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Australian MPs call for head scarf ban

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LIBERAL MPs Bronwyn Bishop and Sophie Panopolous have continued to the Federal Government's clamp down on Islamic practices, with Bronwyn Bishop today adding her voice to Sophie Panopolous' call for head scarves to be banned.

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.


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.



Suldaanka called them dabadhilif....indeed

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only becouse public opion was against it. man i tell ya, if there was some people calling for the ban; then these two faced politicians would jump and down to see thro a legislation

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Bishop defends headscarf comments

August 29, 2005 - 12:32PM



Liberal backbencher Bronwyn Bishop has defended her push to ban Muslim girls from wearing headscarves at public schools, despite widespread condemnation from school groups, Muslim leaders and fellow politicians.


Ms Bishop has in recent days backed the view of outspoken Liberal MP Sophie Panopoulos in calling for the ban, describing the wearing of the hijab as an iconic act of defiance.


Ms Bishop, who is not calling for scarves to be banned in Islamic schools, said today she was not surprised the issue was provoking widespread community debate.


"I think it is because a lot of people are thinking about it and I think it's time people stood up to be counted," Ms Bishop told ABC radio.


"It has become the icon, the symbol of the clash of cultures, and it runs much deeper than a piece of cloth.


"The fact of the matter is we've got people in our country who are advocating - and I'm talking about extremist Islamist leaders - the overturning of our laws which guarantee freedom."


Ms Bishop said she had no problem with members of other faiths adorning themselves with religious symbols, such as Christians wearing a cross or Orthodox Jews a yarmulke.



Advertisement"I have no concerns about people who wear a cross or people who wear a skull-cap because I haven't heard any leaders of those communities stand up and say the very fabric of our society should be overturned," she said.


Australian Secondary Principals Association president Ted Brierley said it was a non-issue among schools.


"I'm not aware of any schools that are making this an issue," he said.


"At the current time, schools are responsible for their uniform policies, within a statewide framework.


"I discern no real cause from schools to change that situation and I find it a bit strange that we're elevating this issue in schools when the federal government is launching its values package which supports tolerance and things like that.


"In the discussions I've had with school leaders, I think they see this as unhelpful."


Australian Council of State School Organisations chief executive Terry Aulich questioned why such a ban would be introduced.


Mr Aulich said a decision last year by the French parliament to outlaw the wearing of Islamic headscarves in state schools had merely forced Muslim communities to look within.


"I think the French did the most ****** thing when they banned headscarves because their public schools had been very, very inclusive," he said.


"Now people are going off into little enclaves, setting up their own little religious schools or ethnic schools.


"We're very much in favour of having a public school system which welcomes everybody rather than driving them into those enclaves."


Education Minister Brendan Nelson yesterday reiterated his position of supporting the right of students to wear headscarves, provided this falls within each school's uniforms policy.


Education ministers in both NSW and South Australia have today voiced their opposition to Muslim girls being banned from wearing headscarves to public schools.


Federal opposition legal affairs spokeswoman Nicola Roxon today echoed the thoughts expressed by Muslim representatives, who say the debate shows a lack of cultural understanding.


"I don't think that you can see what people wear as an act of defiance," Ms Roxon told the Nine Network.


"This is actually a cultural and religious piece of clothing ... and I don't really think that either Sophie or Bronwyn understand anything about the multicultural community that we live in."

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States rule out school headscarf ban


State governments are quickly dismissing calls for Muslim girls to be banned from wearing headscarves while attending state schools.


New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia have already rejected the idea.


Federal Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop has backed calls from her Victorian colleague Sophie Panopoulos to ban girls from wearing the headscarves to school, saying they are being used as an icon of defiance and symbolise a clash of cultures.


But state education ministers say they will not ban girls from wearing the clothing.


New South Wales Education Minister Carmel Tebutt says the comments do not reflect Australia's diversity.


She says students from different backgrounds seem to mix very well together in the state's schools.


"In fact, what I see in our public schools is the great traditions of Australian democracy in action where students work together, where students value each other, they show tolerance, they show respect and they understand the various cultural differences that students bring to the school," she said.


"I think that's the great strength of our public education system."


Her Queensland counterpart, Rod Welford, says no one should take Ms Bishop seriously.


"She's a caricature of a federal Liberal politician and neither we in Queensland, in our education system, nor indeed most of her federal colleagues will take any notice of the nonsense she speaks," he said.


Howard urged to act


But the chairman of the Ethnic Communities Council, Phong Nguyen, has called on Prime Minister John Howard to show leadership on the issue and put a stop to the discussion.


"I think the Prime Minister has to come out very clear and very quickly to put the issue at rest immediately and that's the leadership we need," he said.


The Federal Opposition's deputy leader, Jenny Macklin, also says Mr Howard needs to condemn comments by his colleagues about headscarves.


