More than half of Canadians would back burqa ban: poll -

More than half of Canadians would back burqa ban: poll

54 per cent of respondents behind ban, according to Sun Media


More than half of Canadians think burqas should be banned in public, according to a poll for QMI Agency. The Leger Marketing online poll found 54 per cent of people surveyed said the government should follow France’s lead and not allow women to wear burqas in public for safety and transparency reasons. The web survey, conducted between July 19-22, asked 1,526 people to choose the statement that best reflects their view of France’s move to ban women from wearing a burqa in public. The sentiment was particularly strong in Quebec, where 73 per cent of respondents said they would support a ban. Older Canadians were more likely to agree with a ban, with 71 per cent of those 65 years and older choosing that option. Only 40 per cent of Canadians 18-34 years old said burqas should be banned. The survey question did not explain the difference between the burqa, the niqab and the hijab.

Toronto Sun

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More than half of Canadians would back burqa ban: poll

  1. For what it's worth I wouldn't.
    Talk about a dangerous state of mind: I don't approve of a thing so let's have the government outright ban it!

    • I don't see why you call it a dangerous state of mind. Governments ban things all the time for various reasons. That said, I don't really see the point in banning burqas. If it's her choice to wear it, then it's her choice. I don't see why I should get a say on it.

  2. Burqas are incompatible with a civilized society, male ownership of females – the visual demonstration of what burqas represent – is simply wrong. The burqa has become trendy in the middle east over the past 30 – 40 years in muslim dominated countries because political Islam is exerting its power over people, and that is a good reason for not allowing them in the civilized world. An outright ban is not necessary, but drivers should not be visually impaired, banks or any other business should be allowed to demand people enter uncovered, photo ID must be representative of a person not an ideology etc. Muslims can still practice this fetish they have recently adopted, just not when dealing with the civilized world.

    • outlawing uncivilized clothing is incompatible with a civilized society

    • How exactly does political Islam exert itself in a country where people have a full panoply of freedoms? The short answer is that it doesn't. If any woman currently decided to stop wearing a burqa nobody could legally stop them. I don't see how people voluntarily submitting to something should be made illegal. For instance, if you google BDSM you will find many people that rather enjoy being dominated by others. Banning the burqa would deny freedom of choice to Muslim women – the very things that you claim to support for Muslim women. Freedom must necessarily include the freedom to submit to others and be un-free.

  3. If Muslims wish to conceal a woman's body, they might do well to follow the example of the habit of Catholic nuns. I have no objection to covering the body with a burqua, but I do object to concealing the face because that is where someone's intentions and state of mind are usually most apparent, and it's impossible to identify someone whose face is hidden.

    • What right do you have to know my intentions or state of mind? Next thing you'll want to know how many bathrooms I have.

    • I'm almost always on the liberal side of current events, but on this one I'm inclined to agree with the counter-argument that either everybody should have the legal right to cover their face in public, or nobody should.

      • That is the liberal argument…

        Now I'm confused….

        • My impression of the liberal argument — or maybe I'm making the mistake of accepting the conservative description of the liberal argument; we all have our off days — is that wearing the niqab is (or should be) a religious right that ought to be protected from legislative interference.

          I get the point and principle of that, but I think it's eclipsed by the expectation in western societies that we will be able to see the faces of the people we deal with in person from day to day.

          I also think it's disingenuous of niqab supporters to deny that it has a socially disruptive effect, regardless of the purity of intention. Again, we don't have a Charter right to live socially undisrupted lives, but we do need to decide where we draw the line of acceptable variance versus unacceptable.

          If the niqab was adopted in defense against a demonstrable destructive issue, it might be different, and an exception might be warranted. But I've yet to be convinced.

          • I'm not sure this is a Liberal vs. Conservative issue. Look at where support for a burqa ban was lowest – BC and Alberta. This is an individual vs. collective issue, and both of the main parties have a strain of each.

          • My impression too, it kind of cuts against the grain, and I was pretty sure it wasn't just me.

          • It's more of antipathy towards that which is different vs. not really any of my business in most cases.

