Jacqui Lambie Is Having A Crack At Banning The Burqa, But It’s Probably Unconstitutional

Senator Jacqui Lambie‘s political career has very quickly gone from a curious anomaly to the truly needless problem we really wish we weren’t having. The controversial – to say the least – senator is currently waging some sort of patently Islamaphobic campaign in the public eye, in the wake of the Government raising the terror threat level to high. Whilst last week it was a wildly ill-informed, stammering rant against the implementation and adherence to Sharia Law, now it’s a full-on assault on the traditional Islamic dress burqa.

The Palmer United Party senator today announced she is formulating plans to introduce a private members’ bill that would, if passed by Parliament, ban “identity concealing religious garments.” She also stated that, whilst she is yet to discuss the bill with any of her PUP colleagues, she does hold hopes that the debate would be put to a conscience vote in Parliament.
Here’s the problem with that – other than it being patently prejudicial, of course. There’s this little thing we have in the country known as the Constitution. Contained within the Constitution is a sentence within Section 116 that explicitly states:
The Commonwealth shall not make any law for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion.”
You’d think attempting a blanket ban on a traditional religious dress simply because you don’t understand it fully and are prejudicially intimidated by it falls rather neatly under the banner of shit that sentence prevents, right?
‘Course, the not-so-subtle irony in all of this is it’s the exact same section of the Constitution that Lambie was using to argue why imposing Sharia Law upon an Australian citizen would also be unconstitutional. And this was no more than a week ago, mind you.
And here’s the real talk about all of this. An Australian citizen going about their regular daily business whilst wearing a burqa literally – L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y – does not adversely or directly affect Jacqui Lambie’s day-to-day life one iota. Nor does it adversely or directly affect any one else’s life. This is, for all intents and purposes, the adult equivalent of banning kids from wearing hoodies to school; you were used to one thing, then something different came along, so instead of trying to understand it, you try to stomp it out so the rose-tinted vision of yesterday you’re desperately clinging to can be stubbornly preserved.
Fortunately for us, smarter people than she have safeguarded the country from its Government imposing rogue, free-will hindering bollocks. But the fact that people like Jacqui Lambie can get to the place where she has and sling ridiculous, time-wasting, xenophobic nonsense like this around should be far scarier than any perceived threat of terrorism.
Photo: Stefan Postles via Getty Images.

via The Age.