Bye-bye burka?

A Canadian Muslim group wants Ottawa to outlaw the “medieval” garment


A Canadian Muslim group is calling on the federal government to ban burkas—insisting that the head-to-toe garment is a cultural tradition, not a religious requirement. “The burka has absolutely no place in Canada,” says Farzana Hassan of the Muslim Canadian Congress. “If a government claims to uphold equality between men and women, there is no reason for them to support a practice that marginalizes women.” Farzana says burkas and niqabs are “medieval” and “misogynist” symbols of Islamic extremism, and—despite what many Canadians may assume—are not mentioned anywhere in the Koran. Instead, Farzana says many women who cover their faces in public are forced to do so by their husbands and their families. “The Koran exhorts Muslims toward modesty, which can be expressed in a number of different ways,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be that you have to cover your face or you have to wear a virtual tent wherever you go.” The proposed ban comes amid reports that Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi, dean of Egypt’s al-Azhar university and the country’s highest Muslim authority, is poised to issue a fatwa, or religious edict, against the garments, which he says have “nothing to do with the Islamic faith.”

CTV News

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Bye-bye burka?

  1. I don't think it matters whether the burka is a cultural tradition or a religious requirement. The government has no place telling people what they can't wear unless there's some pressing societal risk involved.

    The fact that many view it as a conscience requirement to wear a burka makes the issue even more clear-cut. Leave them alone.

    • Completely agree. This is an issue for the Islamic faith in Canada, not the Canadian government.

      • you never hear anybody say we should ban Catholic nuns from their attire…they also wear head coverings right

        • Catholic Nuns do not cover their face! The burka is an unhealthy cultural tradition (many are Vit. C deficient due to no exposer to the sun). This is not the Islamic religion, it is a cultural tradition and does not belong in Canada. It only marginalizes women.

    • Yes, leave them alone. But I wouldn't want someone in a burka to be my dentist.
      Or my aerobics instructor. We can make choices too.

  2. I also agree. Change will have to come from within the Islamic religion.

  3. I do agree that it would be a slippery slope for the Canadian Government to get involved in banning aspects of religious garb but as Farzana Hassan has indicated it's cultural not religious.Also, even if we stretch the truth and say it's part of their religion and not just male domination and oppression doesn't the Government have the right to ban it for election issues, court cases,airport security.

  4. I don't think that the government should ban clothing unless it is inciting and promoting violence, but the government does have a role to ensure that face coverings (of any type) are not permitted on passports, driver's licenses, voting polls or any other form of identification.

    I personally don't think burkas etc. have any religious association, but is a cultural thing in the Arab Muslim world – but again if it does not hamper visual ID and the woman really wants it, I'm OK with it.

  5. Definitely the burka should not be covering the face whenever there is an identity issue. Perhaps over time if the women were required to remove the face covering for voting, passport photos etc. then the men forcing them to wear this clothing would relent. It is a shame we still have such customs in this country but it would be difficult to ban burkas when the Federal Government has sanctioned things such as the wearing of a ceremonial knife to school, turbans and long hair in the RCMP etc. This past week has revealed several things that governments are planning that allows infringement on personal rights. We must let governments know that this isn't what we want from them. Get out of our personal lives!

    • it's a complicated issue because some may believe the women are pressured into dressing like this … if they voluntarily do this thats great .. in canada some women walk around half naked with their thong showing so our culture is a little different from theirs

  6. all the above comments are somewhat relevant…one questions the underlying beauty of mystery…wearing a veil promotes human emotion such as mistrust and xenophobia…is there an alternative if there is it will have to evolve such as braids and turbans on other ethnic groups and nowadays tattoos and other markings meant to codify ones adherence to groups etc. we are much too diverse and complicated to pursue any effective means to stop all behavior(s)

  7. I am all for banning the burka but I changed my mind after reading some comments , It has to come from within, If one is not enlightened enough to understand that it is unnecessary , Govt has no business , once a precedent is set then one would feel justified in banning the attire of nuns or some moralists would want to ban scantily clothed women. While burka is wrong , Two wrongs do not make a right. It a just a matter of love, some muslims genuinely believe that it is good and they pass that mindset to their daughters who really begin to believe that it is good just because they love their parents . and some are really forced to wear it while pretending to like it . It is not easy to root out primitive thinking from apparently reasonable and free people.

  8. Should a woman wearing a burka be allowed to drive a car- with the burka on . . .. or be an air traffic controller . . . . or work in a bank. . .
    be a news anchor . . . pilot an airplane . . . work as a doctor . . . do a music video . . . work on a sailboat or drive a forklift . . . scuba dive
    train for the Olympics . . . . figure skate . . .swim in the lake on a public beach . . . let's face it, the burka is intentionally restrictive. But if women choose to wear it, then that is their right, but they have to realize there are consequences. . . restrictions . . to take into account their safety and the safety of others.

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