Canada - Niqab backers ignorant about Shariah, Islamism. (TS). By Farzana Hassan.
I agree with the federal government’s decision to defend its policy of banning the niqab when Muslim women take the oath at citizenship ceremonies.
It has asked the Federal Court of Appeal for a stay of last month’s court ruling striking its policy down and plans to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
This matter concerns all of us for many reasons, not the least of which is that accepting the niqab, even if confined to citizenship ceremonies, will set a dangerous precedent.
It will establish an odious symbol of Islamism and its misogyny at a quintessentially Canadian event.
Glib arguments the niqab is just a piece of cloth worn by a few Muslim women, miss the point.
This is not a numbers game. It is a matter of principle.
The issue is whether we should allow retrograde practices in our midst, ones that clearly consider women temptresses who must be hidden from public view.
Such practices are only supported by those who believe a woman’s piety stems from her invisibility.
In that context, the citizenship ceremony concession will have far-reaching consequences for our society and the values we hold dear.
At risk is the Canada we value.It is irrelevant whether one woman or a thousand wear the niqab at the oath-taking ceremony.
What is wrong for the many, is wrong for the few.
Many supporting the niqab accuse their opponents of politicizing the issue. Nonsense.
In fact, it is mainly religious fundamentalists who have made it political because Islamism’s agenda is always political.
The fundamentalists have fought for the niqab in this highly symbolic and important public ceremony where one becomes a citizen of Canada to further their agenda.
So why is it inappropriate for the state to counter with all the legal weapons it possesses?
Those who reject the argument the niqab is a manifestation of creeping Islamism do not understand the nature of Shariah.
Shariah is rampant in Canada, backed by uncompromising zealots who insist their religious dicta are higher than any other laws because they are divine.
Granted, few women wear the niqab now.
But their numbers are growing as the garment is promoted by Islamists as a defining aspect of Muslim womanhood, which is nonsense, since the Qur’an only requires women and men dress modestly.
There will come a time when groups of women will insist on taking the oath ceremony in niqabs.
What type of society are we building if we allow such regressive garb to proliferate and establish itself in society?
It goes against the essence of our ethical and cultural values.
The majority of Canadian, who oppose the niqab at citizenship ceremonies, are justified in their antipathy.
When the courts examine the federal government’s position, they must also consider the societal implications of allowing a precedent as antisocial as the niqab.
Liberal Leader Justine Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair both approved of last month’s court decision.
Only Conservative Leader and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is opposed and has pledged to take the matter to the Supreme Court.
It must not discount the prevailing public concern on this issue.
This is not just about the rights of one or a few individuals.
It is about the collective right of Canadians to build a better country that is free of discrimination and misogyny, and that, as a fundamental premise, exalts the right of women to show their faces.