Veil Ban Citizenship

December 20, 2011 by staff 

Veil Ban CitizenshipVeil Ban Citizenship, While I agree with the requirement to reveal one’s face during citizenship ceremonies, I find Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s national ban unnecessary and detestable. There were no reported cases of women refusing to take off veils during the citizenship ceremony, yet he implemented the ban as if it was a national issue of utmost importance. The number of women wearing veils to the oath-taking ceremony is minuscule; one has to wonder why Kenney would implement this ban with such might.

Making a national spectacle over a non-issue is Kenney’s attempt to benefit from the wave of anti-Muslim sentiment in our country. This ban is just as meaningless as the H?¬©rouxville ban on stoning women; and carries the same connotations and symbolism. Kenney said the ban was a matter of “deep principle.” What Canadian principle was sacrificed if someone did choose to wear a veil to the ceremony? Individualism, freedom of expression, religious accommodation? Visit a ski resort in winter and you’ll see veiled people all around. Yes, the veil makes many uncomfortable, but if we start banning things that make us uncomfortable, the list would be never ending. Perhaps he will ban Muslim head coverings (hijab) next, then follow it by a ban on Mennonite bonnets and Sikh turbans.

There were wiser ways for Kenney to implement this requirement. A memo to judges presiding over citizenship ceremonies would have done the job, but that wouldn’t have brought him popularity and the electoral support he wanted.

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