Burqas would be banned at major airports as well as at citizenship ceremonies under a controversial plan to be debated in Parliament.
The Daily Telegraph reports, Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi also wants to forbid the wearing of face veils when claiming social security payments at Centrelink offices.
Senator Bernardi also believes the burqa — which entirely covers a woman’s face — could be totally banned in the ACT and NT.
“It (the burqa) is a direct challenge to our cultural norms and our societal expectations. It’s a way of one group isolating themselves,” Senator Bernardi said.
“It’s common sense. If you’re at an airport you need to show your face, if you want a Centrelink payment you need to show your face, if you’re swearing allegiance to Australia you need to show your face.
“There’s also a massive security risk attached to it, particularly when we are relying on facial recognition.”
The government has previously declared that federal Parliament does not have the power to ban the burka.
But Senator Bernardi, who has long supported a ban on the Muslim clothing, has told Ben Fordham on Sydney radio station 2GB, he believes he has found a loophole in national laws that would allow a limited prohibition in locations “owned” by the Commonwealth.
Under his bill, burqas would be banned in six capital city airports and Coolangatta Airport, because they are on Commonwealth land.
It would also outlaw it at citizenship ceremonies.
Senator Bernardi said he had no issue with head scarfs that simply cover a woman’s hair. He will table his bill in Parliament today and hopes that it will be debated later in the year. The government can, however, use its numbers to close it down.
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