When will it end? The constant negativity when it comes to hating a group? The fear of losing jobs to 'them'. To cries of send them back where they belong? And in the same breath, proudly saying we are a free and 'open' country. I call bullshit.
The reason I call bullshit is due to the recent backlash that Muslim women have been receiving over their choice to wear a Niqab. For those not in the loop, a Niqabi is a veil or cloth that covers the head and face of some Muslim women in public and around certain adult males. Each faction of the Muslim religion have of course certain rules that the women follow, but if memory serves me correctly, the Niqab has been around for centuries in various cultures (not just Muslim), had gone by the wayside for a period of time, and I wish I had kept a link to the article, but memory says in the 50s the women began to choose to wear the headscarves and Niqab again as their own choice, so it became widespread.
Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated that it is 'offensive' to cover one's face while taking the oath of Canadian citizenship, when a Muslim woman refused to take her Niqab off during her ceremony. It was argued that would-be citizens actually had to recite the oath and that people had to see their mouths flapping out the words. It has caused so much controversy that a ban is now being talked about to remove the Niqab from any ceremony to reflect Canadian values of openness, transparency and gender equality at the moment they join Canada. They want a ban on all veils for ceremonies....um...does that mean wedding veils must go or are they singling out one specific religious group as a means of hatred. Is there something wrong with that ideology? Anyone remember the bruhaha over the Sikh's turban in the RCMP?
Of course, the arguments are 'how can you prove who you are if we can't see you', 'how can we tell whether you took the oath if we can't see your mouth moving' and so on over the wearing of the veil during an oath ceremony. What most tended to ignore was that government officials have to have numerous steps in the process of prospective citizens to prove their identity, one of which is the removal of face coverings in private (in front of an official) before the oath. Then they are required to provide their signature on the certificate after the oath. So, given the tests they take, the visual verification, and signature on the certificate, a Muslim woman CAN be verified without taking her veil off in front of those that go against her religious beliefs. The arguments over having someone else in place become moot if the woman has an official with her at all times. And as far as mouths moving, do we kick out hearing impaired people who cannot speak verbally? How many of us mumble the words to the Canadian anthem (do you even remember ALL the words), or just stand around looking bored or checking our phones while the anthem is playing....like really, not very Canadian eh.
Yet, the uproar from Harper's flock is that of fear mongering, and this decade seems to target Muslims. Muslim women in particular. We would have terrorists being sworn in as Canadian citizens if the veil isn't removed in front of strange men. Said strange men that these women have chosen to veil themselves against to avoid being assaulted. But the Niqab is oppressive to women, they say. Is it really?
Perhaps actually talking to a Muslim woman might enlighten the Harperites on why they wear it. I'm certainly not big on any organized religious group, but I did take the time to read up on it and enlighten myself. A good conversation piece is linked here http://www.muhajabah.com/faceveil.htm
I wonder if Harper and the haters stopped to realize the oppression that woman have faced all their lives who have never worn a Niqab. Or aren't Muslim. By teaching Canadian girls in schools/community to not wear short skirts or low tops, or tight jeans, or too much makeup....or you're asking to be raped...is oppressive. So we enforce 'dress codes' to 'protect' them from harm. Stranger danger. How many things can you list out on how to prevent rape...all oppressive to women. Yet Harper hasn't done a damn thing to prevent this slut shaming, and law enforcement agencies are slow in changing their approach to women as well and will ask what were you wearing after an assault.
If the Harper Government wanted to do anything to prevent the oppression of women it would look at other religious groups, such as Roman Catholic nuns and their corporal punishment that sometimes went to extremes. Anyone remember the Ideal Maternity Home that was operated by an unordained Seventh-day Adventist minister and his wife in Chester back in the '30s? Or at least read/heard of the book, The Butterbox Babies? What about orphanages run by nuns, or schools. How many children were abused by both nuns and priests, yet they are revered because of their religious backgrounds and 'faith'. Abuse apparently equals faith. Yet the nun's veil is revered and loved, the Muslim Naqib is scorned and oppressive. Nuns come and go without question, and some of us even bow our heads in respect to them. Muslim women are spat on here and told to 'go home' in anger.
Besides Harper's obvious smoke screening of the real problems that Canada is facing because of his government, perhaps, just perhaps, the nun's habit brings back memories of too many spankings that Harper received as a child and won't say anything wrong about the nun's habit. That and he was brought up entitled to oogle at every woman he sees and wants to prevent Muslim women from disallowing him his 'white privilege' and the Niqab is removed so he can cat call these women any time he chooses.