Australian senator argues for burqa ban in public placesSeptember 14, 2017 4:24am

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian senator who a month ago provoked an angry backlash by wearing a burqa in Parliament urged lawmakers on Thursday to ban full-face Islamic coverings in public places.

Pauline Hanson, leader of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigration One Nation minor party, was arguing for proposed laws that she introduced into the Senate that would make wearing full-face coverings an offense punishable by a 4,200 Australian dollar ($3,400) fine. Compelling others to wear such coverings would carry a prison sentence of up to six months and an AU$42,000 fine. She proposes several exempt circumstances including entertainment and sport.

Three senators including Hanson argued over her bill before a majority of senators shut down debate until a later date.

Hanson, an outspoken fan of President Donald Trump, sat in the Senate last month wearing black head-to-ankle garments for more than 10 minutes before removing the veil.

Her actions were widely condemned by senators as insulting to Muslims, although it sparked public debate for and against her actions across Australia for days later.

"My reasoning to wear the burqa into this chamber was seen as a stunt, call it what you want, I really don't care," Hanson told the Senate on Thursday.

"Because the whole fact is that it's got Australians talking and Australians feel now they have a voice and it's created debate," she added.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ruled out his conservative government ever banning Islamic face coverings.

But government's junior coalition partner, the Nationals party, on Sunday narrowly rejected an attempt to make such a ban party policy.

The party's annual conference rejected a proposed burqa ban 55 votes to 51.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, the Nationals' leader, had argued at the conference against such a ban, saying it could damage Australia's trade relations with Muslim-majority countries including Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

Hanson on Thursday said the Nationals were "clearly very divided on this."

Sam Dastyari, an opposition senator and an Iranian-born Muslim, told the Senate the burqa argument was "a ridiculous debate."

Muslims account for fewer than 3 percent of Australia's Christian-majority population of 24 million.

The French Parliament passed an act more than six years ago that made France the first European Union country to ban the niqab and burqa, the full-face or face-and-body coverings worn by some Muslim women, in public places. Others have since followed.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Rabbis say Bahrain king wants Arab boycott of Israel to endPair of Los Angeles-based rabbis say Bahrain king recently told them he wants an end to Arab boycott of Israel
Key figure in Northern Ireland peace work subject of filmThe U.S. premiere of a documentary about Roman Catholic politician John Hume and his efforts in the Northern Ireland peace process is being held in Boston
President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Trump weighs new travel restrictions as ban nears expiration
Egyptian film director Amr Salama talks to the press on the red carpet during the first International El Gouna Film Festival, in the Red Sea resort of el-Gouna, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017.  (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Worlds of Islam, Michael Jackson collide in Egyptian film
Former Australian prime minister says he was head-buttedAustralia's prime minister urged restraint in the same-sex marriage debate after predecessor Tony Abbott said he was head-butted by a gay-rights advocate and sustained a swollen lip
Denmark arrests man, woman for alleged links to ISDanes say a man and woman have been arrested, suspected under the country's anti-terror laws of attempting to commit terror abroad by purchasing and shipping "items" from Denmark to the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq "to be used in combat."
This component is currently unavailable.

Related Searches

Related Searches