Burqas: because we’re all against special privileges for religion

Apparently the tiny number of Australian women in burqas is causing a great deal of upset around this Wide Brown Daily Telegraph.

And you can understand why. After all, when the police pull us over, ordinary balaclava-wearing Australians have to take them off. When we go into the bank, we’re forced to remove our menacingly dark-tinted motorbike helmets. When we go fencing, those wearing those wussy total face masks that protect against epee-in-the-eye are mocked for the UNAUSTRALIAN NANCY BOYS THEY ARE.

So it’s entirely legitimate for us to be up in arms about the full face-covering burqa and for Today Tonight to compare it with fanatics in Afghanistan who MURDER OUR TROOPS. We don’t want weird exceptions for religious groups – why shouldn’t they live under the same rules as the rest of us?

Except of course that obviously religious organisations shouldn’t pay taxes like ordinary Australians.

Obviously they should get exemptions under anti-discrimination legislation to enable them to discriminate against employees in ways that no other organisation can, for entirely arbitrary prejudiced reasons that have nothing to do with the requirements of the jobs in question.

Without a doubt they should get special funding from the taxpayer to run their own schools.

Naturally we should pay religious organisations to provide unqualified school chaplains in place of qualified counsellors – what they lack in actual ability to provide proper care to vulnerable children, they make up in ability to provide taxpayer-funded religious indoctrination.

And why wouldn’t we accede to the demands of the minority of people who oppose marriage equality on religious grounds and continue to discriminate against gay people in the law?

So yes, special rules for some religions. But not the bad ones we don’t like (not that we’re being racist, because Muslims aren’t a race, they’re just a cultural group that we can single out and stereotype in ways indistinguishable from racism).

Because that just wouldn’t be fair.

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63 responses to “Burqas: because we’re all against special privileges for religion

  1. Splatterbottom

    So what is your point? That in addition to the privileges enjoyed by all religions, Islam should also get another – that of not being able to be identified in the way all other citizens must.

    And by the way, the term ‘racist’ is now used so indiscriminately that it barely carries negative connotations any more. For example if you challenge one particular type of vile religious belief you are likely to be branded a racist by some mindless drongo or other.and the government may very well put you on trial, whereas the government will subsidise mockery of other religions which don’t enjoy special victim status. Funnily enough no one has ever been called a racist for ridiculing Christians.

  2. Jeremy, I’m unclear of your position – what is your position on the power for police to have face coverings removed?

  3. My point’s obvious – by all means, don’t have religious exemptions for rules about being identifiable.

    But we don’t need special laws discriminating against them, either – what was the old rule if the police demanded someone in a balaclava take it off? Why isn’t that adequate? And why does the fine have to be so utterly ridiculous – $5000? What?

    Don’t whip up hatred as part of a fear campaign against a minority group (eg Today Tonight’s vacuous attempt to link burqas and troop deaths).

    And get rid of the other ridiculous exemptions for religions at the same time.

  4. Jeremy, thanks for clarifying – I agree with your position.

  5. narcoticmusing

    I have mixed views about the burqa, particuarly because in a country like Australia, the face is the primary form of identification and communication. I such I believe that a visible face is required to fully participate in this democratic society. I also am aware of many women being oppressed by being deidenfied in this way (ie not a human being) and I completely disagree with the oft used excuse (mainly by men) that the blame of sexual violence is on the victim, as if men can’t control themselves unless she’s covered head to toe. Nevertheless, I understand that this is disproportionately onerous to one particular subgroup on religious grounds and as such is discriminatory to their religous freedom. I suppose my views are mixed because the story is rarely fully explored, rather it is sensationalised, by both sides of the debate. I concede that some of my concerns are in line with some of those, but my concerns are my own, constructed not from media representation (or misrepresentation) but my own personal experiences/interactions. Thus I concede I may also be ill informed.

    Either way, the police should always have the right to demand a person identify themselves, so should other authorised officers (eg airport security, courts, etc).

    SB – one isn’t a racist for mocking christians as you put it because they are so politically active it makes them fair game. They also hold so much power and public money they have a duty to use it responsibily and be subject to public scrutiny. I personally think this is and should be the case for all religions – nevertheless, the fear campaigns are generally not about christians.

