"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday 26 September 2015


A post on Facebook  today laments "hatred " of Muslims observed in recent Facebook comments. Current discussion is the court decision to strike down government law that requires the face to be uncovered while taking the Oath of Citizenship.  

Pictures of women swathed from head to toe in black have been shared. I shared one without comment.

What most of us know about Muslims is what we  hear, see and read on media. 

Penalties for crimes in Muslim countries make us shudder. Women, little more than children stoned to death for adultery after having been raped. A detailed description of the barbaric execution of a gay man was a side story to the main plot in a recent episode of Madame Secretary, a TV series. The  main story has faded already but the horrible details of execution Muslim style haunt me still. 

The  Facebook post makes the point everyone in this country came from somewhere else, including native Canadians. It notes redundantly that everyone did not arrive with the same set of values, beliefs and religion. 

Obviously immigrants  hope for something better when they leave  behind family and friends and everything familiar, for the unknown. 

In the past some came for freedom to practice a different religion.Others like  victims of the 
Highland Clearances in Scotland were loaded on to leaky boats and shipped to Canada because people of power and privilege could make more money from sheep than allowing crofters to live on the land of their ancestors. 

The British government shipped thousands of children to be used as unpaid labour by whoever chose to pick them up at the train station. UK Government solution to poverty was to ship them out. 

The fact everyone came from somewhere else is only part of the story. The rest is why we came. 

Are Muslims different?  

We read face covering has nothing to do with religion. Many Muslim women do not so choose. 

So what  compelling argument is there to be allowed to hide behind a veil while taking an Oath to abide by Canadian law. 

Maybe the choice between living behind a shroud and applying for citizenship is the decision that needs to be made. What is it worth to be a Canadian Citizen ? 

Should  Canadians be free to speak to the issue ? When a  law is challenged and struck down  is that our business ? 

Canadian women paid a heavy price for equality within the law.The fight for respect is not yet won. It may never happen. The cause is not helped by a fight for womens' right to be invisible.

Certainly the right to argue is theirs. Bu lack of sympathy for something that makes no sense in a modern world full of trouble, complexity and horrendous human tragedy is not hatred. 

BTW women refugees with covered faces are not prominent in the horrendous tragic exodus from death and destruction in Syria. 

Demonstrations of support across Canada for those desperate families we see on television hardly indicate hostility towards Muslims.


Anonymous said...

The UN High Commissioner has asked Canada for more support.
Mr Harper is gradually moving his numbers upwards and has said he will have people on the ground
" in the next days and weeks ".
I believe that is due to pressure from plain ordinary people who wish to help those they can.
No one is talking about an invasion of immigrants. Nor are those fleeing all Moslems.

Anonymous said...

The removal of the niqabs or burkas at a citizenship ceremony is a small request to enter this country for the enormous opportunities that can be provide for them. A great majority of Canadians believe this to be true. Legislation cannot and will not change that belief. These women will have to deal with that reality.
They may have won a battle. But I don’t think it was a battle worth the fight. In fact it probably hurt them more. Legislation for equal rights for women is not the reason why women have equal rights now. In fact there are many who still don’t, even with decades of legislation behind them. It took men with courage and women with smarts for the women’s movement to make a difference. Discrimination is still alive and well, and it will always be, regardless of what some court ruling declares

Anonymous said...

Look to the US - they have their own Taliban in congress trying to dictate beliefs and behaviours.

Anonymous said...

What makes this worse is a Canadian citizen is not allowed to smile or wear a hat
when their picture is being taken for drivers license/health card/passport photo
but being veiled is. Has Orwell's "Animal Farm" taken hold here in Canada?

Anonymous said...

I do not hate the strict moslems . But I sure do not understand them either. I am reluctant to feel pity for the
veiled women because they might feel the same about me.

Anonymous said...

19:15- who's talked about hating muslims for wearing their veils?