Niqab in Canada: Why it is an Issue?

Women in Nijab

Women in Nijab

Niqab is a black shapeless garment, which covers all woman’s body, including face. Usually it has a small slit for eyes, but some variety have opening only for one eye, or even hide both eyes by transparent material.

It happened a while ago that two women, hidden inside Nijab, appeared at the Canadian citizenship ceremony. The authorities considered inappropriate for attendees to hide their faces during a public official procedure, and ordered the women to leave. The women appealed to the federal court, which declared the decision of citizenship authority unconstitutional, and confirmed the two women’s right to attend the citizenship ceremony with their faces hidden.

This issue lingered for some time, attracting little interest of the public, but suddenly exploded in the last month into one of the most heated topics of the federal election campaign. What happened?

One Muslim woman asks in her article: Don’t we have more important issues, such as economy, to discuss? What’s the big deal that we do not see the faces of two women at the citizenship ceremony?

Some voices were quick to accuse Conservatives in exploiting this issue. They may be right, but it does not explain why the public suddenly became so involved in the discussion. It also does not explain why NDP and Liberals have been drawn into this seemingly trifle debate. Why bother?

The reality is, that all political parties became slaves of political correctness, the victim of which is the truth. This Nijab issue, insignificant as it might seem, coincided with the flow of information about influx of Muslim refugees to Western Europe. The fact that it is a disaster was admitted even by the most politically correct press. Under the weight of refugee tide all humanitarian and legal foundations of Western Europe civilization has cracked. Even France and England, which have the most liberal policy towards migrants from the third world, in fact shut their doors to migrants.

Europe is terrified. But not only Europe. Canada is among those countries, whose population is afraid that something similar may happen with it. The majority who are against Nijab are those who likely would vote against accepting Syrian and other migrants.

The interesting fact is, that even Muslim community, usually so active in its religious and customs matters, is predominantly silent. It demonstrates that Canadian Muslims are also not in favour of mass immigration from the Middle East.

Conservatives intend to accept 10 thousands migrants till September 2016. NDP was quick to raise this number to 46 thousands over 4 years. Other NDP members opt for 100,000.

All political parties have highly charged emotional appeals associated with migration from the Middle East.

NDP appeals to Canadian traditional generously and humanity. Conservatives appeal to the population’s sober mind and understanding of reality. The dilemma is clear, although outside the boundary of politically correct language: do we have sufficient funds for absorbing the influx of migrants? Are we willing to face European-style disaster, because we are very kind and compassionate? Do we care in what country our children and grandchildren will live in ten or fifteen years from now? That’s what Nijab, rightly or wrongly, associated with.

Make no mistake: arguments that immigrants from the third world countries help economy is a myth. If interested, browse Internet for statistics of the most immigrant-friendly countries, such as Sweden, France, England and Germany. I do not have to elaborate other points. Suffice it to say, that once started, immigration will grow forever, until either humanitarian principles, or the country itself, will collapse.

There are other issues with Nijab, but perhaps of lesser importance. If granted citizenship, the Niqab-covered women will have full rights to obtain education and become lawyers, judges, doctors, police persons, and other. Now imagine that you bring your mentally unstable child to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, who is hidden inside Niqab. She might have an opening for two eyes, or for one eye, or for none. Would your child be healthier after such a visit?

Another point: what about having a police woman in Niqab?

In early 1980s there was a case in Toronto, when a policeman – a person immigrated from India – claimed that he had the right to wear a turban while on the job, as his religion does not allow him to take it off. He won his case in the court. I have never seen a policemen in turban, and I am happy with that. If I am in distress and look for police, the last thing I would do is to look for a turban in the crowd and call out for his help.

Even less desirable would be a police woman hidden in Niqab. I doubt that anyone would be tolerant enough to see a pilot of international (and even domestic) flight in Niqab. There is no need to expand the list.

I believe that common sense should prevail, and limits of freedom and democracy have to be recognized. If Canada is so kind to immigrants and their customs, it is reasonable to expect from them to recognize the customs of this country, and respect it.

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1 Response to Niqab in Canada: Why it is an Issue?

  1. LindaCarlson says:

    “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” When I lived in Germany I spoke German and followed their rules. I respect everyone’s religious beliefs. That said, I think your point is well taken.. (And I don’t think many non-Muslim people will admit it, because they are concerned they will be labeled something they’re not.)

    Nothing is in a vacuum. One thing links into another in society. Balance needs to be fair and just – not one-sided to any thing

    I have an 10 yr old Autistic child. He has seen women in the Niqab; I have tried to explain to him that these ladies believe God wants them to wear it.

    Fearful, he asked,” How do you Know Ladies are in there? Are you sure?” Then asked, “Why does God want ladies to wear scary long Black coats all the time?” (Autism, remember? Along with No abstraction.) So if he had a teacher, doctor or dentist wearing a Niqab he could not be with them..he would be too fearful and no one would benefit.

    Sidebar: I think the Hijab is beautiful, elegant, and respectful. The full covering of a Burka, or Niqab (hope I have the terms accurate) give me pause. (Please note: “When in Rome…” IF I come to your country ladies, I will certainly “cover up.”)

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