  6. uniquerhys

    “Funnily enough no one has ever been called a racist for ridiculing Christians.”

    Don’t get out much, do you? Try perusing any atheist blog on the web to witness the vile epithets that are hurled daily by the godly, to shut down and overwhelm the discussion with false accusations.

  7. So what is your point? That in addition to the privileges enjoyed by all religions, Islam should also get another – that of not being able to be identified in the way all other citizens must.

    That’s not a “benefit” to Islam. Anyone can go around with their face covered if they want to.

    And presumably, as Jeremy points out, it was already a requirement of the law that one uncover one’s face if required by police.

  8. jordanrastrick

    SB – one isn’t a racist for mocking christians as you put it because they are so politically active it makes them fair game.

    Nonsense. By this account racism against Israeli or Palestinians must not exist, simply because both groups are politically active in trying to command international sympathy for their causes?

    One arguably can’t be racist against Christians or Muslims in the strict sense of the word, as they are purely religious groups, not ethnicities. Also, Christians are culturally dominant and privileged compared to other religions in Western countries, so claims of oppression should rightly be treated with skepticism. I think it detracts from the seriousness of the oppression of non-Christian religions where it exists in the West, and more importantly the widespread oppression of religions including Christianity in non-Western countries – a church in China or Aceh could probably teach Australian congregations traumatised by Piss Christ a thing or two about being persecuted for the sake of the Lord. Finally, Christians, at least, should I feel take attacks on their beliefs with good grace, patience, and humility.

    Nonetheless, narcotic, political activism doesn’t make any group “fair game” for discrimination or other unjust treatment.

    And Jeremy, I agree with your stance as I understand it on Burqas – tabloid media has been whipping up an absurd moral panic, which is not to say they should not be required to be removed along with other face coverings when identification is necessary for legal reasons (to me it wasn’t at all clear that the police lacked these powers)….

    .

  9. narcoticmusing

    Jordan – I think you’ve misinterpreted my post. I dare say you know all too well that I was not at any point endorsing the idea of a group being fair game for discrimination or other unjust treatment.

    Nevertheless, I will attempt to clarify. I believe that Christian organisations make themselves fair game for public scrutiny when they become actively involved in the political sphere. I also do not think someone is a racist for mockign a Christian (as like you said, it is a reliegion not a race issue). I do not believe that christians themselves should be mocked nor discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Nor should any belief system. However, I also believe that christians – or at least their representative groups – do disproportionately influence government policy, benefit from government (public) funding (predominantly for very worthwhile causes), and disproportionately mock/discriminate against other/opposing value systems (Jeremy gave some apt examples). Christian organisations actively villainise others and as such they are discovered, questioned and held to account – not by government (who endorses them) but the public with the only weapon available – free speech. Just as non-Christian organisations are and shoult be, held to account.

    Lastly, the hypocrisy of Christian organisations also makes them fair game for public scrutiny. The selective discriminatory use of the bible; the breeding of hate rather than love; judging people rather than actions; etc etc. There is a long history of this in so called Christian nations.

  10. jordanrastrick

    Jordan – I think you’ve misinterpreted my post. I dare say you know all too well that I was not at any point endorsing the idea of a group being fair game for discrimination or other unjust treatment.

    I could guess that isn’t the kind of view you’d be likely to support, but I think the way you expressed yourself certainly made that the most obvious interpretation. Thanks for clarifying what you meant.

    I believe that Christian organisations make themselves fair game for public scrutiny when they become actively involved in the political sphere.

    All public organisations should be fair game for scrutiny. Muslims, Jews, Christians, and Humanists have all been reasonable prominent in a variety of political campaigns lately, and of course like any other group they all have the right to express their views coupled with a responsibility to accept that scrutiny will be applied to those views.

    Of course, its questionable whether the Daily Telegraph’s “journalism” on the Burqa, or Piss Christ, etc constitute legitimate, rational “scrutiny” in any meaningful sense. Still, journalists, artists and others have a close to limitless right to free expression in a democracy, certainly beyond the bounds of genuinely reasonable debate – as they should.

    benefit from government (public) funding (predominantly for very worthwhile causes)

    I agree both that most public funding of Christian organisations supports worthy causes, and also that nonetheless it is all inappropriate in a secular society (except where Christian NGOs are provisioning services within the dictates of secular government requirements on equal footing with secular organisations.) I’m pretty sure SB, who as far as I’m aware is the only other regular Christian commenter here, would also agree to both points.

