Cop Cleared, Covered Crim Convicted

“You look at me and see me wearing this and you couldn’t handle it. All cops are racist,” says Carnita Matthews, niqab-wearer of Woodbine in New South Wales.

Her allegations of racism have been echoed by others and directed at anyone who dares question the wisdom of allowing facial veils in public areas or expresses concerns about fundamentalist Islam.

The challenge for Carnita and her supporters is to advise the rest of us just what race we are so opposed to. It couldn’t be Islam because, whilst it is a religion and political ideology, it is not a race. The face veil is just a piece of cloth so it cannot be a race either.

Any thinking person understands the nonsensical nature of claims such as Matthews’ because they do not stand up to any scrutiny. One can logically conclude that the cry of racism is simply an attempt to shut down any questioning of fundamentalist Islam’s compatibility with western values.

So why was Carnita Matthews making such idiotic statements?

Matthews was prepared to destroy a policeman’s career because he had the temerity to pull her over for not displaying her ‘P’ plates appropriately. Matthews was wearing a veil that exposed only her eyes. The officer asked her to remove it for the purpose of identification.

After being booked for a traffic infringement, some days later Matthews lodged a complaint (supported by a statutory declaration) making a number of allegations against the police officer. Any one of these claims, if upheld, had the potential to destroy the officer’s career. Fortunately, the in-car police camera demonstrated they were false.

Carnita Matthews was charged with knowingly making a false statement, found guilty and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.

Justice has been done (subject to the appeal process of course).

But what makes this story more remarkable is the defence offered up on behalf of Matthews.

Her lawyer maintained that because the statutory declaration was lodged by someone wearing a facial veil, it could have been anyone and thus his client couldn’t be found guilty because there was no proof it was her. The judge chose instead to rely on the almost identical signatures of the accused and the one that appeared on the statutory declaration.

Declaring that the “evidence was overwhelming” Magistrate Robert Rabbidge stated “there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind beyond a reasonable doubt that she knew that the complaint she was making was false.”

However, in conceding that the burqa (or niqab) prevents identity from being established the defence has done a huge service to those of us who think the burqa has no place in Australian life.

When did it become okay for people to mask their identity in public and hide their identity from others? With few exceptions, this has always been the preserve of those intent on committing criminal acts – as indeed it was in the case above.

The indulgence of this absurd outfit as a legitimate form of clothing has been extended into too many areas of our public life.

Most recently in Canberra’s Parliament House, afraid of the backlash from asking visitors to remove their veils, administrative officials have now advised security personnel that visitors can also wear balaclavas while visiting our national parliament if they so choose.

The sheer absurdity of such a policy to appease a tiny group of Islamic fundamentalists suggests we have really lost our cultural values.

While people like Carnita Matthews are clearly prepared to lie to support their veiled protest against the West, she can take some comfort in the fact that should she be jailed in South Australia, the politically correct government would at least allow her to wear her niqab in prison.

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