Man wearing hijab robs Ottawa bank -

Man wearing hijab robs Ottawa bank

Muslim headscarf used in series of robberies


Ottawa police are investigating a series of bank robberies linked by one distinguishing element: the thief wore a hijab. The city saw its fourth such robbery on Thursday evening when a man dressed in a hijab, which covered his nose and mouth, passed a note demanding money to a Scotiabank teller. The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash and no one was injured. He is described as a dark-skinned male, roughly five-foot-10, slimly built with dark eyes and bushy eyebrows. Police are investigating whether the suspect is also responsible for previous robberies that involved hijabs. Const. Katherine Larouche said, “There is no way of saying for sure, but sometimes descriptions given by witnesses bear some similarity and a hijab is sort of out of the ordinary.”

CBC News

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Man wearing hijab robs Ottawa bank

  1. go figue

    • get a life!

  2. It was only a matter of time. The UK has had similar incidents. Maybe now governments will revist this as a matter of safety and not religion?

    • I'm waiting for the ban on women's stockings and ski masks.

      • Don't forget motorcycle helmets and old US president masks….

  3. Trick or Treat

  4. I guess he wasn't smart enough to wear a Burqa and completely conceal his identity.

    • Don't worry… it's a matter of time !

      And he got away with it… so he's smart enough ! LOL !

  5. A hijab doesn't cover the face. Perhaps our police forces should update their knowledge.

    • Who cares what it's called. It's a face covering that was used.

      • So…it's okay to say you wear a skirt?

    • CTV says it was a niqab – which makes more sense…

  6. Of course, this logically implies that all Muslim headcoverings should be banned, just like how we banned dark sunglasses, fake beards, coats with high collars, hoodies, long hair worn in one's face and all other disguises that one could wear into a bank without arousing suspicion.

    • I don't think people are asking for a ban on all muslim head coverings. Head veils/scarves actually looked good, there is no issue on that. It's only facial coverings that should be ban for safety/security and indentification (common sense).

      • People aren't 'asking' for any such thing. Nor do they want to give up sunglasses, ski masks, beards or anything else.

        • In the real world, people, including MOST MUSLIMS are asking for it.

          You just haven't been listening.

          When is the last time you went to a bank with sunglasses and a beard ?

          • When is the last time you went to a bank with sunglasses and a beard ?

            Last Wednesday.

  7. In Pakistan, a woman wearing a Burqa blew up many people who line up for food. In Australia, a woman wearing a burqa abused a policeman intending to ruin the police career and life. She ended up sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for malicious and ruthless intent, watch how vile this lady is:

    • Wow, that's a keeper. It will be interesting to follow this and see what the Aussies do next. About a year ago there was a Halifax bus driver who asked a woman with a veil if he could see her face as she had a student photo ID bus pass – she refused so he wouldn't let her on the bus. He was suspended.

      Wonder if her 'twin sister' will look after her seven kids while she is in jail?

      • OMG that's terrible!

        A person lying to get out of a ticket.

        I've never heard of anyone doing that before!

        Will crucifixion be sufficient do you think?

        • He was doing his job. If she was so concerned about keeping her face covered she should have bought bus tickets. But no, it was an opportunity to rant and wail, play victim, very similar to the woman in the video.

          • So?

          • So someone really did pee in your cornflakes this morning!!!

          • No, it's simply silly to blame a Muslim woman for something done here all the time…by non-Muslims.

          • I believe they wanted to ban the burqa in public nor the Muslim woman. As far as I am concerned, it's no one's business what one wears inside their own home or one's bedroom or bathroom. It just happen that in Pakistan and Australia's specific cases , burqa has been sadly worn and abuse by Muslim women (Yes, Ms. Matthews of Australia is a muslim). As for England, Holland, France, and Canadian cases, we do not know yet whether which one is done by a muslim or non muslim. That's just it, there is no way of personal identification with such facial coverings.

          • Sunglasses and beards get abused too.

            Get over the hate, and move on with your life.

          • Just like you abuse the board… If all you do is accuse racist and hatist this and that, you might want to take on your own suggestions. Although, if that is the only thing that makes you happy, you can call me any name you want. Peace Emily!

          • A fine statement from someone who bashes people of faith at every opportunity. Considering your usual attacks on non-athiests, why the sudden defense of Muslim apparrel?