  4. This is one of the biggest examples of "You need to look at the exact wording of the question" ever. Did Parizeau write this? It's practically a push poll. They might as well have said:

    "Do you agree with outlawing the evil, oppressive Burka, or are you a troop-hating muslim?"

    • No kidding. And while I'm not an expert on polling, this seems so unscientific as to be utterly ridiculous:

      QUESTION: Which statement best reflects your view on France's government trying to ban burkas in public?

      54% Canada should follow France. Nobody should be able to cover their faces. It is a matter of public safety and business transparency.

      20% Canada shouldn't even consider banning burkas. It's an issue of freedom of religion and expression

      15% It doesn't affect me either way

      11% Not sure

      1% No answer

      That first optional response (54%) contains THREE independent statements and says nothing about banning the burka. This stinks of a deliberate attempt to generate a headline.

      Fox News North indeed. Get ready to see crap like this for the rest of your life.

      • The two main options are not mutually exclusive either. One is that Canada should ban the burqa, the other is that Canada shouldn't even CONSIDER banning burqas. At any rate, I don't like polls that include arguments for or against things. People may take one or the other position for reasons that are not stated in the poll.

    • I used to do polls and this is a very good comment. For a poll result to really represent public opinion fairly, it has to be robust against small changes in wording that do not really change the meaning of the question. And in telephone polls the verbal delivery by the researcher is critical. Just by changing the intonation of my voice with the respondent I found I could often control the answer I got — which is not a good thing. You don't have to be a statistical analyst to realise that if this is so, the poll results are not going to be reliable unless the sample is large and delivery is carefully contolled to be as neutral as possible — In Ontario, I can attest this is rarely done.

  5. If the concern is safety and transparency, as claimed in this poll, then why wouldn't these people be advocating for the banning of masks in general?

    Frankly, that seems like a silly reason to support such a ban. If there is an epidemic of safety issues in this country stemming from the wearing of burkas, I haven't heard of it.

    It seems to me that people who support this ban do so for one of two reasons: equality concerns for women, or xenophobia. "Safety concerns" sounds like a veiled (no pun intended) version of the latter.

  6. Robin_E, it's not xenophobia. Rather it is a desire to not have the cultures of backward nations trying to oppress the freedom available to all in this wonderful country. I'm not afraid of Muslims, I just don't want their way of life nor do I want them trying to change the landscape of the country I live in.

    • I could say much the same of rural BC and most of Alberta, but I'll restrain myself just this once.

    • Well, have a look at the definition of the word xenophobia. See if what you said fits pretty squarely within it, given the level of oppression that you are currently experiencing from Muslims.

      • Once again, my objection to Muslim customs is not based on fear. I just simply don't want to have them trying to change this country. Just because I don't want something, it does not mean I'm afraid of it.

        • Are you under the impression that Muslims, as a monolithic group, are changing the identity of the country? It seems from your statements that you are concerned about this; essentially, you are worried about the country losing its identity due to Muslim influence, suspicious of Muslim activities to this end, and the aggression that you perceive Muslims to have towards this end, and you desire to secure a certain purity of national identity from this monolithic group's ongoing influence. This seems to be leading you to have a certain antipathy toward all Muslims. While you are aware of having an aversion to Muslims, you obviously don't identify it or accept it as a fear.

          That is all fairly consistent with xenophobia, at least as the phrase is normally used; at the very least, it is arguably so. However, maybe I just misunderstood your views; if I've misrepresented them, certainly let me know.

  7. Next the government will be banning Slavery! Who are they to tell what I can and can't do with my 13 wives!

    • Are they wearing the Princess Leia slave costum, if so then it's an outrage : )

      • Actually, they are Jawas, and I got them for a really good deal. I trade one R2 until for the whole group!

        Now if I could just get them to learn how to repair a moisture vaporator life would be great!

  8. Compromise anyone? You can cover everything else, but please, show your face.

    • Agreed!

    • When one side is ridiculous compromise is capitulation.

      (To spell it out, banning religious head coverings in all but the most pressing circumstances isn't compatible with freedom of religion or expression, empty platitudes like "I have to see somebody's face or I throw a hissy fit!" notwithstanding").

