|On Boat People and Burqas for people who think we should ban them both
||[Aug. 11th, 2010|11:29 pm]
There's a link above with a cartoon and then a list of 25 myths and facts about asylum seeks and boat people in reference to Australia underneath. I hope you will read them all, because I think they're informative. In particular I've copied points #24 and #25 below for you to have a look at, as I think they might be most relevant. I still think the other points are important too so I'd urge you to have a look at them as well.
MYTH 24: Asylum Seekers who come by boat from Indonesia just don't want to wait their turn in the queue
FACT 24:• The Australian Government refuses to accept any asylum seekers assessed as refugees by the UNHCR who have arrived after 2007 in Indonesia.• In the last 3 years the Australian Government has settled each year an average of just 52 refugees from Indonesia in Australia.• The waiting period in the 'queue' for a refugee in Indonesia (who is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention) seeking settlement in Australia is on average 37 years.
MYTH 25: People seek asylum in Australia to get access to government support and live the good life here. Asylum seekers who can afford to come by boat are economic migrants.
FACT 25:• Asylum Seekers do not leave their country due to choice. People seek asylum because they fear for their safety and life in their home country. They leave by whatever means they can.• No asylum seekers have access to: Centrelink, a Health Care Card, Public Housing, Settlement Services, English Programs, Job Services Australia, Traineeships or Tertiary Education. Many also have no right to even work or a Medicare Card.
Above is a link to a video presenting views for and against banning the burqa. I hope you'll have a look at that. I think a couple of points that are relevant are that we are not empowering women if we take away their right to choose what they do or do not wear, and that we should respect other people's right to freedom of belief and freedom to express their belief providing it does no harm. Forcing people to wear or not wear something are equally as bad. Many jewish people wear hats and caps, some buddhists wear robes, some nuns wear habits. They probably would not take kindly to being told they were not allowed to. (Also burqas are something particular and don't relate to all the forms of head-dress you may be thinking of (mainly the niqab) but I will use the term burqa for the moment just for simplicity as it's the main term used when people are talking about banning the head-dress. The video explains the different types of head-dress for clarification.)
Above is another link that is more in depth, it may be a bit of heavy going but the important thing it does is address the 5 main arguments against the burqa. They are:
1. Security - Provisions for photographic ID can be made and other identification such as fingerprint and eye-scan are also available. Burqas are no more voluminous and body covering than other clothing that people could wear and hide things under like kaftans, mumus, ballgowns or even just cold weather clothing (inclusing masks, beanies and helmets).
People need to see other people's faces to trust them and relate to them as part of society - There are many other cases where you can't see people's faces, from costumes and face paint to surgical masks, sports masks, hairstyles, motor cycle helmets and even just cold weather clothing, ski gear and sun glasses.
Burqas are symbols of the objectification of women - If the burqa is objectification, (which isn't necessarily the case) will we also ban all other symbols of objectification, like nude magazines, plastic surgery, ads that use sexy women to sell products and the wearing of tiny bathing suits?
Women are forced to wear the burqa against their will - Many women who wear the burqa say it is not so, some even choose to wear the burqa when their husbands and fathers would rather they didn't. If a woman was forced to wear the burqa then that would be illegal and she would be protected by Australian law covering her freedom to choose not to wear the burqa and also against any domestic violence or coercion the same as any other woman would in being forced to do something she didn't want to do. We don't presume that other women are being forced to wear skimpy clothing and make them cover up, taking away their choice.
Wearing the burqa is unhealthy as it is hot and poorly ventilated - This is not more so than other sorts of clothing people may choose to wear like vinyl, high heels, or clown suits and we don't ban these or any other forms of hot or uncomfortable clothing.
Basically for all of the 5 points it comes down to the fact that if we don't have consistency in what we legislate to make people do, it's discrimination.
Anyway, if I haven't been very clear with the 5 points, you might want to click on the link above and check out the article for yourself, as I've put it in my own words which probably aren't as coherent as the original.
With thanks to greenglowgrrl for original sources.