          • Emily, it is quite obvious that you are a lost cause.

            I just love the way you allways redirect when you reply to someone who is opposite of your opinion.

            "Done here all the time …by non-Muslims" yes the non muslims do it here but, does that make it right? (common sense)

            You are so blind to common sense and reality, wow i bet your an anarchist, right?

            The one good thing on your side is that you reside in a country that allows you the freedom of speech, too bad you allways use it as abuse of speech.

            Just remember this Emily, if you were living in one of the countries which do not have freedom of speech well, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

            P/S not everyone commenting on here is racist, they are replying with common sense and reality which is something you never consider in your opinions or replies.

            Happy new year to everyone.

          • Throughout history, racism has often been disguised as "common sense." How many people not wearing hijabs or other articles commit crimes every day? Just the other day in Vancouver some guy wearing a ball cap committed a sexual assault. Clearly, ball caps should be banned. It's common sense.

          • What history would that be, Canstud and Emily history.
            You obviously have no idead of what defines common sense.

      • Actually, they are looking for her "twin", so they could place them both in jail.

        • No, they're just being racist, as are you.

          • Now, who is the racist (as I remembered your past comments on white males)? Are you running out of reasons that you resort to such blatant falsy? You would laugh your head off to use such garbage on my face. Can you manufacture a more ridiculous and more outrageous accusations? Oh Emily, you are going so low.

          • Emily hates anyone who doesn't resemble the person staring back at her from the mirror. She called me racist a while back simply for declaring myself Christian. Somehow, that made me personally responsible for all acts of aggression against non-whites around the globe. At the time, if I'd had the funds to do so, I'd have gone after her for libel. After some reflection, though, it made me realize what a poor, pathetic soul she must be. So now I pray for her instead – if for no other reason than the fact that it will irritate her knowing I'm praying for her…

          • I must disagree… I think the ones defending the burqa against the police are the real racists. They think that since the policeman is white… he must be wrong.

            I see real hate in the Burqa woman. Not only did she lie several times, in the complaint, she lied at court. This is not trying to avoid a ticket. This is evil. What would have happened to the policeman if the camera wasn't there?

            Not feeling for the policeman demonstrate the absence of "heart" in a person. It is a sad thing.

  8. A cultural fetish such as wearing this costume presents a security risk to the civilized world, there are many countries outside of the civilized world where the practitioners of this fetish would be more comfortable, they should go there.

    • If you want to ban all religious clothing as a 'cultural fetish' I assume nuns, Amish, Mennonites and Hutterites….as well as Rabbis, Orthodox priests and the like will all be tossed out?

      And you think YOU are in the civilized world?

      • Nuns, and mennonites you mentioned actually show their faces, so no problem there. If they start covering their faces then that would also be an issue, no matter if one is Mother Theresa, may peace be with her.

        • It's all religious clothing m'dear….ban one, you have to ban them all. Or you could just worry about something more important than what people wear.

          And I'm sure there's no likelihood whatever of someone scrapping the nun's habit for a blonde wig, lipstick and sunglasses once the robbery is over, right?

          Mohammed, peace be upon him, would frown on that.

          • You are the only one who manufacture the phrase banning religious clothing to perhaps give excuse on something unexcusable and acquire sympathy for no reason. Burqa is a traditional piece of clothing not a religious one. Even Syria vehemently bans it. Eqypt's universities banned it too. Your excuses are getting way beyond thin.

          • If you don't like muslim religious clothing and want to ban it, you have to treat all religious clothing in the same way.

            Little thing called the constitution.

            Nothing in the Bible about having to wear cassocks or habits or 16th century clothing either.

          • And I don't need to 'excuse' anyone for living.

            They have as much right to be here as you.

          • You are the only one who mentioned and suggest banning religious clothing. I have not read anyone suggesting to ban religious clothing. As you might have read my above comment, I actually like head veils and scarves but not facial covering for identification and safety reasons. Are you just playing dumb or what? Or are you playing victimhood?

          • Are you not paying attention or what??

            'Philanthropist · 2 hours ago
            A cultural fetish such as wearing this costume presents a security risk to the civilized world, there are many countries outside of the civilized world where the practitioners of this fetish would be more comfortable, they should go there.'