      • When one side is ridiculous compromise is capitulation.

        That reminds me, I need to check in on the census threads.

  9. I think I just threw up a little.

    • Hopefully you aren't wearing your burqa when you do….could get messy.

  10. People covering their faces is a threat to our way of life, folks. Why I remember back in '03 in Toronto, when people (especially Asians) started wearing these white masks in public. Talk about disrespectful – I couldn't tell whether they were frowning or smiling as I coughed uncontrollably. And then there was this other time – some day in October, I believe. Well this little nogoodnik dressed up like Batman rang my doorbell. "Trick or treat," he says. Yeah, I'm not joking – a young masked kid threatened harm if I didn't give him candy. I reported the incident to the policy, but they said they would need a more accurate description. Well I couldn't give them one – why? Because this kid covered his face. If we let people go around with covered faces it would be the very end of civilization.

    • I think everyone who goes skiing or snowmobiling is a terrorist.

      • And those little 'uns that come knocking on my door on October 31 – terrorists! The whole lot of them!!!

        • with all the property damage — pumpkins smashed, trees TP'd, windows defaced with egg — all in the name of their evil face-covered ideology, I think this October 31st Movement fits the definition in our anti-terrorism legislation.

  11. Could we please ban ball caps while we're at it?

    It's pretty obvious that ball-cap wearing occurs only because men feel the need to respond to the overwhelming cultural pressure North American society exerts on them to look like radiator repairmen. It's assaultive; it's degrading, and it must stop.

    • And my %$&#*#&$ head itches like crazy under those things. I need a law to save me from myself.

    • Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. Say what you will against today's maligned hipsters, but they're wearing good hats.

  12. Kilts !! Ah hates kilts ! Real men wears pants. Or cargo shorts. Or cut-off jeans.

    And then there's togas ! Damn togas !

    On the other hand, a properly tilted beret has great social utility.

    Is wearing a balaclava a sign of a cold face or a sign of bad intentions ?
    Or is it a Greek dish ?
    Do I and many others have too much time on my hands and too little to worry about ?

  13. certainly would vote to ban such as the cloth on the heads of some…simple reasons they can be used as weapons and or costumes to hide ones identity…and also could be a fire hazard or simply a hindrance to others who want to see a hockey game or a premiere event in a stadium or some other silly made up reason…but you must understand you asked to come here and there are rules….are there rules for these costumes or not? there should be right? right? remember in your country if we make love by the ocean you would imprison the lovers or shoot them by fire squad, right? right

  14. I have no trouble with the head coverings, but the face coverings creep me right out. However, banning them is ridiculous. What if it's minus 40 outside? You can't wear a balaclava? Or does the law contain a clause that allows face covering when the mercury dips below a certain level? And what about Halloween? Can't cover your face on Halloween? Or just Muslim women can't cover their faces on Halloween. Oh sure, that will work.

    The statement, "There ought to be a law against that," has been the source of numerous stupid laws over the years. Let's not make another.

  15. That's a little rich don't you think? I don't like the face coverings. In fact, I find them somewhat offensive, and they scare the crap out of little kids. But they don't threaten my way of life or anyone else's. There are several burqa-wearing women (at least I think they're women) in my apartment building, but they don't threaten my way of life. I've got more important things to worry about than someone creeping me out in the elevator with their Grim Reaper outfit.

    Actually it's kind of funny. There are a lot of dogs in my building. And those tiny little yappy dogs are scared $hitless when Darth Vader steps on the elevator. One growled. Some just tremble and whimper. But it always amuses me to see the little yappers cowering between their owners legs.

  16. I really don't think that the current government would support this. It would be a far greater intrusion than the census.

    I hope I'm right.

  17. I used to live in India and Pakistan for several years about 30 years ago. While the rise of political Islam as a motive for wearing burqas may have changed the situation nowadays to some degree and in some places, at that time the women wearing burqas were perfectly friendly and reasonable types if one approached them as if they were "normal" (as everyone did, one soon gets used to it).

