NATIONAL MPs want to ban the burqa from being worn in any public place except mosques because it's a safety risk and "not conducive to the Australian way of life".
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has given the OK for Nationals MP George Christensen to move a last-minute motion at the party's federal conference this Sunday to ban the burqa and niqab.
Mr Christensen told The Daily Telegraph it was a security and safety issue. He said the Nationals were also keen to distance themselves from Liberal Attorney-General George Brandis' emotional defence of the burqa in the Senate.
"The sensible thing to do is to ban the burqa and niqab in public buildings and spaces, leaving some exemptions for religious places of worship," he said. "It's not an attack on religion - it's an attack on a cultural garment which really is not conducive to the Australian way of life. There clearly is a threat to public safety and security and (people) should be forced to take them off if they refuse."
Nationals Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told The Daily Telegraph he welcomed the debate. "The Nationals revel in democracy," he said. "That doesn't necessarily mean it becomes policy. That's a matter for the Federal conference; and I'll be watching and listening to the debate like any other delegate".
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