Georgia’s anti-masking statute is intended to ban Ku Klux Klan hoods and robes. Now, a state lawmaker wants to see it extended to burqas, the full-body garment that many Muslim women wear.
A bill introduced into the Georgia House of Representatives would ban Muslim women from wearing burqas or veils while driving and when their driver’s license photos are shot.
Sheik Salahadin Wazir, host of the American Muslim Weekly Show, told CNN’s “New Day” that the bill would only help radicals by discriminating against Muslim women.
“We should not aid and give to the radicals a gift,” he said.
The legislation written by state Rep. Jason Spencer is designed to amend existing legislation that prohibits people from wearing a “mask, hood or device by which any portion of the face” is hidden while on public property.
Spencer’s bill adds the word “she” and specifies that public property include public roads and highways. The bill also says public identification cards, including driver’s licenses, should not be issued to any person if his or her face is concealed.
When contacted by CNN affiliate WSB-TV, Spencer said the bill was not discriminatory but “is simply a response to constituents that do have concerns of the rise of Islamic terrorism, and we in the State of Georgia do not want our laws used against us.”
He also said the bill would made sure drivers are identifiable to law enforcement.