Muslim garb ‘confronting’, says Aussie PM

Most Australians found the full traditional garb of Muslim women confronting, Australian prime minister John Howard said today.

“I don’t mind the headscarf but it’s really the whole outfit, I think most Australians would find it confronting. I don’t believe that you should ban wearing headscarfs but I do think the full garb is confronting and that is how most people feel. Now, that is not meant disrespectfully to Muslims because most Muslim women, a great majority of them in Australia, don’t even wear headscarfs and very few of them wear the full garb.”, 27 February 2006

Note that while Howard is reported as ruling out a change in the law regarding any form of Islamic dress, in the actual quotes he only rules out a ban on the headscarf.