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Old 03-10-14, 08:02   #1
 
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New Zealand PhOtOs-Australian PM Responds to Burqa Ban Call

'Tony Abbott's Budgie Smugglers are Confronting... But We're not Calling for them to be Banned':
-Muslim Women Respond to Burqa Ban Call... and Explain Why Some Women Find the Face Covering 'Liberating'

  • Muslim community responds to burqa debate with quip about Tony Abbott's Speedos
  • Mr Abbott has backed down on a plan to place Muslim visitors to Parliament in a glass enclosure
  • Leader says: 'If you want to dress down, or dress up, we should all be able to do it'
  • The burqa has often been confused with the niqab
  • As the debate rages, Australian Muslims prepare for important celebration
By Daily Mail UK, 3 October 2014


Tony Abbott's budgie smugglers are 'confronting' - but we're not calling for them to be banned.

That is the common refrain of the Islamic community to fierce calls for the burqa to be outlawed.
The joke is told by community leaders such as Mariam Veiszadeh, by Muslims on the streets of south-west Sydney and is the subject of a widely shared meme on Facebook.
'It's a light hearted way of making the point.... if you want to dress down or dress up we should all be able to do it,' Ms Veiszadeh told Daily Mail Australia on Friday.





Budgies: Tony Abbott's choice of swimwear has been labelled 'confronting' by Islamic community leaders.











Controversial. but rare: For a brief moment, people who wear the niqab, pictured above, were to sit in a glass enclosure if they watched parliamentary proceedings. Prime Minister Tony Abbott, centre, has kyboshed the plan.








Female leaders: Both Mariam Veiszadeh and Maha Abdo wear the hijab, rather than the niqab. Ms Veiszadeh has joked she finds Mr Abbott's budgie smugglers 'confronting' but would defend his right to wear it.



Quote:
THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF ISLAMIC DRESS





The hijab

A head scarf which covers both the hair and the neck with cloth.
The hijab, often accompanied with modest clothing, is the most popular form of dress for Islamic women in Australia.




The niqab.


Niqab

A full body Islamic dress that covers the entire face except for the eyes.
Only a 'tiny minority' of Islamic women in Australia wear it, but it is more popular than the burka.




The burqa.

Burqa:

Full body Islamic dress which covers the entire face. The face is covered with by a mesh grill. It is very rare in Australia.
Information courtesy of Mariam Veiszadeh


The burqa debate - fuelled by conservative senators' calls and Prime Minister Tony Abbott's comment he finds the face-covering 'confronting' and 'wishes it was not worn' - has frustrated the country's Muslim community, who say only a tiny minority of women wear the full face covering anyway.

For a brief moment on Thursday, there was even a plan to keep Muslim visitors who wanted to watch proceedings at Parliament House in a glass enclosure.
The plan was quashed late last night by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, following community uproar and backlash from members of his own party.

Islamic community leaders told Daily Mail Australia they are sick of the burqa (a form of dress where the face is covered by a mesh grill) being confused with the niqab, a more popular dress where the face is covered but the eyes are not.
'It (the burqa) is not common,' Ms Veiszadeh said. And while there are no reliable statistics, 'only a tiny minority' of Australian Muslim women wear the niqab, she said.
A number of Muslim women told Daily Mail Australia that Australians who wear the niqab find it liberating, rather than oppressive, as critics have said.

'It's an amazing feeling of freedom,' said Maha Abdo, the executive officer of the Muslim Women's Association.
'You can see clearly, but no one can see you.'

Ms Abdo chose to start wearing a hijab 30 years ago, but she has worn a niqab while spending time overseas.
She said her headscarf reminds her of her spirituality.
'For me it's a reminder of my own purpose in this life and how to be the best that I can be,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

Mary Succati, who sells Islamic clothing to women at a store in Greenacre, in south-west Sydney, agreed that the handful of people she knows who wear the niqab found the experience rewarding.
'They're not perceived as oppressed - they feel liberated,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

The furious debate is occurring at a time of celebration for many Muslims.
The Eid Festival, one of the most important dates in the religious calendar, will be held over the long weekend, concurrent with the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Friday was the busiest day of the year at Ms Succati's store for Islamic women in Greenacre, in Sydney's south-west.





Ms Succati's store in Greenacre has been bustling this week as Eid approaches.





All types of clothing: Shop owner Mary Succati, who sells Islamic clothing in Greenacre, in Sydney's south-west.





Shopping: Floral prints are the theme of the season at Ms Succati's store in Greenacre.




Busy day: With Eid celebrations occurring at the weekend, Ms Succati's Greenacre store was packed with people.


Her small shop was crowded with women buying new clothes for Eid. Ms Succati, who wears a hijab, was planning to keep her store open until midnight.
She does not sell niqabs in her store, but many women in niqabs come in to buy clothing for their children.
The fashion of the season? 'There's a lot of floral at the moment,' Ms Succati said, with customers ditching drab winter clothing for more colourful, but still modest, spring wear.

It will be a big weekend for another reason in Greenacre, though.
The Bulldogs are facing off with South Sydney in the NRL Grand Final at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

Ms Succati's staff, avid Bulldogs supporters who insisted her store be decked out in blue and white, will be watching.
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