This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Self-Respect, Public Respect

"What's remarkable is we can go from something which was literally a non-issue, on which people had no opinions two weeks ago, to having overwhelming support for something because it's been brought up by the political class."
Peter Loewen, principle researcher, associate professor of political science, University of Toronto/Munk School of Global Affairs

"It is offensive that someone would hide their identity at the very moment where they are committing to join the Canadian family."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
"Mr. Harper's planes [Canadian military joined with the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL in Iraq and Syria] are being sent to protect largely Muslim populations from Islamic savagery. Mr. Harper's policies in C-51and C-24 will be utilized to taget Islamist extremists who are hunting the souls of Muslim Canadian children. And Mr. Harper's legislation against 'barbaric practices' will help protect Muslim girls from female genital mutilation, forced marriages and honour-based killings.
"We Canadian Muslims are being protected by these measures from the worst elements within our own community. And Mr. Harper's position on the niqab -- shared by many Canadians including Muslims like myself -- does not change that fact."
Raheel Raza, President, The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow
Zunera Ishaq's request to take her citizenship oath while wearing a niqab has mushroomed into a dominant election issue. J.P. MOCZULSKI

Results have been parsed for The Local Parliament Project poll that emphasize statistically the extent of rejection of 'religious' niqabs in public, by the Canadian population as a whole. The majority of Canadians quite simply have no wish to see in their midst women walking about concealing their facial features. This cultural attitude of female 'modesty' taken to an extreme is seen as a deliberate slur against Canadian values, a hostile act of someone living among Canadians who has no wish to reveal her to others.

By maintaining the fiction that this is a religious obligation and not a cultural indoctrination emanating from a misogynistic source that compels women to second-class existence, the scant few women who choose the practise insist that they are compelled to cover their face in obedience to Islamic precepts of feminine modesty. In fact, most Muslim women living in Canada wishing to adopt a cultural habit associated with Islam wear the hair-covering hijab, leaving the face free.

The poll's result found that 64 percent of respondents are fully in support of banning Muslim women from front-line federal public service positions should they insist on wearing the niqab. Such a ban was opposed by 19 percent of respondents. Agreement that the wearing of niqabs should never be permitted at public citizenship ceremonies was shared by 72 percent of those responding to the poll question.

Of respondents to the poll born outside Canada, 70 percent support the ban at citizenship ceremonies, with 16 percent in disagreement. An almost like number of respondents raise objections to federal workers wearing niqabs, interacting with the public. It's difficult to imagine anything more off-puttingly offensive than facing someone who will not reveal themselves while purporting to serve the public in a federal capacity.

Irrespective of political affiliation, objection to front-line federal jobs saw 74 percent of respondents identifying as Conservative; 66 percent of NDP voters; and 56 percent of Liberal voters rejecting the wearing of niqabs, while 86 percent who voted for the Bloc Quebecois and 51 percent for the Green Party similarly objected to niqabs worn while serving the public in a federal service occupation.

Those numbers are overwhelmingly definitive; Canadians, despite being relatively relaxed about cultural and religious differences draw the line at face concealment in the public sphere. This is the public attitude write large in rejection of the niqab. The Federal Court of Appeal has not yet caught up with the Canadian public's aversion to such a rejection of Canadian values of equality and human rights.

And nor is it likely that the Supreme Court will rule in favour of the government's and the public's position on this matter. That old adage of the law sometimes being asinine certainly proves true in this instance.

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