SO I WONDER HOW LONG IT WILL BE BEFORE THE THREATS START POURING IN FOR THIS WOMAN DARING TO GIVE AN OPINION THAT FLIES IN THE FACE OF ISLAM? I’M WAITING FOR SOME SLOBBERING, VIOLENT MUSLIM TO DECIDE SHE’S AN APOSTATE, AND EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT THAT GETS A BAD MUSLIMA…
Ban face coverings
Re: Niqab nonsense, Dec. 13.
Minister Jason Kenney’s decision to have new Canadians show their faces while taking the oath of citizenship is a statement in favour of civility and Canadian values.
Canadian citizenship should not be about obtaining a passport of convenience, it should entail an affirmation of Canada’s proud commitment to openness and to social cohesion. Canadian citizenship is about sharing in the responsibilities and duties of upholding Canada’s values of pluralism and openness.
For too long we have pandered to those who seek to have access to the rights of Canadians while segregating themselves from the community’s values at large.
Those who favour of the burka or niqab couch their arguments in the rhetoric of religious freedom. These face coverings are political symbols of Saudi-inspired Islamic extremism, and rooted in the cultural rather than religious practices. The Koran has no requirement for Muslim women to cover their faces. Invoking religious freedom to conceal one’s identity and promote a political ideology is disingenuous, exclusionist and, frankly, a security hazard. As a Canadian, I expect to be able to interact with my fellow Canadians in a transparent and open manner.
In October 2009, the late Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi, dean of al-Azhar University, banned the face coverings from the grounds on the university arguing that the niqab is not an Islamic practice. For more than 1,400 years, women praying in Mecca (alongside men) at what every Muslim believes to be the House of God, have been explicitly prohibited from covering their faces.
Canadians are incredibly tolerant of contrarian views and the cultural practices and faiths of new comers. Yet it is incumbent upon us to ensure that people joining our community subscribe to our values. While the rest of the world is moving toward the goal of gender equality, right here in Canada Islamists bent on are pushing back the clock, convincing educated Muslim women that they are a source of sin if they reveal their faces in public. The minister didn’t go far enough – he should ban the wearing of face coverings in public places, thereby permanently ending the debate on the niqab in Canada.
Salma Siddiqui, Ottawa Past President, Muslim Canadian Congress Vice President, Circle of Canadians