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The clock is ticking. Time to wear the burqa.

By Najla Turk - posted Thursday, 24 August 2017


Thank you Senator Pauline Hanson for your comical stunt at parliament House, ACT Australia on 17th August. Similar to politicians sitting in the back bench it made me laugh. It's hilarious what people do for attention.

Why pull this stunt?

It takes courage, inner strength and spiritual commitment to go out in public in a hijab (aka teatowel) but to wear a burqa (the ninja face covering), what guts.

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Were you compelled to highlight security risks or again divert people's attention from more important issues?

It's a fact ASIO exists to protect Australians and there are further security agencies and police dedicated to the role of security. Not to mention our leaders' priority is to do everything humanely possible to keep politicians, citizens and our country safe.

Why did you become a Senator? Is it to commit time, energy and effort to convince the West it's being swamped by Muslims. Are women being forced to wear the hijab and burqa against their will? Must I wear a burqa to prove otherwise?

I understand one's first reaction. Years ago when touring Egypt when I saw my first woman in a burqa, I reached for the camera. It was an utterly strange sight and not hard to ridicule the garb. "OMG, How aweful", I thought. "How could anyone breathe under that cover?" The idea never crossed my mind to wear a covering of fabric that looked heavy, airless and a poignant symbol for oppression of women.

My choice is that of a light and colourful hijab. Whilst I agree the burqa may seem confronting in developed countries it is still just another variation of the expression of thousands of Muslim women who choose to wear the head gear.

Yes there may be burqa bans in Muslim countries but we in the West should sing and dance to the beat of our own drums. Unlike Hong Kong Australians don't need to fight for freedom. If someone choses to have a giant tattoo sprawled across their face, or grow a full head of hair and a grotesque beard must this is banned? Over time they may find themselves unemployable or feel uncomfortable at which such time they may rethink.

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You admit wearing the burqa was 'horrible' but what's more horrible is your creative attempt to isolate women who would like to go about their own life feeling liberated. What right do we have to ban, ridicule or humiliate others based on look?

Australia is an immigration nation with almost half 26% of our population born overseas, and 46% having an overseas-born parent. We come from every culture, race and faith and the rule of law and equality is to give people a 'fair' go.

Give Australians a fair go and allow them to freely express their culture, race and faith in ways that may help strengthen Multicultural Australia.

Warm regards

Najla Turk

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About the Author

Najla Turk is an Educator, International presenter and Amazon best seller author of the book The Art of Diversity at ConnEQt, developing People and Culture.

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