    Christian organisations actively villainise others and as such they are discovered, questioned and held to account

    Some do, sadly, and they should be called out on it. I don’t know that has much bearing on how people overall should treat Christians, or for that matter Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists or any others.

  11. Of course much of the conservative discourse about women in burqas is contradictory. On the one hand they are powerless victims of misogynistic Islamic oppression whilst on the other they are powerful threats to our safety, especially when they enter convenience stores. I did a post on this a couple of weeks ago.

    Your point about legal inequalities regarding religious exemptions is valid even if a little lost in the rhetorical tone of the post

  12. Splatterbottom

    DMD: “On the one hand they are powerless victims of misogynistic Islamic oppression whilst on the other they are powerful threats to our safety”

    This is just plain silly. The religious oppression that drives one to become a suicide bomber is not a lot different to that which drives one to strictly adhere to other bizarre religious practices including dressing up in weird anti-social clothing.

    Most suicide bombers are prepped and schooled by more calculating operatives. Often they are young, sometimes female and sometimes a male attired in burqa and niqab.

  13. I daresay your implication that not a lot separates a suicide bomber from an Australian woman wearing a burqa is “just plain silly” though that doesn’t quite cover it.

    I was merely trying to point out the apparent contradiction of some commentators suggesting we should simultaneously sympathise with their plight and fear them. I’m guessing your lack of understanding of the reasons some Australian Muslim women choose to wear the burqa is due to the fact you have never asked one.

  14. narcoticmusing

    DMD – if you have been able to ask an Australian Muslim woman why she wears a burqa then you automatically have selected a sub-group of burqa wearing women. By definition, women wearing these due to oppression would not be able to speak to you.

  15. Splatterbottom

    DMD: “I daresay your implication that not a lot separates a suicide bomber from an Australian woman wearing a burqa is “just plain silly” though that doesn’t quite cover it.”

    I neither said nor implied that. I merely attributed both to religious conviction.

    “I was merely trying to point out the apparent contradiction of some commentators suggesting we should simultaneously sympathise with their plight and fear them.”

    How is that a contradiction? I can sympathise with people who feel compelled by their religion to blow themselves up as well as fear that they might also blow me up. I could guess at the reason for your lack of logic on this point but that would be impolite.

  16. The religious oppression that drives one to become a suicide bomber is not a lot different to that which drives one to strictly adhere to other bizarre religious practices including dressing up in weird anti-social clothing.
    I merely attributed both to religious conviction” … well if you truly were not trying to draw any link whatsoever between an Australian woman wearing a burqa and suicide bombers than the above quote was clumsy at best.

    How is that a contradiction?

    Perhaps contradiction is not the right word… but the two sentiments are at least a little incongruous and that’s all I was trying to point out.

  17. @narcoticmusing yeah I get your point. I was just suggesting that many people like to pontificate about why a woman wears a burqa, or “weird anti-social clothing” as SB calls it, without ever including the woman or women in question in the debate

  18. Surely all this ridiculous burqa bitching is just a mask for people’s xenophobia. Everyone is tripping over themselves trying to intellectualise why this particular religious symbol is somehow wrong.
    Really, it is just blaming the victim for wearing a tool of their own oppression. Which is just dumb. It is not the victim’s fault – they may even begin to like it, to find some good in it, to view it as an expression of their beliefs rather than a tool of oppression. It is not the tool’s fault – would you ban walls for palestians, or machetes for rwandans, or money for the US? Just dumb!
    If you want to find a solution to a problem you treat the cause, not the symptons. If you want to use spurious reasoning to give yourself an excuse for expressing your xenophobic tendencies, at least have the guts to own up to it.

  19. How big is the actual problem this purports to address?

    Is NSW being assailed by an army of burqa wearing bandits?

  20. When I see a police officer in NSW or WA make some lily-white bogan remove his mirrored wrap-around sunglasses on the same pretext (facial recognition), I’ll start believing that they’re on the level.
    Until then, this is tabloid fodder.

