According to reports, Melbourne Justice Christopher Beale has banned the wife of a man charged with terrorism offenses from sitting in the courtroom gallery while she was wearing a niqab.
I’ve always said that eventually Australia’s alt-right and the progressive left will unite against Muslims.
This was confirmed to me when a Melbourne judge banned a woman from wearing a niqab in the gallery of a court-room.
Incidents like this one prove that there is a prejudice against Muslims, not just from anti-immigration and Islamophobic Cretans, but from the judiciary, the supposed independent and impartial part of our government.
Those concerned with religious freedom and personal liberty – as I am – should be deeply concerned by this development.
Now keep this mind, the woman is the wife of the accused, she has the right to be there to support her husband, to observe the proceedings, and to do so dressed in a manner fitting in with her religious beliefs. She wasn’t there wearing a shirt saying, “Death to All Infidels” or “Australia is the Great Satan.” She was wearing what is, for some Muslim women, their chosen style of clothing.
What is more, she was not a defendant, a witness, a prosecutor, a solicitor, or a clerk of the court. She’s there as a member of the public, not interfering with anyone, not making a fuss. So there was no need for her to show her face in public if she chose not to.
What is next, will judges ban the public from wearing a Jewish yarmulke, a Hindu turban, or a Catholic nun with a wimple?
What is next, will public places like restaurants and clubs be able to ban women who wear a niqab or burqa?
Yes, there is a dress code for court, no thongs, singlets, or crassly casual wear. However, a niqab is hardly casual, if anything it is a rather onerous piece of apparel, probably quite uncomfortable in summer. The woman can hardly be faulted for dressing down.
At the end of the day, it is a bit rich for a guy in robes wearing a wig made of horse hair to berate a woman for dressing in culturally inappropriate ways.
I hope any would-be terrorist gets their just desserts. However, if the justice system is to be just, it should not graft in any prejudice towards Muslims or the Islamic religion as part of the proceedings, no matter how tempting it is, no matter how popular it might prove to kick Muslims.
For those of us who believe in religious freedom, we need to remember that it is a freedom for everyone, for Christians and Muslims, so libertarians should be concerned, speak up for Muslims who face discrimination and prejudice of this order.