Showing your face in public? The ayes have it
MOST voters favour a ban on Muslim women wearing the burqa in public,
according to an opinion survey by the polling group UMR Research. The
national survey of 1000 people of voting age earlier this month found
that 59 per cent supported a ban on the full face and body veil in
However, 33 per cent of UMR's respondents said they opposed a ban and
the remaining 8 per cent were unsure.
UMR is the pollster for the federal Labor Party, although the survey
on the burqa was carried out as part of its wider opinion research
program rather than being commissioned by the ALP.
The pollster's managing director, John Utting, said the survey found
strong support for banning the full face and body veil, especially among
men and older people. UMR's results showed that 63 per cent of men
surveyed would support a ban compared with 55 per cent of women.
Support rose with age. Among those aged under 30, 49 per cent
supported a ban. This rose to 54 per cent for 30- to 49-year-olds; 65
per cent for those aged between 50 and 69; and 72 per cent for people
The online poll was carried out between May 12 and 17 after media
coverage of a Sydney armed robbery where a burqa was used as a disguise,
and calls by a federal backbencher to ban the garment.
Mr Utting said the survey showed the groups most sympathetic to the
burqa were the better-educated and those who said they did not have a
religion. But even in these demographic groups supporters of a ban
UMR's results showed that among university graduates, 49 per cent
supported a ban and 42 per cent opposed it.
Among respondents who said they did not have a religion there was a
54 per cent to 34 per cent majority in support of a ban.
Mr Utting said the survey used a nationally representative sample and
the results had been weighted to reflect Bureau of Statistics
demographic data (...)