A Conservative Australian MP is proposing to ban topless bathing in order to protect the sensibilities of Muslims and Asians who are not accustomed to being on beaches where people are nude. “Our beaches should be a place where no one is offended, whether it’s their religious or cultural views.” He argued Muslims and people from Asian societies come from countries where women do not engage in topless bathing and most women wear a lot of clothing. ” MP Fred Nile said: “I don’t want to have any provocations or disturbances on our public beaches.” He argued if topless bathing is allowed what is to prevent women from going around in the nude.
There is always a thin line between respecting the cultural views of minorities and allowing national norms to be operational. The problem with Mr. Nile’s proposal is that most Muslim societies would not allow bikini bathing suits or the showing of cleavage which is so common on most Australian beaches. Or, is he arguing since many Muslim women wear heavy clothing than all Australian women have to wear heavy clothing on beaches? Frankly, fundamentalists whether Muslim or Jewish or Christian will always be offended by the current bathing attire displayed on many beaches in the world.
If one chooses to live in a multicultural society then one must accept certain national norms. In the United States army I ate ham, pork and bacon despite being a Jew. One adjusts to the reality of life in a multicultural society. All views in reality can not be respected or accommodated. That may not be fair but it is reality.