Muslim woman Carnita Matthews escapes jail by remaining behind her burqa
Proving once again that it's not the crime that gets you, so much as the cover up!
UPDATE 5.31pm: THE woman at the centre of the burqa row, Carnita Matthews, has a long record of driving offences and a history of not paying her fines.
Court documents have revealed that she had been fined seven times for traffic infringements before she was stopped by police in June last year for not displaying her P-plates in the incident that sparked the row that spilled over to the District Court in NSW yesterday.
Since she first received her learner licence in 1998 at the age of 33, she has twice had her provisional licence suspended for totting up too many demerit points and twice had her licence suspended for non payment of fines.
The State Debt Recovery Office had to recover the fines. Both of those two suspensions for non payment of fines were later lifted.
It is not known how many times she was physically stopped by police and whether she had her face covered by a burqa or a niqab on those occasions.
And like the woman in Florida who did not want to remove her burqa for her driver's license photo, this incident also illustrates the insanity of such a position.
Yesterday, Ms Matthews avoided jail because her identity could not be proven.
Ms Matthews, 47, from Woodbine, in Sydney's southwest, had been sentenced to six months in jail for making a deliberately false statement that a policeman tried to forcibly remove her burqa because he was a racist.
But judge Clive Jeffreys said yesterday he was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it was Mrs Matthews who made the racism accusation because the person who complained to police was wearing a burqa at the time.
The absurdity of the law is that, to reach the level of proof of identity to make the case, Mrs Matthews would have been required to identify herself by lifting her burqa at the police station - what started the uproar in the first place.
Here's a thought...if your religious principles mean that much to you, ride the bus. Call a cab. Sometimes, sticking up for one's principles involves personal sacrifice.
You have the right to practice your religion. You do not have the right to drive a car. (At least not without a photo ID.) It is a privilege established by state law and subject to state regulations.
You can't have it both ways. I believe that Islam holds that Jesus was a prophet. He said, "Render unto Caesar the things that be Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's."
Driver's license and registration? Those be Caesar's.
Update: Mark Steyn's take.
Update II:This may be a good time to re-introduce the Proof Positive Travel Burka?
Update III:My take on burkas as getaway outfits from 2007
Cross posted at Proof Positive