    DMD
    I daresay your implication that not a lot separates a suicide bomber from an Australian woman wearing a burqa is “just plain silly”

    An equal amount separates belief in Christ from shooting doctors and bombing clinics… and we have yet to proscribe crucifices.

    milfot
    Surely all this ridiculous burqa bitching is just a mask for people’s xenophobia.

    Victoria Police would appear to share your view – they just went on record as saying that they’ve had no problems.

  21. Splatterbottom

    DMD: “I was just suggesting that many people like to pontificate about why a woman wears a burqa, or “weird anti-social clothing” as SB calls it, without ever including the woman or women in question in the debate”

    “Weird anti-social clothing” is an apt and fairly neutral term. If I had wanted to be offensive I would have said “Impersonating a sack of garbage” or some such.

    I get an understanding of other views by regularly reading islamic fora. For example many of the views expressed here are more calm and moderate than what you here from the professional victim pimps.

    “If you want to find a solution to a problem you treat the cause, not the symptons.”

    Obviously the target of criticism should be the hideous misogynist religious doctrines, but it doesn’t hurt to mention the perversity and stupidity of those that believe and impose them.

    Narwagadj people are probably being exercised by the recent case where a niqab wearer made a mockery of our legal system. Obviously the judge was a bit naive here, but what can you expect after 16 years of ALP judicial appointments in NSW?

  22. Are the Victorian commentators here not aware of the Carnita Matthews case that was just decided in NSW?

    For those not familiar with it: a Muslim woman clad in a burqua went to a police station and accused a NSW policeman of forcefully trying to remove her veil during a traffic stop, going so far as to sign a statutory declaration supporting her accusation.

    When the video tape of the traffic stop was reviewed it became clear that the policeman had done no such thing, and thus the DPP charged Ms Matthews with making a false report to police and signing a false statutory declaration.

    Ms Matthews’ defence? Yep, you guessed it, you can’t prove it was me who made the false complaint because I was wearing a burqua and you never saw my face.

    So these new laws are clearly necessary, and you can thank young Ms Matthews for identifying the legal black hole that would exist without them.

  23. It would help greatly to understand the context in these cases if journalists would actually join the Age of the Web. One line out-of-context quotes and 30 second sound bites don’t give a clear picture of what is really going on. Would it kill them to include a link to the source documents from the court, so we can read the facts for ourselves? If I have to spend an hour on Google to figure out if your story is factual or spin, then your story isn’t ready to be printed yet.

  24. Ms Matthews’ defence? Yep, you guessed it, you can’t prove it was me who made the false complaint because I was wearing a burqua and you never saw my face.

    So these new laws are clearly necessary, and you can thank young Ms Matthews for identifying the legal black hole that would exist without them.

    I suppose we should automatically assume her guilt for the purposes of your argument, even though she’s been convicted of nothing.

  25. jordanrastrick

    I had a friend who was present at the court where the charges against Ms Matthews were dropped [to testify as a witness in another case], who could report at least that her supporters were loud, obnoxious, highly aggressive douchebags spoiling for a fight with anyone and falsely trying to blame everyone’s natural distaste for their behaviour on racism. And the judge’s opinions on the case shouldn’t be too hard to find on the public record, uniquerhys.

    While I hold the tabloid media primarily responsible for the anti-Burqua agitation, the silent majority of Australian Muslims can rightly blame these idiots for giving the Islamophobes ammunition for their hysteria. Sadly most people will happily generalise from the actions of a handful of people to a stereotype of an entire religion.

  26. Splatterbottom

    Buns it is bad enough that Matthews falsely accused the police of trying to forcibly remove her burqa. Clearly she lied when she made this allegation on Channel 7 and lied in a manner calculated to destroy the career of the officer in question.

    The judge declined to rely on handwriting evidence and said that, in any event, he couldn’t be sure that she knew the complaint was false! All he has done is to bring the system of justice into disrepute.

  27. mondo rock

    I suppose we should automatically assume her guilt for the purposes of your argument

    Buns – if it makes you feel any better then feel free to make the opposite assumption: i.e. she was completely innocent and was ‘set up’ by an impostor wearing a burqa and pretending to be her.

