Left: Carnita Matthews. Right: Uh, maybe we’ll get back to you on that.
Handily demonstrating one of the many practical problems inherent in wearing the burqa. To conceal one’s face is not to fully participate in society. That arrangement may work more easily in a society where a woman is the legal responsibility of a male guardian and a perpetual minor, but the face veil must not be allowed to be used in an open, egalitarian society as leverage with which to game the system.
“It wasn’t me in that burqa, says accused,” by Nathan Klein for the Daily Telegraph, November 19 (thanks to all who sent this in):
COVERED from head to toe in a burqa, with just a slit through which to see, a Muslim woman charged with making a false complaint to police now argues she has been a victim of mistaken identity.
Carnita Matthews was charged in June after allegedly falsely claiming that a highway patrol officer handled her in an attempt to see her burqa-hidden face during a random breath test.
She has pleaded not guilty.
After arriving at Campbelltown Local Court yesterday with an identically dressed friend, Matthews watched the in-car police video of her being pulled over and asked to lift the burqa so the officer could verify her licence photo.
The court was told that after being issued an infringement notice for not properly displaying her P-plates, the 46-year-old branded the officer “a racist” and claimed he only booked her because of what she was wearing.
“I’ve got my P-plates on my car … there was nothing wrong with how they were displayed,” Matthews said on the video.
“You look at me and see me wearing this and you couldn’t handle it. All cops are racist.”
The court heard that Matthews then drove to Campbelltown police station to complain that she was unfairly treated by the officer.
Giving evidence yesterday, the station officer who took the complaint said he had told Matthews the officer had been right to ask for identification.
In a statement read to the court, Sergeant Paul Kearney said he told her: “I’m looking at you and all I can see is two eyes.”
However, the court was told that an officer who three days later accepted a statutory declaration from a burqa-clad woman he assumed to be Matthews failed to check her identification.
Matthews’ lawyer Stephen Hopper said there was no way for police to prove that his client was the one who signed the statutory declaration at Campbelltown police station on June 10.
Mr Hopper said that meant Matthews should not have been charged with the offence of making a false complaint to police.
The hearing continues today.