And the Hair in his Niqab.

When covering one’s face becomes a pivotal question in an election campaign, you know that Canadian politics has arrived at an all-time low. Thanks to the Prime Minister, we have reached out to include bigotry in the federal election. The Hair had this subject at the ready for the first French-language debate. He wanted to play it to the ingrained racism of the Québécois. He has his wish.

But is the niqab really the point of this argument? The niqab is the face covering effected by Muslim women from some primitive and sexist countries. It is only considered religious garb in the sense that the Prophet Muhammad told women to be modest in their dress and demeanour. The niqab supposedly allows women to go out to the market or the local well for water without being accosted, called to lewdly or otherwise affronted by men wanting sex.

But is there a point to wearing a niqab in Canada? It might be a fashion statement for a woman. It is not like the head scarf a woman might wear to her hairdresser’s.

But there are times in Canada when a niqab is not appropriate. Modesty comes second in a life-saving situation in a hospital trauma centre. It is also assumed that people do not like to see masks in a bank. Courts can sometimes require easy identification. Otherwise, usually nobody cares.

But if you really want to confuse the issue, Canada only needs to offer asylum to tribes of Tuareg Berbers from the Sahara region of North Africa. It is the Tuareg men who wear veils and it is considered to shame them for it to be removed. Their veils are dyed with indigo and the dye turns the lower half of their faces blue.

A mask is a sign of stealth and deception in North America. It certainly is not the sudden rising of a super hero. Yes, opinion polls, as inaccurate as they might be, do suggest that most Canadians would prefer a person not wear a veil at a citizenship ceremony. And please remember that these trumped up ceremonies are just that—a ceremony to honour the people receiving their citizenship. It is a nice touch. It adds a bit of class.

But for the Hair to fight the Supreme Court on this issue is despicable. He is denigrating us. He is saying we support his bigotry. If one foolish woman thinks she is making a point by wearing a veil to her citizenship ceremony, she has a long way to go before becoming a real Canadian.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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