    How does this weaken the argument that police should be entitled to require burqa wearing individuals to remove their veil so as to establish their identity?

  28. uniquerhys

    “And the judge’s opinions on the case shouldn’t be too hard to find on the public record, uniquerhys. ”

    That’s not really the point. Claims in an article should be backed up with evidence and references by the claimant, not the person reading the claims. A scientific paper that referenced another with “Google it for yourself” wouldn’t pass peer review, even if it was the #1 hit on Google. So why do we allow journalists to be so sloppy with their sources that we have to just take their word for it?

  29. jordanrastrick

    Oh, I agree that is ridiculous how out of date the online versions of our old media journalism are. Linking to sources is pretty easy and should be routine for professionals, and its frustrating that its not. TBH I’m surprised we haven’t seen faster change in this area.

  30. Buns it is bad enough that Matthews falsely accused the police of trying to forcibly remove her burqa. Clearly she lied when she made this allegation on Channel 7 and lied in a manner calculated to destroy the career of the officer in question.

    The judge declined to rely on handwriting evidence and said that, in any event, he couldn’t be sure that she knew the complaint was false! All he has done is to bring the system of justice into disrepute.

    Obviously, none of us were in court, but if she wasn’t found guilty even with her credibility shot via the demonstrably false accusation she made on channel 7, the case couldn’t have been as clear as some people seem to think.

    How does this weaken the argument that police should be entitled to require burqa wearing individuals to remove their veil so as to establish their identity?

    I’m not arguing they shouldn’t have the power to require that.

  31. jordanrastrick

    Did Channel 7 verify her identity any more than the police who took her complaint? Its also possible that evidence was inadmissable for other reasons.

    I’d have to take unique’s suggestion to “google it myself” to be sure :-), but my impression was the judge basically said “you should be going to jail for this, but legally, my hands are tied.”

  32. mondo rock

    Nonetheless, as I noted above, the outcome of Matthews’ case proved the necessity of these new laws.

    I, for one, am glad the new Liberal government acted almost immediately to implement them. The previous Labor government, beholden as it was to ethnic voting blocs in and around Lakemba, would never have had the guts.

  33. Splatterbottom

    The funny thing is that Matthew’s barrister later claimed that the signature on the complaint was that of Matthews. When the newspapers sought to obtain a copy of the signature her lawyer Stephen Hopper claimed that it would be an unwarranted invasion of privacy to hand over her signature. The better view is that this shameless harridan has made the NSW system of justice look foolish indeed.

  34. While I hold the tabloid media primarily responsible for the anti-Burqua agitation, the silent majority of Australian Muslims can rightly blame these idiots for giving the Islamophobes ammunition for their hysteria. Sadly most people will happily generalise from the actions of a handful of people to a stereotype of an entire religion.

    Couldn’t agree more. Although you’d have to agree that with this new law, NSW should soon see a huge drop in the number of crimes being committed by burqa-clad muslim women. Probably tons of cold case files involving female muslim perps that the cops can dust off now too.

  35. Really, Mondo? What do you think about the $5000 fines? Necessary?

    And why didn’t we need this law earlier – did the police never need to check the identity of people wearing bike helmets or balaclavas? Or did they already have the necessary powers, just without the Muslim-bashing panic element?

  36. mondo rock

    Buns, what on Earth are you talking about?

    These laws, which you agree are necessary (and which, as you admit above, you assumed existed already) are not aimed at reducing crime or solving old cases, nor is anyone claiming that they are. The are being implemented to address a loophole currently afforded to a lunatic religious fringe who like their women to cover their faces.

    Why are you carrying on as though these laws are aimed at reducing muslim crime? Are you trying to build a strawman?

  37. jordanrastrick

    And why didn’t we need this law earlier – did the police never need to check the identity of people wearing bike helmets or balaclavas? Or did they already have the necessary powers, just without the Muslim-bashing panic element?

    In the more measured media coverage I’d seen about the case earlier, I’d seen it suggested the police would have already been well within their rights to ask her to remove the burqua to identify her – certainly while she was at the police station making a complaint. They could even have offered to have a female police officer perform the identification if they wanted to appease her religious sensibilities. However the officers were scared about being viewed as racist, and so failed to ask….

