So why is there a niqab ban at citizenship ceremonies in Canada? Most of us would have thought that such decisions are debated and standardized. But that is not necessarily the case. Read on to learn how this niqab ban got made.
Ex-immigration minister Jason Kenney ‘dictated’ niqab ban at citizenship ceremony, court told
By Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star
A ban on veils while taking the citizenship oath was driven by Kenney’s own ideology, say lawyers for Zunera Ishaq, who is challenging the policy in court.
A Mississauga woman has taken the federal government to court over a policy that forbids wearing the face-covering veil while taking the oath of citizenship, arguing the ban breaches her Charter rights and fails to accommodate her religious beliefs and dress code.
Banning the niqab from citizenship ceremonies is the result of former immigration minister Jason Kenney imposing his own ideology of “Canadian values” on the process, Zunera Ishaq’s lawyer, Naseem Mithoowani, told federal court Justice Keith Boswell at a hearing in Toronto on Thursday.
“The true motivation of the policy is to compel Muslim women to abandon, albeit briefly, their religious adherence,” Mithoowani said.
“The failure to remove the veil is at the heart of this policy, more than being seen taking the oath . . . This is about Kenney deciding that niqab does not fit into the mode of Canadian citizens.”
It’s the first such challenge against the niqab ban at citizenship ceremonies; if successful, it could strike down the policy.