18 Jan 2009

NZers tolerant of burqa says ethnic council

9:48 pm on 18 January 2009

The Federation of Ethnic Councils says it doubts the level of hysteria surrounding the wearing of the burqa or hijab by women in Australia would ever be replicated in this country.

A call by a Brisbane radio presenter for the garments to be banned because of the security risk they pose is gaining momentum, with a major Australian retail organisation supporting it.

Retailers Association executive director Scott Driscoll says Muslim leaders have told him that overseas, criminals use the hijab as a disguise.

But the Federation of Ethnic Councils chair Puncha Narayanan says it's lucky people in this country have a different perspective on the wearing of the burqa.

He says New Zealanders are very tolerant and accepting.