29 July 2009

Australian retailers call for ban on hijab and burkha

By Eeyore | January 14, 2009

From AAP

A RADIO announcer’s call for a ban on Islamic hijabs has been backed by the National Retailers Association. The peak national body has called for all hijabs, helmets and hoodies to be banned in shops and banks for security purposes.

Brisbane radio presenter Michael Smith angered listeners after calling for Muslim women who wear a hijab to be fined. The 4BC drive presenter said on Wednesday that wearing the hijab or burka posed a security risk because it obscured the face, making it difficult to identify the wearer in the instance of a crime. Smith said it should be made an offence.

Retailers association executive director Scott Driscoll said it had been a long accepted practice to require customers to remove helmets and other identity obscuring headwear when entering a shop or bank.

“Retailers should not have to fear any form of retribution or backlash for requiring the removal of any obscuring headwear, including hijabs, as a condition of entry,” Mr Driscoll said. “This is about ensuring a more safe and secure retail environment for all and being able to readily identify any and all perpetrators of armed hold-ups or shop theft.”

Islamic Council of Queensland president Suliman Sabdia said he was disappointed by Smith’s remarks. “He has every right to say it but we do say he displays intolerance, and a complete lack of understanding of the Muslim code of conduct,” Mr Sabdia said.

He said he did not think Mr Smith should be fired, instead inviting him to a meeting to discuss the issues. “Does revenge really, at the end of the day, solve anything? No,” he said. “We forgive him for his lack of understanding, we pray that God almighty gives him the wisdom and the understanding to respect every other individual.”

A poll on the station’s website today asking, “Should we impose restrictions on the wearing of burkas in Australia?” had a yes result of 76 per cent, and 23 per cent no, at 10am (AEST).


  1. What an IDIOT. Well,I'm ashamed of him. And he completely doesn't get it does he? You don't jsut ask women who wear hijab to whip it off for a bit while they go shopping or do their banking. And how many women would he have seen in hijab? Probably not that many in Brisbane. He's probably seen a few Muslim families on holidays up the coast and thinks they're all sad and opressed as well as potential explosions.
    This is exactly the wrong kind of person to be giving their opinion on air. As is Kyle Sandilands (google him, his show did something horrid yesterday, you'll find it soon enough)

  2. Its so sad to hear Australia is becoming so ignorant.I wear hijab in Australia and fear that this might come to my state.Totally uncalled for and really a disgrace.

  3. Wow, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I live in Canberra (capital of Australia) and I hadn't even heard of this though I've heard of the burka disputes going on. I can't believe how many ignorant people there are here - makes me nervous cos I don't want to live somewhere that prejudices against the muslim practices of hijaab etc but where else am I supposed to go? I'm a revert for goodness sake! Makes me feel so humiliated really.

  4. SubhanaAllah. I am making a post about it right now. Jazakallah khayr

  5. That's ridiculous! As though most (or even SOME) hold-ups are made by people dressed up as Muslims! I've never heard of that and a negative story envolving Muslims would surely have made the news!!

  6. Is this for real? Did the article fail to mention other religious items worn on the head by people from various religions or was it a hijab bashing affair only?! :| It has angered me to know that the hijab is being used interchangeably with words associated to fear. Why can't they (the anti-Muslims) just let the Muslim women of Australia just get about their business like any other Australian? I mean, how is one expected to not retaliate to this? I'm really impressed with the way Mr.Sabdia dealt with this, inviting the fool to discuss his ishoos with other Muslims. I really hope this doesn't become another Sarkozy story.

  7. So annoying! Just like higher-ups in Australia who eventually saw the error of their racist ways against aborgines, let's hope someone in govt. starts to get it! Love you and thanks for telling us about it.

  8. This is complete nonsense! First of all, they are stupid enough not being able to distinguish between Burqa and Hijab. I understand why some retailers may not want women with Burqa (face covering) to work for them. That's no big deal. Not many women wear Burqa anyway in Western countries. But HIJAB has nothing to do with security issues? Hair covering doesn't obscure the face, or cause distress. All you're doing is covering your hair. What about all the cool guys who wear bandanas around their hair at work? Or even baseball caps? If Hijab causes so much stress, why don't baseball caps? I'm totally baffled. Burqa is understandable in this article, but Hijab issues are useless. Someone needs to educate them on the importance of religion in society, not retail. Losers.

    ReplyDelete Registered & Protected