How Muslim women's clothes became a wedge issue in Canada's national elections

Canada’s national election is in two weeks, and there’s a somewhat unusual issue currently dominating much of the campaigning: Muslim women who cover their faces for religious reasons.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a member of the Conservative party, has for months been decrying the wearing of the niqab, particularly by immigrants during citizenship ceremonies. The face-covering garment is “rooted in a culture that is anti-women,” Harper said earlier this year. Wearing it when “committing to joining the Canadian family,” according to the prime minister, “is not the way we do things.”
Now, it’s not as if there’s an epidemic of Muslim women wearing niqabs to Canadian citizenship ceremonies. But in the past months, and especially the past few weeks, the niqab issue has become a huge part of Harper’s campaign. What’s more, it appears to be working — raising some pretty disturbing questions about how Canada sees Muslims and immigrants.

Why are Canadians considered intolerant if they don’t accept the values of immigrants, but immigrants are not considered intolerant if they don’t accept Canadian values?

Canadian here.

In Quebec the NDP took a huge hit when the debate started over this issue and they basically have no chance of winning now; even though they were in the lead before.

The Conservatives or Liberals are going to win this election for sure and the Liberals and NDP want to brush this issue under the rug citing that “It’s not a big enough deal when there’s more important issues to talk about.” Sorry, but what’s important is what Canadians deem important and we care about this. People should not cover their face when becoming Canadian.

Muslim woman can wear niqab for Canada citizenship oath

TORONTO (RNS) A Canadian court has cleared the way for a Muslim woman to wear her face veil, or niqab, while taking the oath of citizenship.

The Federal Court of Appeal on Monday (Oct. 5) refused to suspend its ruling from last month that the government may not bar Zunera Ishaq from covering her face during the Canadian citizenship ceremony.

The judge said she found that the government had not demonstrated that refusing the stay “would result in irreparable harm to the public interest.”

The ruling is the third legal defeat for Canada’s Conservative government on the niqab, which has become a hot-button issue in the Oct. 19 federal election.

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