Freedom Sack Rejected

What Hides Beneath Dark Veils

 QWire/ By Debbie Robinson – Friday 22nd February 2013 at a function centre in Liverpool, New South Wales, a person wearing full body cover and a mesh over the face was refused entry to a Q Society event, organised by SkipnGirl Productions. The Honourable Geert Wilders MP was to deliver the keynote address on the day.

burqapolice.jpgThe identity, body shape and gender of the person were completely hidden under the black full body covering.  An elected member of the Dutch Parliament, Mr Wilders has lived in safe houses under 24/7 police protection since 2004.

This is a direct result of death threats by Islamic fundamentalists. It is on public record Wilders is critical of Islamic ideology and in favour of banning full-face coverings like the burqa in public areas.

Another Islam-critical Dutch politician, Pim Fortuyn, had been shot dead in 2002; and the Islam-critical Dutch artist Theo van Gogh was murdered by an Islamic fundamentalist in 2004.  The Danish author and journalist Lars Hedegaard had just survived an armed assassination attempt on 5 February 2013. The assassin was of Middle Eastern appearance and Lars Hedegaard is an author and critic of Islam.

The burqa-clad person telephoned some time after the event and requested a full refund of the ticket cost for being denied admission. The organiser refused a refund on the grounds that it had in fact acted reasonably by refusing entry.

As a result the ticket holder submitted a formal complaint, which led to two separate legal enquiries, the more recent involving the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.

Eight months later, on the 15th November 2013 the Tribunal made the following order. “The application is dismissed because having considered the material placed before it, the Tribunal is not satisfied (at the civil standard of proof) that the grounds required to make the orders sought have been established.” In other words the applicant or ticket holder lost the case and the request for a refund was dismissed.

Security at the aforementioned event included the Australian Federal Police, New South Wales Police, NSW VIP protection unit, the NSW anti-terror squad, bomb squad, dog and horse squads, Dutch police and our own private close personal protection operatives.

Over five hundred people attended the meeting and were screened by security at various checkpoints both outside and inside the venue. Ticket, photo identification, bag checks, metal detector screening together with hand-held wand screening were mandatory for all patrons before being given a wristband and allowed entry to the seated area in the auditorium.

The person in question agreed to show their face privately for the purpose of identification, however they were not willing to remove the full body cover. Understandably this presented problems for both the organiser and security. Given the situation and background of the speaker, public safety was paramount. The organiser had a duty of care to both patrons and staff. The police were first in the line of defence and it’s clear from the photograph the wearer of the full body cover presented a security threat. One might ask why did the organiser refused to refund the ticket money?  It would have been easier to refund the small amount and not waste time discussing unfulfilled demands, addressing complaints and attending hearings. Apart from the fact the applicant breached the terms and conditions set out by the organiser, the answer to this question is more complex.

There is increasing controversy over the burqa and full-face coverings and the European Court of Human Rights has opened a landmark hearing to consider the legality of France’s ban on wearing face covering in public spaces. The outcome is expected in 2014.

To give credit where it is due, France recognises the significance of the burqa and niqab to fundamentalist Islamic communities, hence the ban. This increase in wearing full face covering and veiling among Muslim women is becoming more prevalent and began in the 1970s. It is evident in both western and Islamic countries and is symbolic of an Islamic resurgence.

In 2012 Doctor Tareq Al Suwaidan highlighted this fact when he stated in a lecture at Monash University Melbourne. “The hijab is a resistance to Western occupation of the mind. The hijab is an identity and a resistance.”

Lawsuits brought about by Muslim women over the banning of Islamic covering are increasing. People are quick to point out the social and religious concerns. In reality these arguments are part of a smoke screen, which effectively hijack the debate. George Jonas in his article ‘Sympathy for the Terrorist’  states “Ultimately terror triumphs when it allows perpetrators to masquerade as victims. “The Arabic phrase ‘tamaskan tatamakan’ (Show a victim’s face, and you will take over) comes to mind.

Muslim women portray themselves as victims who seemingly do nothing more than display their pious religious convictions. The subsequent court battles and complaints often result in policy changes or monetary remuneration and so the “victim” takes over.  This is not to say that the wearer of the full body cover at the Wilders event was a terrorist. The motivation however is similar. The debate as discussed previously is hijacked by political correctness; therefore the burqa-clad person invokes fear. In another quote from Jonas   ‘”Once adapted and internalised by its targets, asymmetric terror can be as powerful as totalitarian terror.”

Another point to consider is made by Daniel Pipes in ‘Philadelphia’s Burqa Crisis’ ( The Washington Times, Feb 21, 2013) were Pipes states: ” Muslim garb holds two great advantages over other forms of disguise: First, many full-body covered women walk the streets without criminal intent, thereby inadvertently providing cover for thieves; the more full body coverings around, the more likely that these will facilitate criminal activity. Second, the very strangeness and aloofness of these garments affords their wearers, including criminals, an extraordinary degree of protection. ”

In summary the dilemma is: Do we avoid offending someone out of fear and risk potential catastrophe? Or do we see the seriousness of the situation and take a stand? I vote for the latter.  On a final note the obvious solution is to stop being afraid and simply ban full face coverings in our public spaces.

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