            So give the religious bigotry a rest eh?

          • "Cultural fetish that is a security risk?" What is religious about it? He did not say cultural fetish that are security reasonable or safe has to be banned as well, did he? If you have any complain about his comment why not ask him to clarify it for you? Why lash out at just anybody to score points? Peace and Happy New Year Emily. Hear you next year!

          • Well since religious clothing of any kind isn't a security risk to anyone, the rest was just plain bigotry.

          • And don't keep wishing for peace, when you're so keen to go to war.

            Peace actually takes work

          • Emily is just running low on fuel, so now she is grasping at straws…as usual. Happy New Year Ariadne, ..Blog you next year !!

          • Happy New New Year to you too! And of course happy wishes to Emily too! May peace be with all of us!

          • It's no excuse for religious bigotry, or racism….sorry folks.

          • The issue for Ariadne (and me) is not that of the religious aspect, or even the cultural, as far as that goes. It has to do with the security concerns created by the wearing of a facial covering such as a niqab or burqa in a public place such as a bank. As usual, when someone takes a stance that is different than yours, you resort to name-calling and libel.

            I'm a Newfoundlander; at this time of year, it has long been a tradition, now dying, for some of us to put on disguises and go "mummering". It's good, relatively innocent fun (drunkeness aside). But it is increasingly frowned upon because a few idiots have taken advantage of the disguises to commit crimes. Wearing a mummer's garb to a bank would definitely NOT be acceptable. Why then is a niqab/burqa?

          • Why is it if someone says something negative about Muslims they are called racists? Islam is not a race and Muslims come from many races.

          • Egypt, Syria and Turkey all have bans against the Burqua/Niqab.

            Are they also racist against Muslims?

            Or perhaps might they know something about this 7th century costume that you choose to remain ignorant of?

          • Disagree– the burka/niquab would be banned because it makes the wearer unidentifiable, not for religious reasons.

      • And please explain how getting rid of religious wing nuts is a bad thing.

      • I think you are a hypocrite Emily.

        You can revel in that in your sad life. I like most people reading this blog, pity you

    • Poor man, I hope he won't be the next Salman Rushdie! Don't tell me these Islamic supremacists (dourest/grumpiest human beings) would like Islam to be the largest graveyard for humor and comedy too? I am curious, are they going to issue a Fatwa on Allah if Allah even smiles or utter a joke? Should Allah and Prophet Muhammad be extremely careful (no funny greetings/business, no apes/no pig/nor any jokes, no smiles ever) when paying visitations on their fanatic/radicalized followers, for fear of becoming fatwa's next/last victims? With these restrictions, how does Allah suppose to greet and introduce these bombers to those virgins (It's not easy to begin with)? Will Allah's acceptable greeting be: "You touch them, you die!!! ( the second time!!)!"??? Is that acceptably serious enough to pass muster among the strictest/fundamentalist Imams and Mullahs? Hmmm, thinking about it, is that how they still remain virgins – after so many martyrs have come and gone? It's not easy to be a God/Allah (Job description is extremely narrow) for these morons eh? Had these morons ever thought that had Allah given them lives so they could blow themselves and others up, he would have them fashioned as bombs/IEDs the moment they come out from their mothers' birth canals? Now, that would be a video worthy of youtube. I do not envy the jobs of the real moderates and followers of Islam, it is an uphill and extremely difficult battle. I wish them the very best of luck. Lucky, bomb and IEDs were not invented yet during Christianity's medieval experience.

  9. Not a hijab, a niqab. Pretty important difference–please correct the article. Hijab doesn't conceal the face at all.

    • Happy New Year! Thanks for clarification, what is the difference between a niqab and a burqa?

      • niqab is a head covering and a Burqa is a full body covering……..and a previous poster was right…Burquas are NOT religious….they are cultural

    Whatever you do, don't profile this type of headgear or the perps will get off. Nah…

  11. Wearing face covering religious garment = legal
    robbing bank = not legal

    Everybody see the subtle distinction here?

    • And not to put too fine a point on it, bank robbers frequently cover their faces. Quite traditional in that line of work. And the Criminal Code does an effective job of handling it already.

    • Unless one has no common sense watsoever, "Wearing face covering religious garment" should not be legal outside of said religious place (mosque).