    The principal reason for wearing the garment was either tradition or personal piety. I wouldn't be in favor of banning the garment in Canada at all, expecially in cases where the person was going through a period in their life where they wanted to comply with some religious rules, but at the same time wanted to be out in society, or was attending school etc.

    A few women at the supermarket wearing burqas is not to be taken as the end of the world…..

  18. Take the Burqa off and be Canadian!
    If it is that important to you go back to your Country of Origion. Anything that covers the face like hats, masks, hoodies, burqas etc should be banned in all places of business particularly banks as not to obstruct security cameras….Talk about an imposition on YOUR rights, What About The Poor Bank Tellers and Variety Store Cashiers. Are We Nuts Even Having This Discussion?
    If you think they should wear burqas then vote Yes for those who want to carry the Cerimonial Swords too! And why not allow Americans to pack their pistols, they do it in their country and they have rights too! Just a side note to all of you waving your Flag in this country …wave the Canadian Flag people this is one of the BEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD if not you wouldn't be here. Our immigration dept. needs a complete overhaul!

    • what if I cover my face with a canadian flag?

  19. Its great when a thread gets opened up that allows the racists a politically correct opportunity to mingle with the regular folk.

    • It would be even greater if people could refrain from flinging ad hominem smears, acknowledge that there are reasonable arguments on both sides, and address those instead.

      • cultures of backward nations trying to oppress

        When the original argument is based on race, religion and culture, it is hardly an ad hominem smear to note it. The fact that a rational, non-racist argument could have been made, does not make a racist argument rational.

        • If you want to call an argument racist, by all means do so (with reasoning to back it up). What you did, however, was call a bunch of commenters "racists", entirely without justification, and didn't even mention their argument.


          • I know you are sensitive about the word. However, my original post did not call anyone a racist, I simply noted that this thread was somewhat unique in that a reasonable person could easily find themselves agreeing with a racist in terms of a conclusion.

      • It is possible not every anti-burqa statement is racist, but there's precious little reason involved.

  20. As a woman, I don't want the government (or anyone else) telling me what I can and can't wear. My concern is: is the government doing enough to inform women, esp. those new to Canada, of their rights in this country? Are there systems in place to protect/assist these women if they choose a different path from their tradition? Our gov't is so concerned about appearing assimalist that they avoid discussing the options new immigrants have–especially oppressed groups.

    • Making them aware of their rights won't mean anything against the pressures of their families and communities.

  21. so there was a poll on the census, and something like 52% supported the mandatory long-form and so the 'conservative' line was "see, see, look, half of Canadians don't want state coercion into their private lives", and here we have another (questionable) poll where something like 52% want the state coercion to ban the wearing of certain garments. Am I the only one who gets a little dizzy thinking about this?

  22. As to the actual substantive issue in question, I find it almost unreconcileable:
    I find it abhorrent that a citizen of a free and democratic society would be unwilling to show his/her face to his/her fellow citizens so that their equality may be reflected in each other's gaze; and
    I find the idea of the state legislating permissible garments also to be abhorent.
    But wearing a face covering is an individual decision, and legislating a ban of face coverings in public would be a majority overriding an individual's freedom to choose a garment that poses no threat to harm others or themselves.
    So we're left with face covering sucks, but legislating a ban of face covering sucks and would possibly be an injustice; so let's use other means like moral suasion, education, and plain old speaking out to change minds and conditions instead of legislation!

  23. You canucks are a bunch of fools.

    Simply stop importing people from the "area"….and you problem will be solved. no ban regulation needed.

  24. Although I have misgivings and questions at the values of those men and family who forced their women to don Burqas, surprisingly I find myself agreeing to both sides of this debate. As the most legitimate reasons being given is security, to ban and single out Burqa will not be fair. Masked anarchists had caused damages in our society, while we have no incident from anyone donning a Burqa yet. So I thought, why not ban facial coverings in public places/institutions… Yet if we do that, what will happen, as others argue, during cold winter months, and masked events like Halloween? If they are not careful with wording such legislation, we might one day find ourselves become such a restricted humorless society.

  25. "More than half of Canadians would back burqa ban."

