Opinion: MPs Calling for Ban on Headscarves Are Inciting Hatred

September 10, 2005

Source: The Age


On September 10, 2005 The Age ran an opinion piece by Iktimal Hage-Ali, the deputy chairwoman of the NSW Youth Advisory Council, on the recent proposal to ban Muslim headscarves in Australia. Hage-Ali writes, "As a young Muslim woman, born and bred in this great country, I find it ironic that on one side of the debate you have political leaders calling for harmony and integration of the Muslim community into mainstream Australia, and on the other there are ignorant politicians working hard to oppress Muslim women and take away their basic freedom of practising their religion. There are many uncertainties within the non-Muslim community on the importance of the headscarf and the symbolic value it has to Muslim women... The call to ban the headscarf from state schools is ludicrous, ill-informed and illustrates the ignorance of those people within the Australian community who have no idea about Australian values of tolerance, peace and mateship."