Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi throws caution to the wind in expressing his personal opinion:

In my mind, the burka has no place in Australian society. I would go as far as to say it is un-Australian. To me, the burka represents the repressive domination of men over women which has no place in our society and compromises some of the most important aspects of human communication.

It also establishes a different set of rules and societal expectations in our hitherto homogenous society.

The Muslim community is aghast even though the burqa is not an item of religious apparel:

But Muhammad Dahir from the Islamic Association of Australia says the burka is not a compulsory part of Islamic culture and most women have no problem showing their face to identify themselves.

“If people want to see your face, then there’s nothing wrong with that, they have to accept these things. The majority of the Muslim community have no problem with that,” he said.

Mr Dahir admits there are some areas of society where men will force their wives to wear a burka, but he maintains for the rest, it is a woman’s choice to cover herself completely.

“We do accept there are some cases where the man forces the woman [to wear a burka] but it’s due to ignorance. Islam and the husband cannot force the woman to wear a burka,” he said.

“We condemn if there’s a compulsion from the man to force a women [to do that] .. but it has nothing to do with the majority of Muslims and the whole community.”

Then there’s this from a pro-polygyny (multiple wives, also not religiously ordained) campaigner:

Islamic Friendship Association’s Keysar Trad rejected the call as ignorant and said it was a political stunt.

Wearing the burqa actually encouraged women to integrate into Australian society, whereas a ban would only force them indoors where they’d “miss out on the vitamin D”.

“It’s tantamount to denying them the right to drive, the right to enjoy all the services of society as well as equal opportunity,” Mr Trad said.

Wrong, Keysar, wearing a burqa actually encourages women, and their husbands, to remain outside the mainstream of Australian society.

Also, if the burqa must be tolerated on cultural grounds, African women should be allowed to go topless and men to wear penis gourds. That’ll give the give the kiddies something to look at on shopping forays.