...will establish an odious symbol of Islamism and its misogyny at a quintessentially Canadian event.Don't say that to NatPo opiner Andrew Coyne, though. He thinks the controversy is "ridiculous" and says that those who object to the niqab do so because, silly them, they associate it with "terrorism":
People who wish to ban the niqab often see the issue as being of a piece with the issue of terrorism, and see the unwillingness of others to ban the niqab as being born of a more general blindness to the threat of Islamist terrorism.Actually, Andrew, I associate the niqab with sharia, and how Islamic law, a set of draconian strictures that are antithetical and inimical to Western precepts, locks chicks into a second class status. So whenever I see someone wearing the covering (and often those who do are also wearing one of those head-to-toe body shrouds), I don't think, "There goes a potential terrorist, or someone with terrorist connections." I think, "There goes someone who would not look out of place in, say, Riyadh or Kabul, places where women are compelled to wear clothing which speaks to their lowly status in society; societies which view them as being what they look like when they wear these garments, i.e. they are a blank, a nullity, a non-entity, a void."
But, hey, that's just me.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and the NDP's Tom Mulcair, for two, think chicks should be allowed to wear their sharia masks while reciting the oath of citizenship--if they want to, that is (as if these women really have a choice).
And Prime Minister Stephen Harper? While he continues to oppose niqab-wearing when taking the oath, his government bears responsibility for opening our doors to all these niqab-wearers, no questions asked, in the first place.
Which makes his objections largely symbolic and very much after the fact.
Update: Cairo University Bans Teachers From Wearing Face Veil