"You know the Prime Minister should keep Bronwyn Bishop and Sophie Panapoulos in check," she said.


"These sort of extreme comments don't fit in a respectful and tolerant society and that's the sort of society that we certainly want to see, a place where religious freedom is respected, where people are able to practice their religious beliefs without these sort of comments."


Northern Territory's Education Minister Syd Stirling agrees the suggestion of a ban borders on extremism.


"It's extremist elements in different parts of the community that we need to very careful of," he said.


"I just think it's a most ungracious comment and certainly not supported by this Government."


Encouraging extremism?


Federal Liberal MP Susan Ley says a ban could lead young Muslims towards a more militant interpretation of their religion.


"I think we need as a community to embrace the Muslims within our number and that involves a lot of different things including a dialogue, including understanding, including talking to people and in this way we won't encourage young Muslim people to a more rigid interpretations of their faith which could lead to extremism," she said.


The Victorian Opposition's education spokesman, Victor Perton, says a suggestion of a ban on headscarves in schools is madness.


But Mr Perton says freedom of expression and religion are crucial parts of Australian culture.


"If you ban the head scarf as an expression of the Muslim religion, do you ban head scarves for Christians, do you ban the wearing of crucifixes?" he said.


"Look, I think this is madness."


South Australia's Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith has described the proposal 'dopey'.


Dr Lomax-Smith says she will not be taking up the suggestion.


"I think it's just about as dopey as banning Christmas trees for kindergartens," she said.


"It's a form of political correctness where you say that everyone's got to look the same and I'm really absolutely opposed to it. It's divisive and I believe public schools should be inclusive."



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On another note did you pay close attention to Howards response to the idea of a headscarf ban. He said it was "impractical" he seemed to suggest that he agrees with the idea in principle only it would be too difficult to implement.

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Apologies, if we ausies seem to be spamming one too many news articles. :D


I found this hilarious,


Drug-accused model says she's a Muslim

18:46 AEST Mon Aug 29 2005



An Australian model facing drugs charges in Bali has declared herself a Muslim and adopted an Islamic headdress to shield her face from media attention.


Adelaide-born Michelle Leslie, 24, appeared covered from head to toe as she was led from her cell at Bali police headquarters, where she is facing up to 15 years in jail if convicted on charges of possessing two tablets of ecstasy



Read Full article

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Remember we have Indonesia as our nieghbours, so i dont think australia would want to create anything that will jeopardise thier relationship with Indonesia. Besides many of them fear Indonesia, hence australias pro US policy. Unlike other western countries Australia is all alone on this side of the globe.

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Qac Qaac   

True australia has to play it is cards right.. coz it actually has muslim country as a neighbor.. and shall i add the most populated muslim country in the world.. is indonesia.... although i am sure, if there was something to happen australia would get help from u know who lool.. anyways.. banning of head scarf it won't be something new.. and i don't think, it would be something that is gonna stop soon.. so stay tuned for more things my muslim bro and sis

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Originally posted by Source:

Unlike other western countries Australia is all alone on this side of the globe.

Except for the U.S. pacific fleet, described below. Such fleet would have ships or aircraft in or near Australia within hours if not minutes. Australia can be as ignorant and oppressive as the rest of the western countries with little or no fear of Indonesia or any other muslim country.



The U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet covers more than 50% of the earth' surface, encompassing just over 100 million square miles. Each day, Pacific Fleet ships are at sea in the Pacific, Indian, and Arctic Oceans, from the west coast of the U.S. to the Arabian Gulf. The Pacific Fleet encompasses approximately 200 ships, 2,000 aircraft and 250,000 Sailors and Marines. Together they keep the sea lanes open, deter aggression, provide regional stability, and support humanitarian relief activities.



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What a discrimination walaahi, a naked woman is ok to be part of the society and a woman who respects her body (covered) is not. What a sick thought. John howard I am not a product and I refuse to display by body, is my choice is my body. simple as that.


Aussies waligood ayee dabo dhilifkii mareekan iyo yurub ahaayeen. Lax socoto waaye walaahi odaygaan gaaban oo bidaarta leh. Fikrad gooni mabo keesan karo in uu dadka dabo dhaanjiyo mooyee.


Originally posted by Source:

[QB] Remember we have Indonesia as our nieghbours, so i dont think australia would want to create anything that will jeopardise thier relationship with Indonesia. Besides many of them fear Indonesia, hence australias pro US policy. Unlike other western countries Australia is all alone on this side of the globe.

Not necessarily, don’t count on neighbours to defend us, we as Muslims in Australia should stand up for own rights and fight against banning hijab. Is time as Muslims stop assuming others are looking out for us we need to take the action our own selves Such action like banning hijab is discrimination and against human right.

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