Modi’s Cricket Ploy: Hindutva as Twelfth Man

This week, the International Cricket Council’s One Day International tournament will commence…

I'm an angry bigot, in a tiny country…

My first love is satire and comedy – I used to run…

Crash and Burn

This is both optimistic and troubling. Fairfax media reports that "China has put…

The Admirable Demonstration of Dan Tehan And Other…

Apparently, Dan Tehan was on QandA last night. I only know this…

Condensed Fun Facts, Dates, Myths/Misconceptions

By Richard Whitington Fun Referendum Facts Fun Referendum Facts #1: The ballot paper for…

Cannabis: We can shut up, toe the line,…

When President Obama commented that he thought cannabis was likely less dangerous…

Corruption suspicions hang over secret PNG refugee contracts

Refugee Action Coalition Media Release AUSTALIA’S SECRET PNG DEAL MUST BE INVESTIGATED Refugee advocates…

Dianne Feinstein: National Security State Diva

The tributes for the late Democratic Senator from California, Dianne Feinstein, heaped…


A Reading List for “Ban the Burqa Bigots”

I was in the audience at ABC’s Q & A (Monday 06/10/2014) and I listened to the question from Ms. Stevens to Bob Katter about denying homosexuality and the links to stigma and mental illness. Everyone cheered. The feeling of everyone’s passion to overcome injustice and to recognise individual rights in that one space was emotionally overwhelming.

Dr. Louise Byrne’s response about overcoming stigma and explaining to others what her job was, which exposes her illness, speaks to the face of real action on reducing stigma.

Every time I see anti-burqa posts on my newsfeed, in letters to the editor, on forum posts, my heart sinks. I believe that narrative shapes society. What we choose to express, publish and share and how we position ourselves in conversation, shapes society.

I find that all such anti-burqa posts and comments advocate stigma.

Ms. Stevens put to Katter, “that your reluctance to address homosexuals as well as their civil rights is quite detrimental to their mental health”. This question can be used again and again, replacing homosexuals with other marginalized groups and the answer should be that it is unequivocally unacceptable.

Hundreds of women are being vilified, ostracized and attacked violently in Australia, simply for wearing religious/cultural coverings. Women in particular are being targeted for attacks; women who deserve a space in our society, the same as everyone else. Why are sections of our community intent on condemning, vilifying and advocating violence against such a small minority of women; when there is no evidence that the wearing of any cultural/religious covering has threatened our security or way of life?

Growing up in the very racist 70’s and 80’s and working in community mental health in the 90s, has shown me that stigma has the negative consequences of denial of freedom of expression, mobility, achievement, integration and community contribution.

I have followed the burqa debate for a number of years and the same arguments pop up. On the issue of security, the same concern is not expressed about men in full faced beards and hats or men in suits, beards and sunglasses; but only of women expressing their individual freedom to pay respect to their religion or culture.

Then there are those who post snippets from the Koran as ‘evidence’ and boast ‘they have read the Koran.’

I think people who have a misplaced fear of women who wear any cultural religious covering, should refrain from expressing their bigotry and hatred and step away from studying parts of the Koran and go to the library and read the following books:

The Chrysalids – John Wyndham

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

The Color Purple – Alice Walker

Stigma; notes on the management of spoiled identity – Erving Goffman

Witch Hunts: A graphic history of the Burning Times. Rocky Wood, Lisa Morton and Greg Chapman

Maybe these bigots and advocates of hatred and violence may want to publish their thoughts and interpretation of each book below and if it has affected their thinking on civil rights and freedom in our society.

Originally published on


Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Your contribution to help with the running costs of this site will be gratefully accepted.

You can donate through PayPal or credit card via the button below, or donate via bank transfer: BSB: 062500; A/c no: 10495969

Donate Button


Login here Register here
  1. Shelley

    Thank you.

  2. John Fraser


    "Then there are those who post snippets from the Koran as ‘evidence’ and boast ‘they have read the Koran.’"

    They pick up that shit from the extreme religious right wing christian sites.

    And are too stupid to see the irony between them and the extreme religious right wing muslim bible rants.

    I think they should all be allowed to go to the Middle East and fight amongst themselves …. and those left here can get on with making Australia a complete secular State.