  38. Splatterbottom

    Jordan: “However the officers were scared about being viewed as racist, and so failed to ask….”

    Sounds like a case of Islamophobiaphobia.

  39. mondo rock

    What do you think about the $5000 fines? Necessary?

    Well the law needs to apply some sort of sanction to those who fail to abide by it otherwise it’s fairly useless. Whether that sanction is a $500, $5,000 or $50,000 fine depends, I suppose, on the gravity of the offence.

    To be honest I have no problem with that sanction being set at $5,000.

    And why didn’t we need this law earlier – did the police never need to check the identity of people wearing bike helmets or balaclavas?

    I haven’t researched this issue (and nor have you by the looks of things) but my guess is that the police never previously encountered helmet/balaclava wearing individuals who refused to remove said garment when asked. There is no religion that I’m aware of that requires adherents to keep their balaclava on at all times.

    Or did they already have the necessary powers, just without the Muslim-bashing panic element?

    Well, legislators generally don’t need to pass laws identical to those that already exist so I’d confidently wager that the “necessary powers” were not already in place.

    I honestly don’t see the “Muslim bashing” element of this law to which you refer? Are you referring to the requirement that people show their face to police, or the quantum of the fine?

  40. “ethnic voting blocs”

    What are they Mondo? Please, do tell…..

  41. Why are you carrying on as though these laws are aimed at reducing muslim crime? Are you trying to build a strawman?

    Relax. I’ve already said I’ve got no problem with the law. Just engaging in a bit of harmless piss-taking.

  42. jordanrastrick

    Lol, SB, I’ll pay that.

  43. Sounds like a case of Islamophobiaphobia.

    We can probably rule out respect, anyway.

  44. Well, legislators generally don’t need to pass laws identical to those that already exist so I’d confidently wager that the “necessary powers” were not already in place.

    You’d think that would follow every time but experience tells me otherwise.

    One article I read said the power existed already but only in relation to more serious offences i.e. not for routine traffic stuff as in the present case.

  45. mondo rock

    Eric, they are electorates within NSW that have a very significant ethnic population who tend to vote as a block (based on the preferences of community and church leaders).

  46. Splatterbottom

    A good example is when Keating granted trouble-making madman Sheikh Hilaly permanent residence, against the advice of the Federal Police to win the votes for Labor. The votes Keating hoped to win came from a particular ethnic voting bloc.

    Another example is the Vietnamese who came to Australia after the fall of South Vietnam. The likelihood that they would not vote for a leftist party was why Whitlam did not want ‘those fucking yellow Balts’ in the country and was happy to leave them to drown at sea.

    Similarly a lot of people who migrated from Eastern Europe saw similarities between their former oppressors and ALP and as a group were unlikely ever to vote Labor.

  47. Another example is the Vietnamese who came to Australia after the fall of South Vietnam. The likelihood that they would not vote for a leftist party was why Whitlam did not want ‘those fucking yellow Balts’ in the country and was happy to leave them to drown at sea.

    How do you know that was his reasoning? Maybe he had a more benign motivation, such as concern for Australia’s “social cohesion” a la Honest Johnny’s objection to Asian immigration in the late 80s.

  48. narcoticmusing

    Unique – the case law is often not publicly released for a while after the case, so the journalist would’ve likely got their facts from sitting in court (or having a lacky sit in court) and take notes.

  49. So the wave of burqa related crimes in NSW, requiring specific legislation, consisted of 1 case??

    Allelujah, we’ve been saved!

  50. Splatterbottom

    Buns, he used “Balts” in his profane outburst precisely because of the votes as it was well known at the time that Balts would not vote for a communist infiltrated party s Labor was at that time.

  51. Mondo: “ethnic population”
    SB: “ethnic voting”

    sigh.

  52. mondo
    …electorates within NSW that … tend to vote as a block

    These ones?







  53. I get it now.

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with laws that require people to show their face to police in prescribed situations, or which apply a sanction against those who refuse to comply. It’s difficult to mount a rational objection to such rules.

    BUT, if you can smear the person advocating for the laws as a racist then you don’t need to address the substance of the legal change. You can play a game of guilt by asssociation – “the law must be bad because those supporting it are racist”.

