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Wearing Niqab in New Zealand

1 Mar

Matt Kenney: The Founder of the Law banning Niqaab at Citizenship Oath

29 Feb

Muslim Canadian Congress on Niqaab

29 Feb

More like the Kufr Canadian Congress lool

CAIR-CAN on Niqaab-Ihsaan Gardee

29 Feb

Malaysian Niqabi

29 Feb

Real World: Bothering Hijabis

2 Feb

Why do people think they can say anything they want to hijabis? Why do they think we’ll walk away and they’ll get away with it? I pick my battles-some I’ll walk away from, but there are a few I’ll ‘fight’. 

Yesterday in the mall a girl in front of all her friends puts on this weird manly voice and goes, “YOU WANT SOME CANDY?” I’m in shock-there’s no way this girl is talking to me. But oh, she is. Out of everybody in the mall…she picks me. This one I ‘fought’. “Are you talking to me? Yeah don’t talk to me thanks.”

TODAY my friend and I (also a hijabi) are waiting to cross the street and who should approach us but a grown man asking us: “Do you girls like to have @#%?” Um…..REALLY? No…really?? Would you ask ANY girl that kind of question? Let alone two covered girls? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO? Needless to say I didn’t fight this one. I grabbed my friend and quickly crossed the street the other way. Like….I’m getting tired of this….this happens to me every day: Men letting women on the bus ahead of them until it’s my turn, rude questions and comments…etc etc My friend wears niqab and says no one will sit next to her on the bus even if it’s packed!

What should we do? What CAN we do?

Brother Speaks on Niqab

12 Jan

Mashallah this brother is awesome! HAHA I laughed when he said: if you don`t like it maybe YOU should leave the country. LOOOL


30 Dec

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Winnipeg Article on Niqaab

30 Dec

But some women choose covering

Family handout / Postmedia News Minna Ella (centre), with her family in Montreal, was born and raised in Ontario but has been told by strangers �You�re in Canada, now,� and to �go home.�

When Minna Ella walks through the department store, she’s one of the few women who don’t get pestered by clerks trying to dole out free makeup and perfume samples.

“They just look right through me,” says the 35-year-old.

The reason seems clear.

Whenever the mother of four leaves her house in Waterloo, Ont., she covers herself with a niqab, a Muslim veil that covers her from head to toe, leaving a slit for her eyes.

She is one of an estimated 300 women across Canada living their public lives under the cover of this veil.

Ella, who was born and raised in Ontario, says in the past few years, she has noticed a sense of growing anger and fear from Canadians.

This week, Jason Kenney, the minister of immigration, citizenship and multiculturalism, announced that women will now be required to remove their face coverings during citizenship swearing-in ceremonies.

Survey results from Forum Research showed widespread support for the move, with 81 per cent of respondents saying they agreed with it.

In fact, a majority of the survey’s 1,160 respondents in every major category — sex, age, region and political persuasion — agreed.

Still, some have been angered and point to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects religious freedoms and freedom of expression, saying this rule will set Canada back, and flies in the face of our multicultural society.

“We have never locked into a notion of what it means to be Canadian,” says Bev Baines, professor of public and constitutional law at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

“So, if we want to have a debate about our identity, we should have it being conscious of the fact that almost a third of Canadians now are not the old-line francophone or anglophone folks that we used to be.”

The veil has become a highly political garment, both here and abroad, with Canadians, both Muslim and non-Muslim, on both sides of the debate.

France and Belgium were the first to ban the face covering in all public spaces, and the issue often makes headlines in the Netherlands and Denmark, with supporters calling the niqab a “medieval relic” that oppresses women and promotes sex discrimination.

Naima Bouteldja, a French researcher who interviewed 32 niqabi women in that country for an April 2011 report and is in the process of doing the same in the United Kingdom, says there is a disproportionate response from politicians to what they see as the “problem of the niqab.”

Bouteldja wears the hijab, a Muslim garment that covers her hair but leaves her face revealed.

“It’s a clear political manipulation, which they use to divert attention from economic problems,” says Bouteldja, who says she personally has not met any women forced to wear the niqab.

In fact, she says some have been thrown into family conflict because they choose to cover against the wishes of their parents.

“But none of this is addressed by an outright ban,” she says.

Ella says under her niqab she wears makeup and follows the latest fashion trends.

“If you were to visit me at home, I would be wearing whatever I want to wear — I have skinny jeans and nice tops, I have everything that everyone else wears, but I only show them inside my home, with my family and friends, or outside with only women.

“In our book, the Qur’an, there are verses that God has sent to us that explain how we’re supposed to dress,” says Ella, when asked why she decided, at age 17, to cover herself for the sake of modesty.

Still, in countries such as Canada and France, where women have fought for equality, where an increasingly secular society has seen religious belief steadily decline, and where many young women take every excuse to flaunt what Mother Nature gave them, the idea that any woman would choose to keep her body out of sight can seem alien.

“It’s hard for many Canadians to understand,” says University of Montreal researcher Patrice Brodeur.

When confronted with a woman in a niqab, there’s a certain level of discomfort because we don’t know how to behave, he says.

Without being able to see her body language, how can we know her intentions?

But banning certain types of dress has never been the answer, he says.

The government’s move has earned praise from some quarters.

Tarek Fatah of the Muslim Canadian Congress applauded Kenney’s announcement.

“He has done in one stroke what any other Canadian politician has not had the courage to do. It sends a clear message that this attire is not welcome in Canada.”

