Flashback for Trudeau: Some Canadian Muslims want Ottawa to ban niqabs

I noticed that newswatchcanada.ca had a title and link up this morning, from the Toronto Star, saying that at least one Muslim group wants the niqab and burkas banned in Canada. Why? Originally dated Wednesday, October 7th, 2009, here is a sample of what the Star column states:

  • “Middle Eastern garments designed to cover a woman’s face are “medieval” and “misogynist” symbols of extremism with no basis in Islam, a Canadian Muslim lobby group said Wednesday as it urged Ottawa to ban the burka and the niqab.”
  • “The Muslim Canadian Congress called on the federal government to prohibit the two garments in order to prevent women from covering their faces in public – a practice the group said has no place in a society that supports gender equality.”

Hmm. So, Prime Minister Harper’s statements recently that the niqab is a medieval anti-feminine symbol is actually how many Canadian Muslims feel themselves. And, let’s clarify. Mr. Harper has never said anything against the hijab, which is simply a head covering. Nor has he ever said anything about a total ban on face coverings.

Anyway, good for the Star to remind us how out of touch Justin Trudeau, and all those screaming backlash, are with the majority of Muslims who are law abiding Canadians. Trudeau needs to re-read what the Muslim Canadian Congress said and apologize to all those Muslims he claims to be speaking for. Trudeau also needs to realize that other recent Liberal leaders have spoken out against the veil,  like Michael Ignatieff did in March of 2010.

Zunera Ishaq. Courtesy J.P. Moczulski for National Post.
Zunera Ishaq. Courtesy J.P. Moczulski for National Post.

As a woman of retirement age, I can tell you that looking at the photo image of Zunera Ishaq with her face covered makes me cringe. I came of age in the late 1950s, and to think that I and millions of my fellow Canadian women have struggled since that time for equality, only to end up seeing women hiding their faces and calling it empowering.

Hardly! If it was so empowering, why do Muslim men not cover their faces as well? Because what it is, in reality, is a not so subtle example of oppression. At the very least, Muslim women should show their faces when they are taking the Citizenship oath.

The crux of the matter is that this discussion should not only be about Muslim woman and their rights. What about the rest of us? By showing their face for that one minute when they become a Canadian, they are showing some respect for our rights and the society they claim they want to belong.

Beyond that moment, of course, whether we like the niqab or not, most Canadians, including me, are tolerant of their chosen oppression.


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Sandy is a retired educator, author & former conservative political strategist. She operated the first "Crux of the Matter" from 2006 until 2017 and opened this "Crux of the Matter 2.0" blog in late August, 2018.

17 thoughts on “Flashback for Trudeau: Some Canadian Muslims want Ottawa to ban niqabs

  1. Exactly Sandy, young, middleaged Mr Trudeau is sucking and blowing desperate to inject “race” into the election as in Obama style politics.
    The face covering is anti Canadian, and says to me that I will never know this person, even if she was my neighbor.


  2. An interesting debate between two Muslim women took place yesterday (Mar 12, 2015) on Power & Politics:
    http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/Power+%26+Politics+with+Evan+Solomon/ID/2658511579/ “Debating the niqab
    Law student Kawsar Mohamed and author Farzana Hassan have different takes on face veils”

    Kawsar Mohamed (pro-niqab) said, among other things: “I didn’t need to interact with the public [when wearing the niqab]”, which to me signals an unwillingness to be a full participant in Canadian society. Ms. Mohamed invoked her freedom of choice in dressing as she wants to, a notion which a Globe & Mail columnist (Tabatha Southey) also used in her derisive hashtag #DressCodePM, intended to ridicule the PM’s statement about the niqab’s origin.

    Farzana Hassan (anti-niqab) said: “I completely endorse the government’s position” of banning the niqab at citizenship ceremonies. Ms. Hassan also reminded Ms. Mohamed that how she dresses in the public sphere should conform to the “social contract” individuals living in a civilized society should abide by.
    I would extend banning the niqab and any other mask-like garment (the burka) to government workplaces, unlike Minister Tony Clement, who seems to be unclear on the concept of cabinet solidarity, saying the niqab is acceptable in the public service. Mind you, the PM has not, to my knowledge, said anything about the niqab in the workplace, so I may be the one off-side here.

    Personally, I think getting embroiled in pseudo-debates about cultures & religions we know little about invites over-the-top rhetoric and solves nothing. Better to keep reaffirming the Canadian way of doing things and stating plainly to prospective immigrants what is acceptable in Canadian society and what is not. Going around with one’s face hidden is one of those behaviours frowned upon.


  3. Bubba — the race card in this instance is strange because Islam is a religion, not a race. Bigot maybe, but not racist. Whatever, I am not a racist. In fact, I see no “race” in not being able to see someone’s face. I mean, how can you be prejudiced when you can’t see anything other than the person’s eyes. Plus, who is to say a man would not hide behind such garb?


