By Gerry Barker
From the GuelphSpeaks national file
Posted October 8, 2015
Author Rahell Raza writes in the Toronto Sun about the uproar over the demand of a potential new Canadian immigrant from Pakistan, demanding that she attend the citizenship swearing in ceremony with her face covered.
Raza is president of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow and author of “Their Jihad … Not my Jihad.”
The Muslim mother, who has lived in Canada for 25 years, says she grew up In Karachi, Pakistan and never saw a woman wearing a naqib. She says in the 25 years as a Canadian, she has witnessed a steady increase of women being strangled in the “pernicious black tent.” It is portrayed to the naïve and guilt-ridden white mainstream Canadians as an “essential Islamic practice.”
Raza says the niqab and burka have nothing to do with Islam.
“They’re the political flags of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaida and Saudi Arabia,” she states. “ Now I learn that I not only have to fight the medieval theocratic adherents of my faith, I have to battle the Federal Court of Canada as well, which has come out on the side of these facemasks.”
Raza says that covering the face is not a religious requirement for Muslim women. The injunction in the Qur’an is for modesty for both men and women. Some Muslim women interpret this as covering their head with a scarf or chador.
She suggests that the judges in the Canadian Federal Court should be introduced to their counterpart presiding in the jihad badlands of Peshwar in Pakistan.
In 2004, Chief Justice of the Peshwar High Court, Tariq Pervaiz Khan, ordered female lawyers not to wear face veils in courtrooms, stating they couldn’t be identified, nor assist the court properly wearing the veils.
Islamic scholar, Professor Mohammad Qadeer of Queen’s University wrote: “In Western societies, the niqab also is a symbol of distrust for fellow citizens and a statement of self-segregation. The wearer of a face veil is conveying: I am violated if you look at me.”
These facts are indisputable that when you immigrate to Canada, you can enjoy cultural and religious freedom but under Canadian customs and responsibilities. This appears to be a personal decision by the individual that has no basis as a religious requirement.
To use the courts to pursue a choice that is not acceptable in our society is a bad start for citizenship. What this woman has succeeded in doing is making face veils a national political issue. Not yet a Canadian citizen, her demand is not a Charter of Rights and Freedoms issue.
This whole niqab issue is a distraction and damaging to our most important political election to select the new government of Canada. It has divided Canadians, deflected attention from important and vital issues that will set the country’s course for the next four years and beyond.
By demanding to cover one’s face without explanation or reason is a long way from allowing Sikhs to wear turbans.
This is multiculturalism gone wild.
Retired newspaper executive, Gerry Barker is the editor of guelphspeaks.ca, a blog commenting on community, provincial and national affairs. He may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org