To the editor,
As I hear the news about the niqab ban in one of our provinces, it truly saddens me. I have always felt that Canada is a role model for the entire world, exemplifying values of tolerance and inclusiveness. Yet with this recent ban, however it may be worded, Muslim women that like to cover their faces out of modesty, have directly been attacked.
Safety of our people has been stated as a reason for disallowing face-coverings. I applaud the effort for finding ways to protect our nation, but policies such as this one create divisiveness in the society. Instead of creating a peaceful environment, a wrong message is sent when one group is clearly targeted. It sends the message that every Muslim is thought of as a terrorist until proven otherwise, for this reason their religious face-coverings are to be removed.
Islam tells us there is no compulsion in matters of faith. Thus, men and women are free to live their lives as they desire. For this reason, some women cover their faces out of modesty and others do not. But those that choose to do so, this new ruling clearly affects their religious freedom. While Canada is a champion in freedom of every sort, I feel this ruling is not very Canadian.
Tariq Azeem, missionary, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community