Working bigotry with Stephen Harper.

You have to wonder at what is coming out of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) these days. It might be desperation but defying the Supreme Court with the same foolishness as has already been put down is just a waste of our time and credulity. And having the Harper Cabinet’s Edmonton MP Tim Uppal, a Sikh, make the announcement was an act of bigotry in itself.

This particular foolishness has to do with the difference between a hijab and a niqab. A hijab is a head scarf and a niqab is a head covering that includes a veil covering all but the eyes. These coverings are worn in many Muslim countries to conform to religious dictates for female modesty. It is also to save women from being rudely accosted on their way to and from the marketplace. The more backward the country, the more likely females will also hide their faces. As for the head scarf, it occupies about the same space in Muslim countries as the babushka in Russia.

When Conservative Minister of Everything Jason Kenney tried to block the wearing of a veil in Conservative citizenship ceremonies, the Supreme Court ruled against the government. The court rightly pointed out that there is no requirement in law to ban the practice. In fact, in Canada, why should there be?

It seems there is nowhere in law that says you have to receive your citizenship in a public ceremony. Many people like this and that is fine. The feds can provide a RCMP officer in red tunic to add to the event. You can also get your citizenship certificate mailed to you.

But here in Canada there are bigots and they are easy for manipulative people to put in play. This particular game started with Quebec where the tribalism of separatism can easily segue into bigotry such as the proposed Charter of Values of the Parti Quèbècois. While the charter helped defeat the separatists last year, it appealed to Jason Kenney. There are extremists of the right who think it is wrong to be different. And Canadians are not all that comfortable with people wearing masks.

And that is what this proposed law is all about. It is a bogeyman for the bigot in us. We all might have a little. That bigot in us will say “Good on the Tories. They have ruled out the veil.”

But before we get swept off our feet, we should realize that this bill will never be presented in parliament. It will not even get first reading. It is just to prove to the bigot in us that the Tories have our interests at heart. It lets bigots know that Stephen cares for them.


Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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