If the Burka’s Banned, What Comes Next?
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ANU College of Law
Muslim women's dress codes have come into the political spotlight in both Muslim-majority and non-Muslim societies. At one end of the spectrum the state has sought to enforce Islamic dress codes while at the opposite end the state has sought to ban certain items of women's religious dress.Under the Taliban, Afghan women were forbidden to appear in public unless they were wearing the all-enveloping burka. Now, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proclaimed that the burka and other forms of face-covering are not welcome in France.In Australia, too, Muslim women's dress has been at the center of a heated political and social debate.This public debate brought together three leading figures to discuss questions such as whether we should ban the burka or respect the right to wear it, if the burka is a form of male oppression, what would be the effect of banning a piece of women's clothing and does the state have a place in a woman's wardrobe?