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.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

How Proud Is That?

"I'm definitely proud to be a Canadian. It's a wonderful country, with one small iota that I disagree with."
"I wish to affirm my allegiance, my true allegiance to Canada and the people of Canada, but also to disavow the royalty part and only the royalty part of the citizenship oath."
Dror Bar-Natan, Israeli-Canadian, Toronto

Dror Bar-Natan, about to become a Canadian, plans to start a website allowing other new Canadians recant their oath to the Queen.
Dror Bar-Natan, about to become a Canadian, plans to start a website allowing other new Canadians recant their oath to the Queen. (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press) 

This man, a 49-year-old professor of mathematics, takes exception to the British monarch representing the Canadian Head of State, in a long heritage connecting Canada to Britain and a tradition honouring that link. In wishing to become a Canadian citizen, he has the gall to criticize that portion of the citizenship ceremony requiring the pledging of allegiance to the Queen.

He glibly dismisses that tradition and the ceremony, viewing the monarch as a symbol of inequality, "repulsive" to his taste. When people emigrate from their country of origin with the intention of taking up residence abroad and eventually becoming citizens elsewhere, it ill behooves them to pick and choose which elements of the law and customs of the land they will adapt to. All the more so when it comes to a citizenship ceremony.

J.P. Moczulski for National Post
J.P. Moczulski for National Post   Zunera Ishaq shovels her driveway at her home in Mississauga.

When a Pakistani woman who became a landed immigrant in Canada declined to take the citizenship oath because she was instructed to remove her niqab to reveal her entire face, it represented yet another incident where newcomers to Canada arrogantly spurn established law and custom. Tradition is meaningful and is meant to be respected. When tradition is combined with law, rejecting it is an assault upon Canadian values.

This man Bar-Natan was one of three permanent residents who chose to challenge the constitutionality of citizenship conditional on the Oath of Allegiance to the Queen. Ontario's top court while rejecting their argument, found that all citizens have the right to disavow that part of the oath. On the conclusion of the ceremony they recant the oath and feel self-satisfaction in justifying their distaste for a singular tradition that does not sit well with their individual values.

Both the woman who insisted on wearing her niqab and the man who felt justified in disavowing the oath of allegiance should have been denied citizenship, a privilege that neither had earned.

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