Police in Australia’s most populous state have been given new powers to remove burkas and other face coverings to identify suspected criminals. People in New South Wales can now be sent to jail for up to a year, or face fines of over US$5,800 for refusing to remove a face cover. The new powers come after a recent case where a Muslim woman was acquitted because a judge ruled her veil made identification impossible. The Islamic Council of New South Wales has reportedly accepted the move, and the Muslim Women’s Association said it was doesn’t have a problem with it as long as the issue is handled sensitively by police. According to the BBC, the Western Australian state government is considering implementing a similar rule.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011