More issues hiding under the burqa than a ban
ONE of the things I love about international travel is experiencing other cultures.
I love to explore the world other people live in, try their food, live a little as they live.
I also love that my son has shared those adventures with me.
I hope it will not only broaden his knowledge but his tolerance of anything 'different'.
So it has been a surprise to me what has been going on in my beloved Australia since I returned home.
Ban the burqa, pork barbecues outside a mosque, and Facebook post after Facebook post attacking Muslims.
The real issues have been lost beneath a pile of hysteria, name-calling, blame and abuse.
Call it racism, bigotry, sexism, religious persecution or whatever you like, but I don't like to call it Australian.
That is the thing about Australia.
I have always believed we are an accepting multicultural country and I am glad to have met representatives of many different countries who now call Australia home.
Still, the only time I have even seen anyone wear a burqa or niqab was in Dubai.
I admit to experiencing a range of emotions at the time.
First, I was a little intimidated by them, more from my own naivety than anything.
Second, I was saddened by little girls being covered up when their brothers were wearing the latest in denim shorts and t-shirts.
Finally, I was simply fascinated while at our motel pool when one burqa-clad lady disappeared into a change room.
Was she going to come out in a bikini? A modest one-piece? No, she came out pretty much as she went in, wearing a wet-suit style neck-to-knees version, including the headscarf.
And sure, while in Dubai I followed their dress guidelines and wore modest clothing, but at no time did I feel like I should have been wearing a burqa.
(On a side note, they sure would solve a few fashion decision issues when getting ready for work every morning.)
Forget banning the burqa, there are more important things that should be banned.
Like crocs as footwear.
Things like that should be kept in private. Or at least hide them under a burqa.