Fact Check One Nation
Fact Checking our way through Pauline Hanson's One nation policies

Policy 3 - Ban the Burqa and Niqab in Public Places

The ‘niqab’, (which is different to the 'burqa') is worn by a tiny percentage of Australian Muslim women who exercise their free choice to wear them.


Such a ban would be potentially unconstitutional as it may breach section 116 of the Australian Constitution that prevents the Commonwealth from enacting laws that prohibits the free exercise of any religion.


Such a ban could also be breaching our international law obligations under the International human rights obligations  and under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

 

In fact, the likelihood of seeing someone in a burqa or niqab in Australia is probably less than what it would be in France, where it was estimated that less than 0.00003 per cent of the French population may have worn the niqab.


If the issue is in fact about identification, then women who wear the niqab can currently be asked to remove the face covering momentarily for identification purposes by authorities. But equating the face covering to extremism and violence in the discourse of national security is disingenuous and suggests that it is not about identification.


The controversy surrounding veiled women has been significantly blown out of proportion where it ultimately promotes nothing but hatred and violence. Violence in light of the burqa ban in France was depicted when two men targeted a 21-year-old pregnant veiled woman in the north-west of Paris and shouted racist insults before she was admitted to hospital, consequently losing her unborn child.