Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged parliament’s presiding officers to reconsider restrictions on women wearing the burqa in the house.
Mr Abbott has written to Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and Senate president Stephen Parry after they announced women wearing the naqib or burqa would be forced to sit in a glass-enclosed area of the public gallery, due to safety concerns.
The new rule followed a review of security in Parliament House, however senior officials said the restriction on those wearing the headdress will only be an “interim measure”.
The glass-enclosed viewing galleries are normally reserved for visiting school children.
Greens Senator Richard Di Natale yesterday said the move will create the feeling that Muslims are second-class citizens.