Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

CANDIDATE IN CALL TO 'ERADICATE MOSQUES' Candidate in Call to Ban the Burka; Ipswich's Muslim Voters Angered by Views of 'Rise Up Australia'

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

CANDIDATE IN CALL TO 'ERADICATE MOSQUES' Candidate in Call to Ban the Burka; Ipswich's Muslim Voters Angered by Views of 'Rise Up Australia'

Article excerpt

Byline: Joel Gould joel.gould@qt.com.au

IPSWICH Muslims have defended their faith in the wake of Rise Up Australia Party candidate Anthony Mackin's calls to eradicate mosques and ban the burka.

Mr Mackin, a bible teacher, is the Blair candidate for a party that has banning the burka as one of its key policies.

In an interview with The QT yesterday, Mr Mackin explained why he was opposed to burkas.

"Part of the problem is the obvious one, that you can't identify who is underneath it," he said.

"I've seen recently on the internet that there have been suicide bombers disguising themselves in burkas.

"When we go into a petrol station the first thing a motorcyclist is asked to do is remove the helmet before the cashier will receive payment for the bill, for security purposes.

"Everybody is required to do this...but the people who are not assimilating to our laws and customs are not."

But Ipswich Muslim David Palmer has hit back and asked Mr Mackin if the party was also aiming to ban costume outfits.

"There is no law in Australia that says you can't wear Batman and Superman outfits," Mr Palmer said.

"You can't see who is underneath those either. So does he want to ban Superman outfits as well?"

Mr Palmer and his wife Norma have run Brassall Village Takeaway for 20 years and are respected members of the community who worship at the Ipswich Mosque in Brassall. Mrs Palmer does not wear the burka, but she does wear a headscarf.

"I was born a Muslim and I want to follow my religion," she said. "My religion says that as a woman you should cover yourself and I am happy to do it...from my learning, the two things you can expose are your face and your hands. I feel a lot more safe and comfortable walking around, because I feel more modest than other people. But we are not forced to wear a burka."

Mr Mackin said his major concern was that burkas "mostly come from the Islamic religion that is aggressively non conformist". …

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