Under a new proposed law by the government of new south wales of Australia, the defiance of a Muslim woman to uncover her veil and show her face to a police personnel, could lead to an imprisonment of one year or a fine of 5,500 Australian dollars ($5,900)
It is just a proposed law and the voting on the bill is scheduled to be done by the state parliament In august. The proposal is condemned and criticized by civil liberatarians as an overreaction to a traffic offense case involving a Muslim woman driver in a “niqab,” or a veil.
The government says that the future law would be helpful in identifying suspects hiding behind veils or niqabs.
But everything has a counter attack and so does this proposal. The critics say, the bill smells of anti-Muslim biasness given few women in Australia wear burqas. In a population of 23 million, only about 400,000 Australians are Muslim. Community advocates estimate that fewer than 2,000 women wear face VEILS and it is likely that even a smaller percentage drives.
Similar actions by the government of certain western countries have been taken regarding the curb on wearing any garment which covers the body and face of a person. France and Belgium have banned face-covering veils in public.
Sydney’s best-selling The Daily Telegraph newspaper declared the proposal “the world’s toughest burqa law.” In France, wearing a burqa — the all-covering garment that hides the entire body except eyes and hands — in public is punishable by a 150 euro ($217) fine only.
The New South Wales state Cabinet decided to create the law on July 4 in response to Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione’s call for greater police powers. Other states including Victoria and Western Australia are considering similar legislation.
“I don’t care whether a person is wearing a motorcycle helmet, a burqa, niqab, face veil or anything else — the police should be allowed to require those people to make their identification clear,” State Premier Barry O’Farrell said in a statement.
report by Bikram Singh Rana