A Discussion About Banning The Burqa In Australia

By • on May 25, 2011

Senator Cory Bernardi provides an argument in favour of banning the burqa in this TV discussion.  One of the commentators in the discussion suggested that banning the burqu might encourage radicalisation, but doesn’t stop to think that the increase in the number of women wearing this garment might actually be the result of radicalisation.  The increase in the wearing of garments like the burqa seems to have taken place at the same time as demands for the expansion of halal food, apartheid measures such as Muslim only swimming sessions, the banning of criticism of Islam, and as the increased efforts by Islam to dominate the social space in a whole range of diverse areas is taking place.


The burqa per se is probably not the problem in any case.  In Europe those who want to ban it might even want to do so because they want to be seen to be doing something about Islamic radicalism but do not want to get to the root of the problem.  The actual problem is sharia itself and the expansion of sharia norms in Western societies.  Ultimately sharia is against gender equality, it is homophobic, it is opposed to equality before the law, and it treats non-Muslims as second class citizens and demands protection money from non-Muslims in exchange for tolerance.

The debate that is needed is one about sharia and whether it should be encouraged or opposed.  Sharia law stands in opposition to Western liberal society and ultimately its proponents want it to overthrow democratic norms.  The debate about sharia is a debate about whether sedition and subversion are acceptable in a democratic society and whether such a society has the right to defend itself.

The debate about the burqa is a debate about one of the many manifestations of sharia in Western society and is therefore an irrelevant side issue.  The real debate is actually about the type of society that people want to live in.  If you want to live in a democratic society governed by laws made in Parliament then it is impossible for you to reconcile that with support for sharia.  Those who truly believe in democracy have no choice but to oppose the spread of sharia norms in society.  The choice is sharia or democracy not sharia and democracy.