Burka ban in Australia

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In Australia, there is an ongoing debate over the possibility of a ban on the wearing of burqa, a conservative form of dress for Islamic women. There are currently 14 nations that have banned the burqa, including Austria, France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands,[1] Latvia,[2] Bulgaria,[3] Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Gabon, China and Morocco.

Summary of the debate[edit]

In September 2011, Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, passed the Identification Legislation Amendment Act 2011 requiring a person to remove a face covering if asked by a state official. The law is viewed as a response to a court case in 2011 where a woman in Sydney was convicted of falsely claiming that a traffic policeman had tried to remove her niqab.[4]

Following the Moscow theatre hostage crisis in 2002, Australian politician Fred Nile asked whether the then state minister of police would consider banning full-body coverings like those worn by the Chechen terrorists from parliament and public gathering places in order to prevent the carriage of weapons or explosive devices. On June 23, 2010, Nile introduced a bill into the Legislative Council to criminalize the public wearing of any face covering which prevents the identification of the wearer,[5] including the burqa and niqab. He again in 2014 put up a bill that would ban the burqa and niqab.[6][7]

In 2010, Senator Cory Bernardi wrote an opinion piece calling for a ban on wearing the burqa in public.[8]

In September 2014, Senator Jacqui Lambie announced plans to introduce a private member's bill aimed at banning the burqa in Australia.[9] In February 2017, she introduced a private member's bill which would amend the Criminal Code Act 1995 to make it illegal to wear full-face coverings in public places when a terrorism threat declaration is in force, unless it was necessary for certain purposes.[10]

Notable advocates[edit]

Public opinion[edit]

Date Firm Yes No Undecided Sample size Notes
23 August 2017 Sky News/ReachTEL[11] 57% 31% 12% 2,832

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Telegraph Netherlands to Ban the Burka
  2. ^ "A European government has banned Islamic face veils despite them being worn by just three women". 21 April 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Bulgaria the latest European country to ban the burqa and [niqab in public places, Smh.com.au: accessed 5 December 2016.
  4. ^ Australia Muslim Veil Law Requires Women To Remove Face-Covering Niqab In New South Wales, 3 May 2012
  5. ^ "Summary Offences Amendment (Full-face Coverings Prohibition) Bill 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Nile moves to ban burqa in NSW". The Australian.
  7. ^ Veiszadeh, Ehssan (September 11, 2014). "Fred Nile move to ban burqa 'anti-Islamic'". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  8. ^ Bernardi, Cory (6 May 2010). "For Australia's sake, we need to ban the burqa". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 May 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Bourke, Latika (29 September 2014). "Jacqui Lambie's attempt to ban the burqa could be unconstitutional, say legal experts". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 18 December 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Full Face Coverings in Public Places) Bill 2017". Parliament of Australia. 2017-02-08.
  11. ^ https://powr.s3.amazonaws.com/app_images%2Fresizable%2F8fb90f02-cdc2-4dcd-9d81-7d87d3a9487c%2FSkyNewsReachel24August2017.pdf