Once in a while, a man gets it right. Don’t get me wrong, they still manage to screw a lot of things up, but every once in awhile, I wish to applaud the male gender for a bold move the women of this country failed to take when we should have.
When Immigration Minister Jason Kenny announced recently that Muslim women who were applying for Canadian citizenship must remove their niqab, or burkas, before reciting the oath of citizenship, the silent majority of women applauded. We all see plenty of Muslims wearing headscarves and understand it has to do with an Islam belief about being humble and modest and I think most people believe those are two absolutely beautiful characteristics to strive for.
We’re accustomed to Jewish men wearing yarmulkes, and Catholic nuns wearing a veil and wimple, so it’s become an accepted western standard that more orthodox religious followers feel the need to shield the top of their heads from their God.
Peace be with you.
However, when it comes to a culture asking one sex to cover their face in public, the more secular in our society start questioning their religious motives.
As I understand it, it’s not written in the Koran that women should cover their heads. It’s advised they be ‘humble’ not hidden. And this is where we Canadian women are letting down our sisters.
We’re being too damn polite and not pointing out that it is considered rude to cover your face in Canada.
We’re a friendly, open race, and most of us believe covering your face is perceived as deception; that you’re hiding something. Bank robbers cover their faces, as do nurses and surgeons. But only when they’re working.
So, unless it’s -20 C and you’re skiing, please uncover your faces in Canada.
When you look around the planet and see the list of countries that have some form of ban or partial ban in place regarding the niqab, you realize this fence sitting Canadians are guilty of isn’t helping these women.
France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey all have bans.
Quebec has put bans in place, and the rest of Canada is shrugging their shoulders, wringing their hands and generally afraid to say anything to Muslim women’s faces.
We should be marching up to newly landed immigrants who are wearing niqabs, and remind them that we Canadian women fought long and hard for the right to vote in 1918.
The first woman to ever climb Mt. Everest was a Canadian, Sharon Wood, in 1986, and yes, the first female Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar reached orbit 20 years ago.
If we really feel cheeky, we could remind them women have been allowed to go topless in Ontario since 1996. But we might want to hold off telling newcomers that tidbit, we don’t want them to think it’s mandatory. We should say to these Muslim women, see, this is the proud country you joined where we take our gender equality very seriously.
We’re proud to be women, we’re proud of all our women.
Take off the face mask and strive to be the best you can be amongst this very welcoming society. I’ve got nothing but respect for people who are pious observers of their religion.
I have nothing but scorn for those who hide their visage behind filmy material because the opposite sex might see their faces. Thank you Jason Kenny for pointing out what Canadian woman knew all along, but chose to be silent about.
What a shame.
Source: The Barrie Examiner