Burqa, hi­jab are forms of apartheid

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - HOWARD HUTCHINS Queens­land, Aus­tralia

Burqa and hi­jab sub­ju­ga­tion of any Mus­lim woman in Western-so­ci­ety Aus­tralia is a form of apartheid. In Aus­tralia, no­body has the right to ap­proach a ser­vice sta­tion or su­per­mar­ket cashier with his face masked, nor is any­one al­lowed to ap­proach a bank teller or se­cu­rity guard with his face cov­ered. Why should any­one be al­lowed to wear a face and head cov­er­ing when ap­proach­ing schools or play­grounds?

We can­not be­come “mul­ti­tribal,” hav­ing one law for only some and another law for the vast majority. This is not ac­cept­able in any democ­racy, es­pe­cially when it goes against ev­ery­thing our fore­bears (of all ori­gins) have fought for in Aus­tralia; namely, a free and open so­ci­ety.

Women who in­sist on or are forced into hid­ing their faces in “open-faced” Aus­tralia are not free. It is not our Aus­tralian cul­ture. The “First Aus­tralians” gen­er­ally do not hide their very proud Abo­rig­i­nal iden­ti­ties, and nei­ther should the rest of us.

Fur­ther­more, the type of men sub­ju­gat­ing women by de­mand­ing that women in their so­ci­ety be masked and closed off from Western so­ci­eties are not wanted in this free and “open-faced” Aus­tralian so­ci­ety. Let such men go live else­where in the world.

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