Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No oath-taking for citizenship wearing a veil, says Canadian lawmakers

Imagine the swearing-in ceremony. A sea of ghost-like women, only eye slits among the face coverings, standing silently as the judge intones, "Do you, women with no identity except for that which is bestowed on you by your father/husband/brother through the doctrine of Islam..."

From the BBC December 12

Canada bans veils at citizenship oath ceremony

Canada's government has introduced a ban on the wearing of veils while swearing the oath of citizenship.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney told a news conference in Montreal anyone wanting to become a Canadian would have to show their face.

He said citizenship judges and MPs had complained it could be hard to tell if veiled applicants were actually reciting the oath.

An estimated 940,000 Muslims live in Canada, about 2.8% of the population.

Veils and face coverings are already banned in Quebec for people receiving some government services.

Canada is considering a wider ban on veils in government offices, schools and hospitals.

Start Quote

Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney

You should be willing to show yourself in that public act of witness”

Jason KenneyMinister of Citizenship

Mr Kenney dismissed the idea that the ban could infringe the religious freedom of those taking the oath.

"This is not simply a practical measure," the Conservative minister said on Monday.

"It is a matter of deep principle that goes to the heart of our identity and our values of openness and equality."

He added that Canadian law took priority over religious doctrine.

"In my view Canadian law takes precedence," he said.

For now, minister...for now.

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