Michael Smith opens his microphone and sets the record straight about his thoughts on headdresses and how he has been misrepresented in the media
Some of these links don’t work, use the 4BC Homepage, here
- John Pascarelli
- Ikebal Patel
- Your thoughts
- Silma Ihran (an Aussie “revert”)
- Smith faces press (this link works)
- Greg Cary with Yasmin Khan on the issue
- For or against poll
- Face coverings
- Here’s the 4BC Contact form: Please sent Michael Smith a note of support!
- Update thanks to Gramfan:
A NATIONAL retail lobby boss has taken a swipe at Queensland retailers for backing calls to ban Muslim women wearing traditional hijabs in shops.
The State’s retail association came out in support of Brisbane’s 4BC radio presenter Michael Smith after he claimed yesterday that wearing the hijab or burqa posed a security risk.
The Queensland body says the ban should be in line with riders being forced to remove their helmets when entering a store or bank.
But the National Retailers Association, which has no association with the Queensland organisation, has rejected calls for the ban.
“I think it’s a bit of dog whistle,” executive director Richard Evans told ABC Radio, adding there was no evidence to support claims the wearing of hijabs was a security concern for shopkeepers.
He accused the Queensland retail group of trying to categorise a certain group of women and create fear among them.
“It’s outrageous, to be honest with you, absolutely outrageous.
“It diminishes not only those folks who wear those outfits, but diminishes all of us.”
The Queensland retail association’s executive director Scott Driscoll told ABC Radio today that in discussions with Muslim leaders on the issue, he learned that overseas, criminals were using the hijab as a disguise.
“I think the last people in the world that we genuinely expect are going to actually perpetrate a crime are indeed the genuine, devout Muslim women who wear these things,” Mr Driscoll said.
“It’s not about them, it’s not about religion, it’s not about that whatsoever.
“It’s about a garment being used by potentially unscrupulous elements in our society to obtain these garments for the wrong purposes, use them as a guise or a disguise to get away with perpetrating crimes … that is what this is about.”
But Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel said as there was no evidence of Islamic headwear posing a security problem he would not advocate for changes.
“I believe … Scott’s organisation has really bought into this argument at the behest of a radio announcer in Queensland who is really bordering on bigotry and xenophobia,” Mr Patel told ABC Radio.
“It is a choice of Muslim women, and in fact anybody else – a Sikh, a nun, a Christian, a Jewish person, and anybody without a faith – they can put on what they like.”
Mr Patel said Mr Driscoll’s theory that criminals could use the hijab as a disguise was extreme.
“There may be people out there impersonating Nicole Kidman and going to a rob a bank to withdraw (a lot of) money, how do you handle that?” he asked.
Queensland Anti Discrimination Commissioner Susan Booth said retailers would be breaking State laws if they introduced a code banning Islamic headwear.
“These are lawful citizens of Queensland, the law is really clear, you can’t treat someone different because of their religion,” she told ABC Radio.