December 15, 2011

Veil politics

Arab niqab girls & women

To express his values of openness and equality Minister Jason Kenney made a decision not to allow Muslim women wearing of a niqab during Canadian citizenship ceremony. Minister was not able to provide with statistics or the numbers of those who will be affected. However, from many existing issues, surprisingly this is the one that gets Jason Kenney’s attention.

When we speak about acceptance and openness, we think more about those who are different from us and risk experiencing discrimination. I want to believe that Minister’s intentions were advancement of equality among men and women, however I wonder if the decision he made can achieve this goal? Or just result keeping those few veiled new immigrants out of Canada? If there is an issue that needs regulation this regards, it can't be discriminatory to only some groups, but need to be more general.

Unfortunately Mr. Kenney can’t be decision maker on whether wearing niqab is a religion or tradition only. History with all it's dark stories of religious oppressions taught us not to give this right to anyone. Therefore person or group of persons can speak for themselves. Do they perceive something as their religion? Than that's what it is.

“All that glitters is not gold.” 

Issues are not flat and before making any conclusions it is important to view them from different perspectives. You might see huge difference whether person is wearing a veil or not, but I see none between forcing a women to were one if she wants to belong to society and forcing her not to if she wants the same.

Great countries and leaders will give freedom to its people (old, new or newer) to make their choices. In time people realize that they have options and who doesn't choose the best for themselves? Country that educates and empowers (men and women equally) creates happier and healthier societies rather than those who oppress. We want to give new immigrants choice, right? We want them to understand, that they are not forced to anything, that there is equality and rule of law, for all the same. Or do we want to make the choices for them? Tell them what to wear, what to say and what to cook?

A veil is no treat to anyone, but intolerance, discrimination and hate is. Redirecting real issues that matter to Canadians to the clothing and religious believers of few, doesn’t seem right. I would argue that we need to remove veils on politics and get to real issues such as economy, education, environment, democracy and prosperity of all Canadians.


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