Sep 22 2010
Say it isn't so! Aussies consider forcing non-Muslim families to cover up at swimming pool to avoid offending Muslims during Ramadan
“Participants aged 10 and over must ensure their bodies are covered from waist to knee and the entire torso extending to the upper arms.” The plan has triggered a furious debate.
Even some Muslims think the idea is crazy. Where’s John Howard when you need him?
Herald Sun An overwhelming 94 per cent of heraldsun.com.au readers disagree with the legal ruling approving the contentious ban during next year’s Ramadan. “The minimum dress requirements are set having regard to the sensitivities of Muslims who wish to participate in the event.”
So far the Premier John Brumby has refused to weigh into the debate about the event, saying he will wait to see the VCAT ruling before making any comment.
VCAT has approved a ban on uncovered shoulders and thighs for a community event to be held at the Dandenong Oasis, a municipal pool. “Participants aged 10 and over must ensure their bodies are covered from waist to knee and the entire torso extending to the upper arms,” a request by Dandenong City Council and the YMCA states in an exemption application to the Equal Opportunities Act. “Participants must not wear transparent clothing.”
Many readers feel the administrative ruling has gone too far to appease minority interests, and even senior Islamic figures have raised concerns about the precedent.
The request has been approved by VCAT and applies to a family event to be held at the pool next August.
“The applicant intends this to be an event where people of all races and religions and ages may attend, use the Centre’s facilities and socialise together,” VCAT notes.
“The holy month of Ramadan has a particular focus on families and the applicant wishes to encourage families to attend and socialise together with others.
The ban was yesterday compared by the Human Rights Commissioner Helen Szoke to a ban on thongs in a pub.
Sherene Hassan, vice-president of the Islamic Society of Victoria, said she didn’t support the dress restrictions. “My preference would be that no dress code is stipulated,” Ms Hassan said.
A spokeswoman for the City of Greater Dandenong said the ban would help Muslims feel part of the community. H/T Susan K
Isn’t it interesting how all the women in these photos look to be non-Muslim?