Why Aussie Muslim mum backs burqa ban
AN AUSSIE Muslim woman has thrown her weight behind the idea of banning the burqa in government buildings.
Liberal Party member Mina Zaki said she believes security concerns outweigh the "liberal ideal" of women being "to wear whatever the hell they like".
"At the same time, there's a time and a place for everything and government buildings, there are safety risks," she told Sydney 2GB presenter Ben Fordham.
The Canberra-based writer and mother-of-three told the station she is backing Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi's call to ban Muslim face covering at Centrelink offices and airports.
The Australian Conservatives' leader on Tuesday introduced a bill banning facial coverings at commonwealth sites, including all public places in the Northern Territory and ACT.
"Burqas essentially I'm personally against because I feel that in a Western society, the purpose of a burqa in a non-western society or in a Muslim country like Saudi Arabia, for example, is to detract unwanted attention," she said.
"In a place like Australia, it does the exact opposite.
"If you see somebody wearing a full covering, you're going to look at them twice."
She also said she believes her party is welcoming towards Muslims.
"I'm not the only Muslim member of the Liberal Party. There are quite a few," she said.
"Generally, when you tell people that you're a member of the Liberal Party, firstly their face changes and then you actually see them walking away, just slowly stepping back.
"Because the Liberal Party is seen, unfortunately, as intolerant towards Muslims and it's not the case at all."
Mr Bernardi's draft laws are unlikely to be enacted, with both major parties opposed to restricting the Islamic garment.
However, the former Liberal Party senator believes part of his draft laws which bans facial coverings at federal government-owned sites could extend to Australia's six capital city airports.
The legislation says it is designed to ensure national security and safety is paramount, while ensuring Australian values and cultural norms are respected including equality of women.
Labor and the coalition have emphatically rejected calls for burqa bans in the past, with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson drawing a stinging rebuke for wearing the garment into parliament last year.