Zunera Ishaq talks to reporters outside the Federal Court of Appeal after her case was heard on whether she can wear a niqab while taking her citizenship oath, in Ottawa in 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

Zunera Ishaq talks to reporters outside the Federal Court of Appeal after her case was heard on whether she can wear a niqab while taking her citizenship oath, in Ottawa in 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Face coverings create distrust and separation

Covering your face does not make you modest, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Niqab ban not Canadian, Letters, Oct. 31

The letter writer is saddened by one of our provinces which banned the niqab and goes on to further say that some women choose to cover their face out of modesty. Covering your face does not make you modest – your actions, the way you speak and handle yourself around people is what conveys that information.

I would have a problem not seeing someone’s face if they worked in a government position or any position of authority.

Covering the face is not a religious requirement for Muslim women. A scholar of Islamic history, Prof. Mohammad Qadeer of Queen’s University, wrote in the Globe and Mail that “The argument about concealing one’s face as a religious obligation, is contentious and is not backed by the evidence.” He added, “In Western societies, the niqab also is a symbol of distrust for fellow citizens and a statement of self-segregation.”

In my opinion, efforts should focus on creating peace and harmony, especially today with people dying at the hands of Muslim extremists. If everyone practised a common spiritualism which includes peaceful forms of beliefs with prayers, meditation, positive interactions with others for the common good, it will be heaven on Earth. Instead we have religions throughout history and sadly today, that force their ideology on others through intimidation and are more than happy to break the law and commit religious blasphemy, including murder in the name of their God.

D. Cousin, Nanaimo

To the editor,

Re: Niqab a form of oppression, Letters, Nov. 7.

The letter writer has hit the nail on the head.

All I can add is that when I came to Canada from Ireland in 1957, I was told what I could and could not do, specific among the instructions was that I was now in Canada and I was to behave as a Canadian; I could not criticize and I could not demonstrate on behalf of any problems in my then home country while in Canada. I was also advised that planes go both ways and if I wasn’t prepared to follow these rules – they weren’t suggestions, they were rules – then I could buy myself a ticket and leave.

What has happened to us since then?

Diana Walker, Nanaimo