      Don't worry Mike, common sense is coming back in Canada. Things are in the process of getting rectified. Might take five years, but they will be. Have hope and happy new year !

      • Do you also suggest we ban hoodies, scarves, sunglasses, Tammy Faye Baker levels of make-up, halloween, long hair, and anything else a criminal happens to wear to hide their identity?

        or are you just a bigot?

        • Hoodies don't cover your face. Scarves don't cover your face. Sunglasses cover your eyes to shield from UV rays. Makeup doesn't give you a new face. Halloween is one day out of the year. Long hair doesn't cover your face.

          Changing up bigot for racist is a clever move, avoids that whole "Muslims aren't a race" thing, but still makes you a name caller in place of a debater. Also, the only unique thing about this article is that is was a man wearing a niqab, not a woman. This is interesting because ONLY one sex is forced into wearing these dehumanizing garments, and the gutless Western men who defend it shame their fellow Western women. While we're slinging mud, I'd ask you this question: are you just a misogynist?

          • You assume that these women are all forced to wear these "dehumanizing garments" but I am not so sure. They have grown up wearing this dress and have moved here and suddenly you think they are going to switch into western clothes and feel comfortable. I worry that they just go from one group trying to oppress them to another. Let them wear what they want, just as you can wear what you want.

          • I don't assume — I know. Places where the burqa is worn are places where it is illegal not to wear them. If you find it soooooooo diffcult to imagine why women — WOMEN! — would not want to cover their face, forehead to eyebrow, nose bridge to chin and onward, why don't you imagine yourself, yes, you, a man, wearing the same thing day in and day out. Covering your face isn't just about aesthetic — it is an erasure of identity, and that is a seriously psychologically damaging way to grow up. It is especially damaging since men are not subject to the same enslavement, and this is precisely why the burqa and niqab are issues of misogyny and not religious freedom.

          • No, I'm not a mysoginist. Of course, I'm not the one suggesting we use governmental force to dictate what women (or men) should be allowed to wear.

            Incidentally, scarves certainly do cover one's face, and long hair certainly can.

            That aside though, I noticed you avoided the basic question: Do we ban everything that a criminal might use to hide their identity? If not, then what is it about these particular items which makes them more worth banning than any other? The only thing I can see is that they symbolize a religion which you may not agree with, and which you feel it is appropriate to use government sanctioned force to prevent. In essence, a bigot.

          • " Do we ban everything that a criminal might use to hide their identity?"

            That, incidentally, is not the question. The question is whether women should be able to ask for public services that require identification when they are veiled completely aside from their eyes, or that their religion — which doesn't not require that women mask themselves — exempts them from public custom. But returning to the straw man you've constructed, the government already dictates to you what you can and cannot wear in public. See "disguise with intent" and "indecent exposure." Try walking into a store without shoes or a shirt. If you were a woman, I'd invite you to try walking downtown topless. Since you're a man, I'd invite you to walk into a playground topless. See where that gets you.


  12. The fact that one incident where a niqab was used as as a disguise to rob a bank has gotten this much press and this much vitriol blogging just shows how little tolerance there is in this country for people to be allowed to wear their traditional dress. Talk about punishing the masses for the actions of one. What happened to tolerance? We are a country that never insisted that Hutterite people get their pictures taken for passports because it didn't fit with their religious belifs. We encouraged people to bring their cultures to our "mosaic". Now we are suspicious and bigoted about the immigrants that we have invited to visit and live in our country. I am a fourth generation Canadian. I don't recognize this decidely un-Canadian sentiment.

    • Actually the Hutterite colonies in Alberta will be converting to the photo driver's licence as they lost their court case. They have cell phones and internet now too as they need it for business. What is important is that they are willing to work on a solution and they have been fighting for their religious freedoms since the 15th century.

      "The Alberta government says it will work with southern Alberta Hutterite colonies opposed to the province's photo driver's licence requirement to find a "sensitive" solution to the situation.
      Several possible solutions exist. They include carrying the licences in a special pouch that would hide the photos from the Hutterites, but make them available if requested by authorities, she said."

    • If they wish to wear traditional dress and follow traditional religious customs why did they come to Canada? Other than the free health care?

