Why is wearing the hijab such an issue? A Sikh can wear his turban and a Jew can wear his yarmulke so why can’t a Muslim woman wear her hijab? What is the real rationale behind the suggestion of a ban of the hijab in schools by Victorian Liberal MP Sophie Panopoulos, and backed by NSW backbencher Bronwyn Bishop?
A ban would be divisive and oppressive. It would drive Muslims away from the mainstream even further at a point in time when level-headed ppl, Muslims and non-Muslims alike are meant to be closing ranks against Islamic radicalism and global terrorism.
Thankfully, the PM had come out against such a suggestion. However his response has been labelled as “weak” because he framed his opposition in terms of practicality.
“If you ban a headscarf you might, for consistency’s sake, have to ban a … turban.
“It does become rather difficult and rather impractical.”
Greens senator Kerry Nettle says:
“Freedom of religion is an Australian value – that is the message John Howard should be sending – not that banning headscarves is simply impractical.”
Quashing the issue further, the Multicultural Affairs Minister John Cobb added:
“Whether a Muslim woman chooses to wear the headscarf in public or not does not diminish her identity as an Australian.”
Making me feel a little better about our education system, both the president of the Australian Secondary Principals Association and the chief executive of the Australian Council of State School Organisations have deemed it a non-issue as well. Although much still needed to be improved upon in terms of teaching about the major religions in schools I’m heartened by the above sentiments.
The PM may not have come out strongly against the suggestion of a ban but the end result is still the same – the proposal is stillborn. Sanity and good sense has prevailed for now.
Speaking of the hijab, the Australian model Michelle Leslie who was arrested in Bali recently for possession of 2 ecstasy tablets suddenly declared herself a Muslim and was shown on TV in a full burqa covering her whole body including her face.
Now call me cynical … but how do you suddenly become a Muslim? This from a model who had previously appeared in just body paint. You don’t suddenly gain religion like that. The Chinese have a saying, loosely translated:
You are praying at Buddha’s feet now only because you need him.
If she thinks declaring herself a Muslim would make the judges go easy on her, then she’s sadly mistaken. Let’s just entertain the absurb notion that somehow Indonesian law is more lenient towards Muslims, even the most forgiving judge would see right through this ploy.
Her lawyers would be wise to just concentrate on her case and the evidence at hand and leave religion out of it.