Monday, December 12, 2011
Canada: Face veils disallowed while taking citizenship oath
Immigration minister Jason Kenney has placed a ban on wearing face covering garments during ceremonies at which immigrants recite the oath of citizenship. The ban would include the niqab and burkas among other things. This may cause problems if the ceremony is held outside in minus 40 degree since no doubt full face ski type masks will be covered (pun intended) by the ban. Batman better stay in the U.S. as well.
The ruling is in line with what is happening in Quebec where a similar ban will force women to unveil when receiving government services and laws in some European countries which ban the veils in public. Tunisia bans the veils at universities a practice that has caused recent demonstrations by Salafists.
Kenney takes the position that it is not a religious but a cultural tradition and at the pilgrimage to Mecca women must unveil themselves. Even if it is not a religious obligation but a cultural tradition this does not seem a reason to ban the veil. The practice does not seem to harm anyone. When my wife attended her citizenship ceremony the people arrived in all sorts of attire. Some were in suits, a few had traditional dress of their homeland, others dressed very casually. The citizenship guide notes that it is appropriate that those taking the oath wear their traditional dress should they wish. Several men seemed to be taking time off their construction work and were in work clothes.
Of course liberals will say the niqab or burkha are signs of women's oppression. Nice that Islam haters can go along with this. Of course the veiled women themselves are never asked if they want to have the veil removed. No need to consult these brainwashed, oppressed women. Free them whether they like it or not.
Apparently citizenship judges and some MPs complained to Kenney that women wearing the veil could not be seen reciting the oath. Surely the point is to be heard. Put a microphone in front of them if you can't hear them. Are dumb people --those who cannot talk-- refused citizenship on the grounds they cannot be heard reciting the oath. I think the whole issue is politicized and used by politicians as a means of gaining support. Lets see the opinion polls on support for the banning. I expect they will be very much in favor. For more see this article.