  4. I missed that Gabby. I just could not stand to watch P&P yesterday, given the “panel” Rosie had on. Other than Tasha K., I knew where that discussion would end up.


  5. What is so difficult to comprehend is the support in favour of the face covering by presumably feminist Liberal/NDP women. On the face of it, this would seem to be opposite to everything they believe, yet given the chance to demonize PMSH they gladly join in.
    A bit of this dialogue was on display last night on P&P between Tasha Kheiriddin and Susan Smith. I confess to tuning Smith out while she speaks, but her support for the niqabs was very clear. Also very strange.


  6. Martin — I believe you are right. Anything to be pro-Trudeau and anti-Harper. She was the reason I turned that discussion off.


  7. You are entirely correct, Sandy, but this is beside the point. This is a Liberal CAMPAIGN ploy – taken straight out of the US from the same ex-Obama campaigners who are now employed by the Liberal Party. For every reasoned argument you will make, they will shout “Racism!” ten times. Goebbels would be proud.
    Muslim “race” baiting is now a politicized, campaign issue. The Conservatives will have to very careful what they say – but also make use of their ties within the Muslim community to combat the mis-information and hyperbole that will be spread by the MSM.
    Case in point: City News ran an extended evening news segment yesterday on the “niqab issue” and Muslim relations. In a two hour period there were four, 15 minutes segments highlighting how Muslims are feeling estranged in singled out; repeated discussions of surveys showing how more Conservatives (distinct from other Canadians, apparently) are much more inclined to be in favour of niqab bans (conveniently ignoring the salient issue: covering the face during a swearing-in ceremony). Oh, and one two minute segment talking to a Muslim woman who disagrees with the niqab. Balance, don’t you see?
    Welcome to the gutter of race-baiting politics.


  8. So FredR, what we need to do is be louder.

    It is one reason I am blogging again. The left, in general, are getting away with far too much.

    I hope other Conservative Gov’t supporters, who are on hiatus at the moment, get ticked off enough to start blogging again. I looked at the BT list the other day and there are a lot of folks who stopped blogging after May 2, 2011. We need them back!!!


  9. I am of two minds on this issue in that I would hate to live in a society where the government can mandate what I or my wife or my sons or my daughters can or can not wear while at the same time I loath the hijab, niqab and burka for what they represent. I was speaking with a young Muslim man of my acquaintance and we got to talking about our wives and why they wear adornment on their heads. My wife wears a little scarf or kerchief which symbolizes Yahweh’s supremacy over man. His wife wears a hijab so that she does not cause sinful lust in men. I asked him if he understood the Genesis account of how both Adam and Eve tried to transfer their guilt onto someone or something else despite they were the ones that were guilty for their own misdeeds. It was a concept beyond his religious experience.


  10. Joe — I don’t think many of us have a problem with head coverings. It’s the face covering that is the problem. But, re the sin being transferred, that is interesting because that is exactly how the men in the famous India rape case feel. The one seen in the documentary says “she” was at fault even though she was with her boyfriend and was dressed carefully. I went to a Catholic H.S. in Ottawa and remember a nun telling us not to tempt men with our dress. I remember asking her if it was the man’s problem and she got angry with me. It is a main reason few rapes are actually reported even today.


  11. I agree with you re the face covering Sandy but funnily enough I can remember my dear Mother wearing a veil to Church on Sunday. We attended a ‘Liberal’ Church but Mom would wear a see though veil over her face when ever she entered the Sanctuary. In the Church I now attend there are several young moms who drape a see through scarf around their neck until the Church stands to pray or the sermon is being delivered upon which time they pull the ‘scarf’ over their heads and turn it into a head covering face covering veil. In case you think their actions are being forced by men it is not. One such Mom is divorced and is doing her best to raise two wonderful children.


  12. Which brings to mind that, even today, many brides wear a full veil until they say their vows and then they put the veil back over their heads. Interesting how we never give it much thought.


  13. Of course the antithesis of the veiled bride has to be the young muslim mom I saw at the beach a few years back. It was a sweltering hot day with bright sunshine. She was covered in black cloth from head to toe with only her eyes showing. How she didn’t suffer heat stroke I’ll never know as she couldn’t even dip in the water to cool off.


  14. IMO a woman wearing a full face covering is shunning our way of life.

    The woman who has stirred up this issue appears to be an activist challenging the customs of the country. We need to hold firm on this one.

    Takek Fatah in today’s Ottawa Sun ” “The Niqab is the flag of Islamism”


  15. Hi Liz J. Nice to hear from you. I agree that we have to hold firm on this one issue — during the 1 or 2 minutes it takes to repeat the Citizenship oath.


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