    Well OK then – that explains what you’re doing . I clearly support this law, you don’t have any substantive or coherent objections to it, so instead some of you are looking for ways to paint me as a racist. Eric is sighing away at my horrible use of the word “ethnic” (oh my God – he said ethnic), and Lykurgus is dragging the Cronulla riots into the discussion (as though they have any relevance whatsoever to this topic).

    Does anyone here actually have a cogent argument against these laws? Can anyone point to a substantive injustice that these laws will cause, or a danger to liberty and freedom that they will pose?

    Or do you just instinctively dislike them because they are seen as positive by a section of the Australian population that you consider to be your ideological opponents?

  54. narcoticmusing

    So the wave of burqa related crimes in NSW, requiring specific legislation, consisted of 1 case??

    Actually, 1 case is a REALLY good reason to modify legislation if that case points out a flaw in the law. Consider how often taxation law is modified because some loophole is exploited and the courts are powerless to stop it. Consider the decriminalisation of abortion in the face of a case where a person would’ve gone to jail for it. One case is one of the best reasons to modify legislation. If you think one case doesn’t justify changing legislation then you have little understanding of the law and the entire point of the legislature.

    NSW has made legislation for WAY worse reasons – think the NIMBY legislation re: paedophiles and perhaps the unconstituional limitations on political freedom because the pope was visiting.

  55. Splatterbottom

    True enough Lykurgus but you forgot to mention these Lykurgus.

  56. narcoticmusing

    Mondo – I completely agree with the laws in principle. I am opposed to the demonising of muslims in the process (ie the tabloid media version). I think this is Jeremy’s issue – not so much an issue with a person having to identify themselves, but with the muslim bashing spin the media put on it as if this was the only reason.

    The police, and other authorised persons, should be able to require another person to properly identify themselves. This should also be the case in particular venues (court, banks, airports, etc) although there would be a need to exercise some care here in how it is implemented. Nevertheless, the definition of discrimination is imposing a law that is fine for the majority but overly onerous or disproportionately harsh for a particular minority group – ergo, completely disallowing the burqa could be seen as discrimination and to a lesser degree, perhaps a law requiring the coverign to be removed could be.

    Regardless, rights are not absolute, they must be balanced. In this case, I believe only having authorised persons able to seek the identification is a reasonable balance with the necessity of cooperation and participation in any free and democratic society.

  57. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, if you use the word ‘”ethnic” you are a racist. If you use the word “shrill” you are misogynist. If you use the word “jihadist” you are greasy Islamophobe and if you have the slightest doubt about the usefulness of a carbon (dioxide) tax your are a Nazi denier. Such is the essential cuntiness of our hateful PC thought police.

  58. Jeremy said:
    “Don’t whip up hatred as part of a fear campaign against a minority group
    And get rid of the other ridiculous exemptions for religions at the same time.”

    I agree with him.

  59. Ah yes, the good PC thought police. Acting on behalf of the

    elitistacademiclattesippingchardonayswillinglivingontheironlungofgovernmenthandoutspostmoderncommunistbystealthteacherartistunaustraliansharialawsupportingchristianhatingaethisthomosexualcorruptingourchildrenwhywon’tanyonethinkofthechildreninfiltratingourmostsacredinstituionsselfhatingfeministlesbianradionationallistner in all of us.

    Three cheers for the PC police I say, being polite to people never hurt anyone that I am aware of.

  60. Splatterbottom

    Shorter Eric: “Free speech for me but not for thee.”

  61. Narco,

    That’s pretty much what i think.

    I just assumed, (wrongly??) that the Police already have the power to check identity.

    Do we need a specifc law for Police to be able to shine a flashlight in someone’s face on a dark road at night to check their ID?

  62. narcoticmusing

    Our laws are generally negatives, ie limitations on rights as opposed to laws that generate rights (albeit there has been a shift in the latter direction in the last decade or so). So you are free to do and be what you want providing you do not breach a restriction (generally because that steps on someone elses freedom to do and be what they want). Thus, to demand identification there would need to be a specific law to do so. Certainly this is the case if under arrest.

  63. But surely the police can ask to see your drivers license without a special law permitting them to do so?

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