Two-thirds of Australians living in poorer suburbs are uncomfortable with women wearing burqas, a study shows.
Research by RMIT University found poorer and older Australians are more likely to be biased against Muslims.
The study of people in Broadmeadows and Fawkner, in Melbourne’s north, found high levels of discomfort with burqas, with two-thirds of non-Muslims surveyed expressing concerns about Muslim women wearing face coverings.
Even Muslims were uneasy about burqas, with 28 per cent of them saying they were uncomfortable.
Burqas and niqabs were seen as forms of clothing that ‘precluded inter-ethnic commmunication’, the study of 300 residents in the two disadvantaged suburbs found.
Secular and non-practising Muslims, who reject Sharia law, were critical of ‘militant’ or ‘proselytising’ Muslims, interviews with people in areas with a high Muslim population found.
…. ‘Low socio-economic indicators for an area seem to be a stronger predictor of prejudice against Muslims than their visible local presence,’ she said.
‘On the individual level, respondents with lower socio-economic status and older respondents tended to be more Islamophobic, which confirms findings of other Australian and overseas studies.’
The study was done with help from the Islamic Council of Victoria and Moreland City Council.
[TOP RATED COMMENT 361 votes] I don’t feel that it is Islamophobic to find this kind of dress confronting. It is disconcerting for most not knowing what is behind the shroud. With current climates of terrorism, it is a form of dress that can instill fear and is unnecessary in Australia.
[2ND 313] For security reasons, I can’t we’re my motorcycle helmet in a bank, police building or nearly most businesses because you can’t see my face. So should the same for anyone covering their face
[3RD 303] I am not a racist but I am uncomfortable with the burka because you have no idea who is hiding behind it, it could any male or female criminal wanted for crimes and you’d never know. You can’t wear helmets into banks or petrol stations so why can they hide their face when go in there. Surely they moved here to enjoy our way of life so get with it . When in Rome do as the Romans do.
[4TH 270] I think that part of the problem stems from the fact that, in our culture, the only people who cover their faces tend to be hiding something (e.g. bank robbers, muggers etc). We tend to think that people who cover their faces have “something to hide”. It is similar to the suspicion that people who don’t want to shake hands may also be insincere or untrustworthy.
I’m not sure this is so much an “Islamophobic” problem but rather is an ingrained sense that people who hide their faces or refuse to shake hands are in some way being sneaky or dishonest and untrustworthy in some way. [Daily Mail Australia] Read more