A biker, a klansman, and a man in a niqab walk into the Australian parliament … And wait, this isn’t a joke. Three Aussie men actually thought dressing up and trying to enter the government building would be a good idea because it would show their countrymen how silly it is to not banish women in traditional religious face-coverings to special parts of the seating gallery.
Australia recently nixed a plan to segregate women wearing the niqab and other religious face-coverings in a glass-enclosed area typically used for rowdy children. Instead, it implemented a more reasonable plan: Lift the face covering at security to show you are who you say you are, and head on in. Simple, right? Not for these guys.
Sergio Redegalli, Nick Folkes, and Victor Waterson — members of a group called Faceless — apparently have a history of, shall we say, anti-openness incidents. All they want is for the government to realize that women expressing their religious faith through covering their faces don’t deserve to sit in the same space as everyone else.
“There are issues with inequality in Australia, there should be one set of rules for all Australians,” Redegalli said. “[The burqa] is allowed to enter a bank. There is something wrong with our system.”
When they’re not staging protests at the parliament, Folkes and Waterson are [very] minor far-right politicians, while Redegalli — apparently way more into the artsy stuff — recently spray-painted a “Say No to Burqas” mural.
So what happened to these gents at security? They were initially screened the same way as everyone else at security, but later asked to remove their headgear. As a bonus, the asshole in the KKK hood had a niqab hiding underneath.
The double standard applied for a simple reason: “the items were deemed to be protest paraphernalia.” You know, the type of thing that’s not the same as a sincerely held religious belief.