      • Religious freedom – they ended up in Canada because we grant them exemption from military service and allow them to own land and file income taxes as a collective (one entity). They are usually well liked, keep to themselves, their kids are taught by public school teachers and because there are 50 to 150 in a colony their farms are very successful.

        What would Kitchener-Waterloo be like without those Mennonites?

      • Taxslave ..the Hutterites were here long be for free healthcare…..

    • Don't worry, the sentiment you perceie as being "un-Canadian" is actually true Canadianship. It is growing stronger every day. Have hope and happy new year ! Even if you don't understand, this will be a better place for your children.

  13. Google – armed robber dressed as priest – are these expressions of Christianity?

  14. Respect is a two-way street. In Canada, being able to see one another's face is the cultural norm – AND a security issue. The niqab / burka is not a religious requirement; they could instead adopt the hijab, which is a well-established traditional headgear as well for Muslim women – and one that better meets both the security needs and cultural norms of OUR country.

    Canadians moving to a Muslim nation would be expected to make concessions to that country's norms; why should they not make some adjustments? We're not asking for a complete abandonment of their beliefs and practices. If removing their face covering in public places is an issue for them, then they must feel affronted by all of us bare-faced folk whenever they go out in public. If they can't adapt to showing their faces, then maybe this isn't the place for them.

    • This was supposed to be a reply to Healthcare Insider, above…

      • Once people move here it is their country too! This country stands for freedom of expression and that includes how you dress. Some muslim nations are not as free as Canada – Kuwait is an exception. You can dress in western clothing there. However, that is not the point of this discussion. We are not discussing the oppression that occurs in other nations. Rather, we are talking about the freedoms that we have in Canada and how some people want to pick and choose which freedoms will be denied to which groups. No more baseball caps and reflective sunglasses? I personally like to make eye contact with people!

        • Canada becomes their country only if they choose to participate in it. Yes, we have all kinds of freedoms here, but I think a minimum amount of adapting to the social and cultural norms of the country where you choose to live is essential if you truly want to be a citizen. I'm not a big fan of hyphenate Canadians – esp. when the part preceding the hyphen is the part that matters most to that individual. The wearing of clothing that hides one's face is not an accepted norm in our society, and insisting on wearing it means one has deliberately chosen to set oneself apart from the society in which one is living. One should expect that this comes at a cost.

          I agree with your sunglasses and ballcaps comment – I don't think those should be acceptable in situations where identity is an issue, either. Balaclavas / ski/snowmobile masks are definite no-nos. See also my comment on mummering further up this thread – I don't defend my own traditions in such situations either.

          • P.S. – when I refer to "hyphenate Canadians" I mean those who SELF-identify as such, rather than just calling themselves Canadian.

          • What about turbans – don't they set the wearer's of them apart? Are you against them as well?

          • unless i am mistaken, turbans cover the head, not the face. also, even when we cover our faces in public, when we converse we tend to uncover our faces. it is a gesture of respect and goodwill, and civic behaviour. there are specific times when covering the face is ok, like if you are sick, but otherwise, expecting people to just accept your hidden face is not acceptable. we make contact "FACE-TO-FACE", face to cloth. if you don't want to show your face, don't come here.

          • Thanks Eddie – couldn't have said it better myself!

            Jan: if you read my other comments, you'll know I'm fine with the hijab, as the face is visible. It is not the use of cultural or religious garb that I take issue with, but the covering of the face. Any alternate to the niqab or burqa which allows the face to be seen is perfectly acceptable to me.

            I am on record, though, as opposing safety exemptions due to the wearing of religious headgear – specifically, allowing a motorcycle helmet exemption for turbaned Sikhs – as I believe our laws must apply equally to all. If we say that helmet laws are there for safety reasons, then all riders must use them. Alternately, we must do away with the law altogether. We can't create classes of citizens based on religion.

    • People who move to Canada from very different countries make many adjustments. Being forced to dress the way you want them to isn't one of them – in fact, it's only legal in the country many have left behind!

      • Never asked them to switch completely to Western garb; merely to show their faces. Wear a hijab instead of a niqab or burqa.

  15. Time to start a hijab and balaclava registry to calm the nerves of the constantly frazzled.

  16. Well given that some men within the Muslim community are quite happy to maintain their "honour" by murdering their wives, or daughters, or sisters, it seems reasonable that those who wear them would want to maintain doing so. Even if the law were changed to cause the women to reveal their faces for identification purposes, they still would not follow it. Who would you be more afraid of, some far off government bureaucracy, or the nut-job sleeping in the same house as you?

