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New Rules Segregate Muslim Women Wearing Niqabs And Burqas Behind Glass At Australian Parliament

"Am I to understand that there is to be a burqa box now?"

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The "security modifications" were made on Thursday amid a debate over the burqa in Australia.

People who wear facial coverings into parliament will only be allowed to sit in the glass enclosed galleries.

Latika Bourke@latikambourkeFollow

People who wear facial coverings into parliament will only be allowed to sit in the glass enclosed galleries.

5:21 AM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The new rule says that to watch parliament, people with "facial coverings" will now sit in enclosed galleries where schoolchildren watch behind glass and under guard.

"This will ensure that persons with facial coverings can continue to enter the Chamber galleries, without needing to be identifiable," the department for parliamentary services said.

A spokeswoman for Parliament House told BuzzFeed News that both women wearing burqas and niqabs would likely be targeted by the new rules, but "it's not religious, it's about any veil".

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The Senate President & Parliamentary Speaker say they've issued the new security rules re: facial coverings after getting security advice

Simon Cullen@Simon_CullenFollow

The Senate President & Parliamentary Speaker say they've issued the new security rules re: facial coverings after getting security advice

2:42 PM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Tension over banning the burqa in parliament increased when prime minister Tony Abbott said he was "uncomfortable" by the burqa and that he wished it was not worn in Australia.

The newly appointed Australian federal police commissioner, Andrew Colvin, said he would not be drawn into a debate about banning of the burqa, but that state policing legislation gave officers around the country enough powers to legally identify niqab and burqa wearers.

Government MP Cory Bernardi wholeheartedly endorsed the move.

“I'm only interested in the security of Parliament House” @corybernardi on new security rules in Canberra http://t.co/FWhZbibkW7 #auspol

ABC News 24@ABCNews24Follow

“I'm only interested in the security of Parliament House” @corybernardi on new security rules in Canberra http://t.co/FWhZbibkW7 #auspol

5:45 PM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

However, there was also an immediate backlash.

What is most striking about the burqa in Parliament debate is how we have **exactly zero** muslim women in Parliament. #auspol

Bhakthi@bhakthiFollow

What is most striking about the burqa in Parliament debate is how we have **exactly zero** muslim women in Parliament. #auspol

5:29 AM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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I wonder if beards fall into the category of "facial coverage".

Osman Faruqi@oz_fFollow

I wonder if beards fall into the category of "facial coverage".

2:25 PM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Am I to understand that there is going to be a burqa box now?

Ben Jenkins@bencjenkinsFollow

Am I to understand that there is going to be a burqa box now?

2:25 PM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Get ready ladies because if you’re a Muslim, there’s not just a glass ceiling, you get a whole box!

Christian Jeffries@4everunrustledFollow

Get ready ladies because if you’re a Muslim, there’s not just a glass ceiling, you get a whole box!

3:38 PM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Greens leader Christine Milne labelled the decision "disgraceful".

Just found out Muslim women wearing facial coverings are to be relegated to part of parliament reserved for rowdy school kids. Disgraceful

Christine Milne@senatormilneFollow

Just found out Muslim women wearing facial coverings are to be relegated to part of parliament reserved for rowdy school kids. Disgraceful

5:09 AM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

One of her Greens colleagues said it risked "Muslim apartheid".

Greens Senator @RichardDiNatale on the DPS ruling dealing with burqas: "We're at risk of creating some form of Muslim apartheid right now."

Matt Moran@mattmoran10newsFollow

Greens Senator @RichardDiNatale on the DPS ruling dealing with burqas: "We're at risk of creating some form of Muslim apartheid right now."

6:36 AM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Australia's human rights commissioner disagreed with the decision.

No justification for undermining religious freedom in new DPS measures when ppl have gone thru security checkpoints: http://t.co/VVBzVot96l

Tim Wilson@timwilsoncomauFollow

No justification for undermining religious freedom in new DPS measures when ppl have gone thru security checkpoints: http://t.co/VVBzVot96l

6:22 AM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Australia's race discrimination commissioner also condemned the move.

No one should be treated like a second-class citizen, not least in their own parliament

Tim Soutphommasane@timsoutFollow

No one should be treated like a second-class citizen, not least in their own parliament

5:33 AM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Independent former MP Rob Oakeshott saw the contradiction in the decision.

PM wishes burqa wasn't worn in Australia b/c he thinks it lessons the status of women. The fix? Make the women sit up the back behind glass.

Rob Oakeshott@RobOakeshott1Follow

PM wishes burqa wasn't worn in Australia b/c he thinks it lessons the status of women. The fix? Make the women sit up the back behind glass.

6:32 AM - 02 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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