    And I'm sure that far more than one half of burqa wearers would back a ban on Canadians. And their owners — aka husbands or fathers — would probably back such a ban in even greater numbers.

  26. This is an incredibly stupid article. First of all the title claims to be representing the opinions of all Canadians, when in fact it is only 1,526 people. We have towns outside of Windsor, Ontario with bigger populations. Also the burqa is in no way, shape or form a religious symbol it is purely cultural. It is not a sign of a repressed woman under ownership from her husband. I know many females who choose to wear it as an act of liberating themselves from the tyranny of society. I don't know any who have a problem with showing their faces for these supposed security purposes as long as they keep their hair covered. Being a Canadian Muslim I know that.
    Go back to our countries? How about you pick yourself up and go back to where you are from. This country does not belong to you, I, the PM or anybody. This is a piece of land that anybody can live on. I do not understand how people can assert ownership of a country. Really now do you think because you draw a few lines on a map you automatically own the land. On a another note nobody has the right to say what you can or can not wear. This whole security issue is a load of shit. This is yet another attack on Islam. Once they get the burqa they will go after the hijab. And for you 'faff' get over yourself. Islam is thee fastest growing religion in the world with people converting every single day so what area should 'they' stop 'importing' us from?

    I used to live in a disillusioned state of mind where I once believed that racism in Canada did not exist and that we strived on multiculturalism but time and time again I have been proven wrong. For months now I have been reading all these articles on Macleans about Islam and aspects of it and I have never failed to find comments like the ones above me- racist and derogatory. i have a suggestion for those of you who don't like multiculturalism or suggest that everybody be forced to give up their identity and be what you deem as a 'real Canadian' go to the States where personal identity beyond your social insurance number does not exist. Canada is a cultural and religious mosaic and if you don't like it get out.

  27. Just some facts:
    Islamic terrorists murder more people every day than the Ku Klux Klan has in the last 50 years.
    19 Muslim hijackers killed more innocents in two hours on September 11th than the number of American criminals executed in the last 65 years.
    More civilians were killed by Muslim extremists in two hours on September 11th than in the 36 years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.
    More people are killed by Islamists each year than in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition combined.
    In 2007 Islam and Judaism's holiest holidays overlapped for 10 days.
    Muslims racked up 397 dead bodies in 94 terror attacks across 10
    countries during this time… while Jews worked on their 159th Nobel Prize.

    Last week brought a sober reminder that every religion has its
    extremists, as Christian radicals burned one copy of the Quran
    (and Muslim radicals attacked a half-dozen churches, burned dozens of
    Bibles, and slaughtered 321 people in 26 terror attacks in just 7 days).

  28. If we should respect the Quran because not doing so causes Muslims to get angry and kill, then here are the other things we should stop doing:
    Educating women. Selling alcohol. Pre-marital sex. Sharing a
    non-Muslim religious faith. Democracy. Disaster relief. Sporting
    events. Allowing women to dress as they please. Being gay. Being Hindu. Being Christian. Being Jewish. Being Buddhist. Being Sikh. Being Ahmadi. Being Sufi. Going to the wrong mosque

  29. There have been almost 18,000 deadly muslim attacks since 9/11.

    Sadly, and despite the best intentions of many decent people who are Muslim, the Quran qualifies as hate speech on each count.

    The holiest book of Islam (61% of which is about non-Muslims) draws the sharpest of distinctions between Muslims and non-believers, lavishing praise on the former while condemning the latter with scorching generalizations. Far from teaching universal love, the Quran incessantly preaches the inferiority of non-Muslims, even comparing them to vile animals and gloating over Allah's hatred of them and his dark plans for their eternal torture. Naturally, the harsh treatment of non-believers by Muslims is encouraged as well.

    So, what does the Quran, believed by Muslims to be the literal and eternal word of Allah, really say about non-Muslims?

    The Quran Distinguishes Muslims from Non-Muslims
    and Establishes a Hierarchy of Relative Worth

    The Quran makes it clear that Islam is not about universal brotherhood, but about the brotherhood of believers

  30. Just ban it and lets get along with other issues