More than 20,000 people pledged to join a Ban the Burqa protest yesterday by donning balaclavas and trenchcoats to show that… people shouldn’t wear balaclavas and trenchcoats. Or something like that. 

Protest organiser Kye Keating with Eleanor (no last name given). Photo: Jon Hargest

Those who want the burqa banned are facing some pretty big hurdles. Sure, there’s all the civil liberties guff, but they also have a big public relations problem because their side of the debate seems to get regularly hijacked by illiterate, hate-filled, intolerant, violence-prone, ignorant bigots.

So here’s some advice to the burqa banners as to how to keep ‘on message’:

Latest 2 of 650 comments

View all comments
  • F Dink says:

    04:44pm | 27/09/12

    Oppressed / not oppressed   ...  that is the question…  well when NO muslima is subject to pressure/ostracism/beating etc for not wearing it, then, and only then,  can we regard it as a choice.  The problem is not the individual woman wearing the veil.  Of course having said that I… Read more »

  • Thommo the Enlightened says:

    02:26pm | 25/07/11

    Obviously there is one simple solution - wear what you want but if you enter a building or any public place you must have your full face exposed. Motorcyclists have to live this way - they can’t just jump off teh bike and enter a bank can they? It shoulldn’t… Read more »


Over the past week, two 20-something French students protested France’s new law banning the burqa by filming themselves walking through Paris in a niqab (similar to the burqa but with a slit for the eyes) – teamed with mini-shorts and black high heels.

The self-titled ‘Niqabitches’ described it as a tongue-in-cheek criticism of the ban.

You’ve gotta love the French – particularly French students. Although some may see the Niqabitches’ protest as ridiculing the niqab, their message was quintessentially French: vive la différence! or each to their own.

Latest 2 of 142 comments

View all comments
  • Marg Lennon says:

    09:32am | 17/10/10

    I wear a niqab when I drive through the friday night local booze-bus station.  Not because I drink and drive - but because the Law in Australia says I can.  I can also wear it into a bank or post office.  I have even worn mine into the changing rooms… Read more »

  • Jason says:

    08:41pm | 15/10/10

    Elhombre, your argument is just plain stupid. The act of killing someone IS a crime, pretty much anywhere. However, owning a semi-automatic gun needn’t be a crime, provided you are not bothering anyone else with it or adversely affecting the day-to-day business of society. Much like wearing a burqa. What… Read more »


One night in an impromptu makeshift dance party in Mosul, in Iraq, I met a young girl of age 20 who I started to talk to about Iraqi politics. We spoke in English - her fractured English was a lot better than my fractured Arabic – and discussed topics as broad as the disconnect between the political class and the people, to the Bollywood blockbuster Slumdog Millionaire. 

So do you want to dance? Photo: Getty Images

I fondly remember that conversation, for one simple reason - Lubna was wearing the niqab, or, what most Australians would refer to (incorrectly) as the burqa.  She wasn’t what I had envisaged a typical niqab wearing woman to be like. 

She was partying and dancing next to both males and females who were drinking alcohol and rocking out to Katy Perry.  She was progressive, easy going and open-minded.

Latest 2 of 146 comments

View all comments
  • JH says:

    10:43am | 18/12/12

    xyz, my wearing the niqab was not a knee-jerk reaction to this blog. Where do you get that from? Oh yes, that’s right, you think you know better what I’m saying/feeling because I’m oppressed, illiterate and men dictate what I am and do.  I actually didn’t start wearing the niqab… Read more »

  • Dana says:

    10:11am | 30/05/12

    Dancing to Katy Perry is anything but progressive and liberating. Are you kidding me? Dancing to soulless, mainstream studio anti-music? I’d rather dance to Disney music. It is, in fact, Disney music. Please. Read more »


Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



Read all about it

Sign up to the free newsletter