    • Non-Muslim men never murder their spouses?

      • Jan, ever heard of honour killings.?

      • @Jan
        Did you miss my point?

        • That you have a fear and loathing of Muslims – no, it got through with bells on, flashing lights etc. I got it immediately.

          • Fear and loathing of Muslims? How did you get that out of Vatro's post ? I could be wrong, but methinks you are trying to create problems where none exsist……..

          • @Jan
            So in other words you didn't get it.

            Try it again without out preconceptions of what you think I'm about, and read what's actually written rather than whatever delusion you happen to be dreaming of at the moment.

          • Jan, are you denying that honour killings occur? I don't take Vatro's comment to mean that all Muslim men would engage in this; rather, he is pointing out that there are potentially a percentage of women who wear niqabs or burqas who do so out of fear because their husband is among the few who actually would engage in such an activity – and that a law ordering them to remove the facial covering would be ignored by such women because the consequences of obeying the law would be greater than that of breaking it.

            To reach the conclusion you reached, you have to completely ignore that fact that there is a subset of the Muslim community (and others too, but that's an issue for another time) who would engage in just such behaviour. They may think it's an acceptable cultural norm, but it is most definitely against our laws and most Canadians would agree with Vatro that such individuals woulld fall under the classification of "nut-job".

          • Bank robbers frequently disguise themselves. Are you suggesting the banning of traditional female Muslim attire will reduce the number of these crimes?

          • it would definitely take one variable out of the equation.

          • You dodged my question (and that of other posts preceding mine) and gave an incredibly Emily-like answer.

            Re-read Vatro's original post and all the subsequent posts and ACTUALLY ADDRESS THE ISSUE the rest of us are discussing. You may discover that Vatro is actually on your side (albeit perhaps for different reasons), saying that a ban would have little practical effect. It was you who side-tracked the issue with a misread of his comments and then failed to address the reponses that arose due to your own addle-brained introduction of a side issue.

          • I was not dodging any questions. I just gave a simple answer to the question of banning "traditional" headgear that can be misused. I don't know whether you have noticed, but if you are in the airport check-in or check-out lines wearing goggles and a cap, you will be asked to remove them at the counter. The same should apply to any place where you are facing someone – conversation or service counter. You would remove your goggles when you walk into a bank, wouldn't you, even it the rest of your face is clearly visible?

          • Where exactly did I side-track the issue? My first post was in response to Jan about bank robbers.

          • Hi Eddie,

            You and I each responded to Jan. My comment was in no way directed at you.

  17. Ban hijabs. There is no need for these repressive clothes to exist in our country.

    • How are they different than the headwraps worn by bikers?

    • Yeah why should they be the only ones who get to repress people's choice of fashion? We want to do it too, dammit!
      ..oh wait..

    • Something odd happening with the chronology on this site – it says that Jan replied to Steve an hour before he wrote his post.

      Steve: do you really mean hijabs? The article used the wrong term; hijabs leave the face exposed, unlike niqabs and burqas, which expose only the eyes.

      • Like most of the people who flocked to this article to blow off some anti-Muslim steam, Steve doesn't know what they actually are.

  18. Ban hijabs; ban niqabs. You are so certain that the women wearing the head dresses are never doing so because they want to but rather because they are forced to. Therefore, you are going to force them to conform to a western ideal instead because ONE bank robber donned a niqab and robbed a bank. You call their clothing repressive, what about your rules? The Taliban used to run around Afganistan whipping people whose dress didn't conform with strict shira religious rules. If men were at the swimming pool and their swim trunks were too short, the "Taliban fashion police" chased them around the deck with whips. Honestly, this reminds me of that behavior. Everyone is under suspicion unless they conform and look like everyone else. Just remember the 9/11 bombers did dress like everyone else. They were not wearing niqabs but rather nice western outfits.

    • If they are being forced to, then under our laws that constitutes spousal abuse and is already a punishable offence. Are you arguing that we should allow different laws – different human rights – depending on the religion of the person? Where then do we draw the line? Do we allow honour killings if the person comes from a society or is a practitioner of a religion where this is deemed aceptable? One law for all, please!

