"It says if you are religious, you should go to a religious school.

"I would argue that it's time to examine, not that they are wearing headscarf or not, but examine whether the curriculum is the same, whether girls are being given the same opportunities as boys in those schools."
i know france has a ban like the one and i would hate to see the same thing introduced here. i would like to think we were more accepting and multicultural than that. its a sad state of affairs. the news has been reporting about the problem with the Muslim community and how there needs to be more understanding between muslims and "australians", whatever that means. basically its small minded journos trying to create a rift by picking on the whole religion issue. i mean, its like you can be australian, or you can be muslim, but they wont let you be an australian muslim. but no comment is ever made about being catholic and australian. and why is that, because they have been here for longer? i dont think so? is it because there are any less problems with people of that religion in the world? no, look at how Ireland with the IRA
narrowmindedness, it will be the end of us all
August 28th, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
easy...ban pupils in state schools from wearing ANY and ALL forms of religous symbols, headscarves...crosses...star of david etc etc


make it fair (or unfair) on everyone
August 30th, 2005  
mmarsh
 
 
Thats exactly the way it is here in France.

They called it a 'headscarf ban', but in fact it banned all religous items in schools such as exposed crosses (smaller ones out of sight are OK) Jewish skullcap, muslim headwear. So it doesnt just pick on muslims. Intergration in the public sector is law here.

Oh one last thing. Since the law went into effect things are quiet here. The law is mostly obeyed and havent been any further demonstrations.
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Boots
August 30th, 2005  
SwordFish_13
 
 
Hi,








Peace
-=SF_13=-
August 30th, 2005  
Rabs
 
 
Quote:
They called it a 'headscarf ban', but in fact it banned all religous items in schools such as exposed crosses (smaller ones out of sight are OK) Jewish skullcap, muslim headwear. So it doesnt just pick on muslims. Intergration in the public sector is law here.
I think theres a big diffrence between covering your face to the point of being unrecognizable and wearing a cross around your kneck. All hell will break loose if we try to say students cant wear crosses here in America.
August 30th, 2005  
Rich
 
Actually I support the idea of banning overt religious symbols in schools for a number of reasons:

First, and I know there has been some discussion on this forum about the separation of church and state, I think that state schools fall into this category. They are meant to be secular schools and the only significant display of a person's religion appears to be muslim women's headscarves. (Generally, people wearing a cross around their neck tends to be covered &/or discreet.) One of the reasons that we have school uniforms is that it helps to promote egalitarianism within a school year - there is a sameness or equality about each student that attends the school. In addition, there is a vast number of parents who send their children to state schools because of their secularism.

Second, there is a big difference between multi-culturalism and religious orthodoxy. Multi-culturalism is the celebration and acceptance of people's heritage and national culture - but not necessarily their religious customs. If that were so, then we might accept vaginal circumcision for girls, the cutting off of a thief's hand or burning heretics at the stake. OK they are extreme examples but at least two of them are commonly practiced in other parts of the world.

Third, the state allows for schools that wish to practice orthodox teachings (provided that the curriculum does not include some of the radical hate teachings we have heard about recently). If parents feel strongly about their children wearing a headscarf, skullcap or whatnot, then there are schools that cater for them. It's the parents responsibility to choose the school for their children, and not the state's obligation to mould schools according to the wishes of a minority.

Finally, we have had more controversy over the flying of our nation's flag and singing the national anthem at state schools. It seems a lot of people felt this was inappropriate - and I still don't get why. We even banned Xmas pageants but it seems the same people who were behind that seem to feel that banning headscarves is over the top. Hypocrisy at its worst if you ask me.
August 30th, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabs
Quote:
They called it a 'headscarf ban', but in fact it banned all religous items in schools such as exposed crosses (smaller ones out of sight are OK) Jewish skullcap, muslim headwear. So it doesnt just pick on muslims. Intergration in the public sector is law here.
I think theres a big diffrence between covering your face to the point of being unrecognizable and wearing a cross around your kneck. All hell will break loose if we try to say students cant wear crosses here in America.
we aren't talking about full facial scarves here....we're a talking about the normal headscarves that are much more common. i'm just saying that if you are going to ban one form of religious symbol....ban them all.

i wasn't aware that that was exactly what france had done....good on them it makes sense

of course people would get rowdy if they were told they couldn't wear a cross...why is it strange/not OK for muslims to get upset when they're told a symbol of their religion is not ok?
August 31st, 2005  
Rabs
 
 
I was under the confusion that it was a full head scarf and stuff were you couldt tell who the person was. But in the case of banning head scarfs that dont cover the face, thats pointless and then banning the rest of relgeious symbols...sigh.
August 31st, 2005  
Chocobo_Blitzer
 
I feel very uneasy about the idea in general. I don't see how religion and culture are so wildly different from each other. I just don't know....
August 31st, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabs
I was under the confusion that it was a full head scarf and stuff were you couldt tell who the person was. But in the case of banning head scarfs that dont cover the face, thats pointless and then banning the rest of relgeious symbols...sigh.
well i speak from my own experience...most muslims here in NZ are from malaysia and pakistan...ie more moderate places. not EVERY interpration of islam requires burka.

the main point is headscarves is modesty

Quote:
The Qur'anic verses which address the interaction of men and women in the social context include:

"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity: this will be most conducive to their purity - (and,) verily, God is aware of all that they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms (in public) beyond what may (decently) be apparent thereof; hence let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms.(24:30-31)"
and

"O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters, as well as all (other) believing women, that they should draw over themselves some of their outer garments (when in public): this will be more conducive to their being recognized (as decent women) and not annoyed.(33:59)"
Quote:
The emphasis in the Quran and the Sunnah is thus not on total segregation but on minimizing factors that promote physical attractiveness or may lead to the unlawful. Thus Islam requires believers to:

Treat one another with respect at all times in all situations.
Behave modestly.
Avoid situations of seclusion (khalwa).
Dress modestly (by covering ones body and (for females) hair).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_seg...Sexes_in_Islam


Quote:
The Qur'an also places a dress code upon its followers. For women, it emphasizes modesty. Allah says in the Qur'an, "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not to display their adornment (interpreted as the hair and body-shape) except that which ordinarily appears thereof (interpreted as the face and hands) and to draw their headcovers over their chests and not to display their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands fathers, their sons, . . . ." (24:31).

All those in whose presence a woman is not obliged to practice the dress code are known to be her mahrams. Men have a dress code which is more relaxed: the loins must be covered from knee to waist. The rationale given for these rules is that men and women are not to be viewed as sexual objects.

Turkey and Tunisia, though predominantly Muslim, have laws against these dress codes in schools and work places. After Ataturk's declaration of the Republic in 1923, a European dress code was encouraged. It is against the law to attend class or parliament with a head scarf in Turkey.

In practice, society dictates what women are allowed to wear in many culturally Islamic countries. Infringement of these rules in some Muslim nations may result in beatings. Some view Islamic women as being oppressed by the men in their communities because of the required dress codes. However, in more moderate nations, where these dress codes are not obligatory, there are still many Muslim women who practice it, where most of them choose to follow it because they believe it is the will of Allah. One of the garments women are required to wear is the hijab (of which the headscarf is one component). The word hijab is derived from the Arabic word hajaba which means 'to hide from sight or view', 'to conceal'. Hijab means to cover the head as well as the body.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Islam#Dress_codes


hope this helps