Fatah, whose organization has been called right-wing by members of other Muslim organizations in this country, called the niqab “monstrous” and accused women who wear it of being agents of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood who hate Canada.

He says the veil allows them to avoid pledging allegiance to the Queen which, he says, is against their “extremist views.”

Brodeur counters that it’s foolish to assume all women who wear one piece of traditional clothing think or believe the same thing.

Critics of the Tory government’s recent policy change have pointed out it was done with little public consultation with the community.

Furthermore, Brodeur says, the niqab simply isn’t that prevalent in Canadian society.

There are not more than 50 women in the Greater Montreal Area who wear the niqab, he says.

There are perhaps 100 around Toronto, and fewer in Vancouver, and a total of maybe 300, at most, across the country, Brodeur estimated.

Those numbers could grow.

The population of Muslims in Canada is expected to nearly triple in the next 20 years, from about 940,000 in 2010 to nearly 2.7 million in 2030, according to a Pew Forum survey on The Future of the Global Muslim Population.

Muslims are expected to make up 6.6 per cent of Canada’s total population in 2030, up from 2.8 per cent today.

“It’s frustrating because we are not a threat,” Ella says.

“They are making us seem like a threat, they are making up stories and making people scared of us.”

When asked if she will guide her daughter to cover herself, Ella says no, it’s a personal matter between a believer and her creator.

“No one else can make that decision for her.”

But she is worried.

“I was shopping once and a lady came up very close to me. She stared into my eyes and said ‘You’re in Canada, now.’ “

Most people tell her to “go home” or give her dirty looks, Ella says, but she just keeps silent when this happens.

“It makes me feel sad, because I would like to reach out and say, ‘I’m just like you, and I dress like this because it’s a religious thing, but it doesn’t make me less human than you.’ “

— Postmedia News

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 17, 2011 A29

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Muslim View on Niqab and Citizenship Oath

30 Dec

Targeting Niqabis: The Canadian Citizenship Niqab Ban

By Waleed Ahmed
MMNewsTeam- Canada

Well, they’ve done it yet again. Niqabi’s have somehow managed to make headlines all across Canada. It’s amazing how much influence this small group of women have on the national psyche. A few weeks ago I mentioned the niqab rage incident in Mississauga. Then there is the on going case of the woman who was sexually assaulted and wants to testify in court with a niqab. This week, the niqab issue was brought up once again.

This time it was Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenny who sparked the controversy. Effective immediately, he announced on Monday, all niqabs are banned from the oath taking citizenship ceremony. Any Muslim woman wishing to become a Canadian citizen must remove the veil during the ceremony he stated. Kenny said that the niqab ‘reflects a certain view about women that we don’t accept in Canada’.

Minister Kenny also clarified that this isn’t just about the judge being able to see and validate the recital of the oath, “This is not simply a practical measure. It is a matter of deep principle that goes to the heart of our identity and our values of openness and equality”. The niqab obviously violates all that we hold sacred in Canada according to Kenny.

So, what was the last time you heard of a woman refusing to take off the niqab before swearing the citizenship oath? Never. How many women even take the oath wearing a niqab? Probably an insignificant number. Neither Mr. Kenny nor his office could provide any statistics to back up the ban they so forcefully implemented. No one knew about this complaint up till this week. Clearly, this wasn’t a problem to begin with.

It is obvious that this ban is yet another sleazy bigoted move by the Conservatives to score political points and gain some short term popularity. And it’s worked quite well. At a time when their government is under heavy criticism due to the mess they created in Attawapiskat, playing the Muslim card is the best way out. Prime Minister Stephen Harper used similar tactics in September when he warned us all that the greatest threat to Canada was‘Islamicism’ – whatever that is.

Regardless of the motivations behind it, the ban carries many implications. Disallowing the veil at a symbolic event like the citizenship ceremony sends a strong message that the niqab is not welcome in Canada; it certainly flies flat in the face of the tolerant and welcoming society we aim to foster. As the Toronto Star aptly put it, the ban coerces Muslim women to fit into the mainstream – ‘behave and look just like us, or pay the price’. So much for the individualism we value so much.

Jason Kenny, like most, believes that he is liberating the niqabi’s from the oppression imposed on them by their husbands and fathers. Reality is thathe is restricting their freedom and engagement with society by disallowing them to become citizens. Perhaps – this is just a wild idea – by allowing them to become citizens, we might have a greater chance of integrating these new comers into our social fabric?

This unnecessary ban impacts a few and is largely political and symbolic; much like the Hérouxville ban on the public stoning of women. In and of itself, I don’t think many niqabi’s would have refused a polite request by the judge to reveal their face in the first place. If validating the oath recital was so important, this requirement could have been easily communicated through a simple memo to the parties concerned.

Making a national spectacle over a non-issue has sparked endless debates on multiculturalism, religious accommodation and Canadian Muslims. It has further helped ‘otherize’ Muslims and has created an ‘us verses them’ dichotomy. You can either be a niqabi or a Canadian – that’s what the ban represents. It’s left some women with the awkward choice between citizenship and religion.

My fear is that measures like these are the stepping stones to full public bans. They help immunize the public to the singling out and marginalization of Muslims. The core arguments used for the niqab could very well be applied to the hijab too – what is to prevent that from being banned next?

Given the unpopularity of niqab within our own community, many Muslims may not feel the need to speak out against this act. But know that these are just the building blocks to greater cuts in our religious freedoms; if we stay silent now, then we’re setting ourselves up for disaster. If you don’t speak up for the niqabi’s, no one will speak up for you.