  3. humanista8

    A great article, Trish! You have drawn a clear line between the enlightened, empathetic view of how societies function best to the benefit of all of their members and the views of those who lack those impulses and reflexively fear the ‘other’. Shock jocks like the LNP Fulminater-in-Chief, Alan Jones, and the Murdoch press appeal to audiences comprised of those who have been deprived of an education which might have opened their eyes to the kinds of social values which avoid the dysfunctional social fissures they so fear and yet help to produce.
    Before Australia abandoned its rote based rudimentary education system, there was a White Australia Policy championed by the ALP, its leader, Arthur Calwell famously saying “Two Wongs don’t make a White”. In this area of social policy he was not only morally wrong, but wrong in terms of economic outcomes as well.
    The way I keep my sanity is to remain optimistic. The Australia of today would not tolerate an Arthur Calwell. Hopefully the Australia of tomorrow, with, hopefully, the benefit of a fully implemented set of Gonski reforms, will eventually no longer tolerate an Abbott, a Morrison, and all of that ilk.

  4. Kaye Makovec

    Excellent reading list Trish Corry but one that will be ignored by those who cannot think for themselves.

    “They pick up that shit from the extreme religious right wing christian sites.” Plus the Murdoch press and radio John Fraser.

    Funny thing about Christian religions, even the non extremist all preach love and understanding and tolerance but I have never met a single one that follows their own laws, especially when it comes to another religion.

  5. Keitha Granville

    Hopefully the views od the moderate majority will prevail and eventually with any luck moderate Australian Muslims will drown out the chorus of fundamentalists here, and they will be forced back into the dark recesses they live in, or made to face the real word of the Koran which I understand to be similar to the bible – love thy neighbour.

  6. Jus

    What about the people who don’t like the burqa because of the fact that it was politically created by men on forced upon woman, and the indoctrination of young Muslims from childhood, and the very real fact that it ostrocises woman in our society and enforces submission upon them? What about the cultural pressure for them to wear burqas or be an outcast and have their lives threatened? Nobody should be harmed for wearing a burqa, however these are very real concerns that people feel, and that I think should be the topic of conversation, not security.

  7. Rob031

    Two AIMN contributors have mentioned “To Kill a Mockingbird” – here and a couple of posts back. I recall being at a YHA in Qld years ago having a conversation with a Afro-American woman who was doing her Masters on this book. I asked her what she took to be its main theme. Instantly, she replied: “Racial Prejudice”.

    Well, okay. I kept my mouth shut. Her answer, I thought, was incorrect/narrow. In my opinion the main theme is “Tolerance” in general – which also includes tolerance of Black people.

    I think the book is one of the finest works I have ever read (and the film does it perfect justice too); and I re-read/watch it every few years to recharge my “spiritual battery”. It never fails to bring tears of appreciation to my eyes as to what people can be. I wish people like Abbott would read and ‘get’ it and be similarly moved.

  8. mischmash1m

    Jus – The argument you use is the same argument being used by very nasty bigoted Australians I have witnessed on social media and MSM..the irony is they attack Muslim women via media using the ‘sympathy for their plight’ reasoning, when in all reality they don’t give a toss about these women and what they supposedly have to wear! They are using women as an easy target in their anti Islam propaganda agenda, just as the extreme right are using women against feminism..just as all racists sexists and bigots do…and women living under the minister for women certainly know this to be true! I agree totally with you Trish Corry.

  9. mischmash1m

    Perhaps the hysterical MSM should be alerting us more to the shocking gendercide happening world wide!! Happy International Day of the Girl Child –

  10. stephentardrew

    Great point Mars8. Good for a chuckle.

  11. DanDark

    I find the bra oppressive, designed by a man Mr Brasier, it’s uncomfortable, can be a health hazard, and is very expensive to buy as it has stuff all materials, it’s daylight robbery inflicted on women everyday and designed by a man too keep women’s boobs where they wanted them, the headwear Muslim women wear is a commitment to god, it’s got nothing to do with men, but western women all wear a bra to appease men, geeez the fekking hypocrisy of the west is gobsmacking…..Ban the Bra 🙂

  12. stephentardrew

    What a great article Mars8.

    This young woman and her family are truly exceptional examples of political activism. Lets see what the fear mongers can make of that. Funny that the cloths, culture and ideology do not make the person any less capable of compassion and decency.

  13. Anne Byam

    Excellent article Trish – thank you.

  14. Brett

    The Koran is not evidence? Riiiigggghhhhht

  15. Trish Corry

    Thanks everyone.

    @Brett – I recommend you take up my suggested reading list……..

  16. gojko rakic

    I am totally against any violence against woman and obviously any case where were women of ostracized and attacked violently , simply for wearing religious/cultural coverings. But I think that burqa ( nikab) should be banned in any civilised country. For me a burka means that a woman wearing burka does not exists as a person, an individua at a public place. what is the main reason why woman are pressured to wear it in cultures where that oppressive practice is a norm.
    For these “progressive” here are some further readings from those who are really fighting for woman freedom and rights:

    Let’s Burn The Burqa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: