The Wearing of a Helmet, Balaclava or Burqa Veil in public

Posted on Monday, October 18th, 2010 at 8:39 am

news.com.au story on the wearing of balaclavaI came across an interesting news article this morning on news.com.au that was titled ‘Balaclavas welcome at Parliament House‘. The articles contents basically highlighted the equality issues in relation to the wearing of head wear such as hats and burqas and how some were asked to remove some forms of head wear but others not. Then on questioning the appropriate officer they advised they had now advised all security staff to allow anyone with any head wear such as a balaclava entry without having to remove them. This was to ensure equality for everyone and also that there was no need to know the ‘identitiy’ of the person, unless they were suspicious of doing something wrong, which is fair enough, but did that apply to people wearing the burqa veil as well?

This news story highlights an issue I have had for a very long time and that is the wearing of any head wear that conceals a persons identity, and by this I mean all forms of head wear.

If you go to a bank, shopping centre and many other places in Australia you will often notice a sticker or sign on the wall or window saying that you must remove all head wear such as helmets, but this does not include the burqa veil as these can be worn inside these places without question, even though in most cases many are uncomfortable with them.  Not because of who or what the person is or where they came from but  the fact you cannot recognise the person behind the veil and it is quite normal to feel uneasy and not be sure what else is being concealed.

I have long believed that there should be equality for all and there should not be a single group isolated that is given or taken away special privileges just because of religion, heritage, background etc, we are all Australians, we are all humans and we should all be treated the same, especially in a country like Australia that opens its arms to nearly everyone.

There should be no difference in me wearing a helmet, balaclava or burqa veil into any place within Australia. If one group can be allowed to conceal their identity then so should others have the same option. Though for security I believe that none of the concealed head wear of any type should be worn in public, those that do are merely doing so to conceal who they are.

Of course many will claim religion and while I accept that I do believe if you want to practice your full religion by wearing a burqa veil then either do that at home or move back to your originating country. The same will apply for those wearing any other concealing head wear, if they need to do it for a religious reason or other reasons then they can do that in the privacy of their home and/or other non public locations.

As many know France has led the way in relation to banning the wearing of the full burqa veil, this is not to isolate any one group and was not a religious issue, it was from as much as I can read to ensure equality for everyone and to ensure every person can be identified and therefore not be hidden behind some or any form of head wear.

Australia needs to implement the same and I am very sure if a referendum were to be held, the majority would agree to have them banned.

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