      We proscribe in this country quite a lot of things that are considered acceptable elsewhere. Conversely, we offer a lot more freedom and equality than is found in most nations. I think it is quite reasonable to expect that anyone seeking in-person service should display their face.

      • Keith, I am suggesting that some women wear the niqab because they want to and human rights extend to everyone, regardless of their religion. Therefore, you can walk around with a veil over your face in mourning and that is okay. What pray tell does honor killing have to do with traditional dress? Surely you are not implying that accepting the niqab will somehow spiral into an acceptance of honor killing. I agree one law for all – you can wear your baseball hat and sunglasses; your halloween mask or ghost costume as your culture allows and they can wear what their culture is comfortable with.

        • What I'm saying is that there are situations where the wearing of a facial covering should not be condoned – and that CULTURE (for it is not strictly a religious requirement) is not a sufficient ground for an exemption. My raising honour killings is an example of the extremes we can reach once we start down the slippery slope of allowing religious or cultural exemptions to laws.

          And yes, I realize that niqabs and burqas are not specifically banned. But we do have cultural expectations as well as genuine security issues around the covering of faces generally. Wear what you want in the comfort of your own home or religious gathering place, but for in-person transactional business or anywhere where security is a concern, the face should be visible.

          • Canada has had no problem in the past "going down the slippery slope of allowing religious or cultural" practices from other countries which we find abhorent to be adopted here. One case in point is female circumcision. It is illegal in this country although it is practiced in other countries. Are you prepared to make it illegal for citizens to go trick-or-treating in masks and proscribe what sorts of head and sunglasses are acceptable, because the charter of human rights ensures we can't have any "cultural expectations" – that is unconstitutional. If we have legal expectations that the face should be visable, then that means everyone's face and if you think you had a fight with the gun registry…….

          • Please read my entire reply: "for in-person transactional business or anywhere where security is a concern" addresses this. I would not expect a person in a Hallowe'en mask to wnder into a bank and expect to do business. I would not think that anyone would expect to walk through security at an airport wearing a Hallowe'en mask. Kids going door to door trick or treating would broadly fall under "in the comfort of your own home" part of my response. (I've been saying "ban" but I guess a more correct phrasing for what I sugest would be "restrict".)

            In my "homeland" of Nfld, mummering – a centuries-old tradition – is falling out of practice because people won't let others in disguise into their homes. They certainly can't conduct business so dressed! As much as I feel a loss to my culture, I understand and aprove of the change, as the world has become a different place.

            So the answer is "yes" – I have no problem with requiring, by law, that under certain circumstances the face must be visible.

          • Keith, I accept your revision of statement. I think you will find that almost no muslim women who wear the niqab are doing the banking. However, some want to ride the bus and want to attend school. Is this really a security risk? The man on the greyhound bus who beheaded another passenger had a bare face. As for the airport, if you have travelled to the US lately you know they have the full body scanner and can see right through your clothes. Not to mention the full body pat-downs…
            You think the world has become a different place. I agree but only because we are constantly bombarded with bad news which makes us all afraid. You think horrible things didn't happen before? What about the world wars? There have always be sociopaths trying to murder as many people as they can. I believe that most people are decent and law-abiding and when we start approaching them as though they aren't and start taking away their rights so we can feel safer, we have lost something fundamentally important with regard to our quality of life.

          • With regard to your comment about mummering, I remember an incident that happened in an american city a few years ago on Halloween. An individual didn't recall it was Halloween and shot a dressed up person on his lawn. Yes, it is indeed a scary world perpetrated by paranoia.

  19. Do we get to ban burkas now without being accused of inhumanely violating rights and freedoms?

    • Sure go ahead, but I'm just not sure it's going to prevent any bank robberies. That , after all, was the topic.

  20. It is a rather nonsensical question, though. Most of the items you mention are generally worn outside to protect against the elements and customarily removed when inside &/or when speaking with others. And they generally don't cover the entire face. Each may make it more difficult to identify the person, but not to the same degree as a full facial covering. Only something like a balaclava or a hallowe'en mask would have the same degree of coverage as a niqab or burqa. How many people wear those in public places on a regular basis? And what would be your honest opinion of someone who did? Would you expect them to receive services in businesses or government offices while wearing them?