Ontario court rules Muslim women may keep their niqabs while testifying - Macleans.ca

Ontario court rules Muslim women may keep their niqabs while testifying

Trial judges can order the veils removed only if it undermines accused’s right to a fair


The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled Muslim women wearing a niqab will not necessarily have to remove the veil when testifying in court unless the trial judge believes it could jeopardize the accused’s right to a fair trial. “There is no getting around the reality that in some cases, particularly those involving trial by jury where a witness’s credibility is central to the outcome, a judge will have a difficult decision to make,” the court said in its ruling. The decision comes months after a woman was ordered to bare her face during a preliminary inquiry, an order challenged by her lawyer. The Court of Appeal has now sent the case back to the lower court, saying the preliminary inquiry judge will have to hear arguments regarding the woman’s religious beliefs before making a decision.

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Ontario court rules Muslim women may keep their niqabs while testifying

  1. All persons must appear before the Court, this should not be an issue. In cases of sexual assault, perhaps the Court should be cleared except for the jury etc.

  2. Great! so now one person can accuse, one can represent and many more can sit in and enjoy the proceedings. the accuser should be presented as clearly as the accused. but of course, the mullahs will get exempted from that bit of common sense too, right?!?

  3. I wish we could elect judges, because then there would be far fewer of these idiotic rulings. We have laws and processes for a reason, and it is a shame that this court did not recognize the fact that EVERYONE is to follow them.

    • The problem with an elected judiciary is that they weigh not only the law but the impact on their fund-raising and campaigning – even if only on a subconscious level. There will be bone-headed decisions regardless of whether the judges are elected or appointed – but a lot more would be based on political expediency rather than a thorough consideration of the law if votes were at stake.

      Ask a black man in the southern US whether he thinks electing judges is a good idea…

      • You have a good point. Some accountability would be great though.

  4. Next time there comes an election ask the candidates to give an answer in no uncertain terms what they commit to do about the travesty disguised as Canuckistani 'justice'. These clowns on the bench are destroying our country. Wake up people, before your daughters are FORCED to wear a rag on their face.

  5. I would read the judgment before criticizing it. Here is the critical passage at para. 88: "Efforts to reconcile the rights of the witness and the accused may ultimately fail. A judge may conclude that in all of the circumstances, and despite resort to available modifications in the process, including, in jury cases, the appropriate instruction, the witness's wearing of the niqab would significantly impair the accused's ability to cross-examine that witness and result in a denial of the accused's right to make full answer and defence and his right to a fair trial. If the judge concludes that the wearing of the niqab in all of the circumstances would infringe the accused's right to make full answer and defence, that right must prevail over the witness's religious freedoms and the witness must be ordered to remove the niqab." in short, when push comes to shove, the right to a free trial prevails.

    • In fact, in other stories I've seen, emphasis has been placed on the fact that a judge may require the removal of the niqab, rather than on the fact that they may be allowed to wear one. This decision does not say yea or nay in all instances, but merely requires that a judge weigh the factors carefully before deciding whether or not to ask for its removal.

  6. Raheel Raza, director of interfaith affair at the Muslim

    Canadian Congress, had said wearing a face covering is not a

    religious requirement of Islam. But apparently the right of the

    defendant to a fair trial, i.e. both the defendant and jury

    seeing the plaintiff’s face when testifying, the basis of our

    judicial system up until now, is now taken away but only just

    for radical Muslims… only in Canada you say?

    • and they also don’t want to show their face when voting…how is that right??????  I am born a status first nation canadian…I grew up on an Indian reserve….the last time I voted…..my native ID (issued by the govnerment) was not good enough…..and I showed up to vote in a pair of jeans……my face visable…..what’s the deal here????????

      • hiawatha get an education. seriously. They are allowed to show their faces, to women only, not to men. Muslim are not like savages, muslims adhere to modesty, Muslim women don’t dance around naked and sing aaa ooo aaa in front of male who are strangers to them..

        You learnt how to use a computer and voice your opinion, at the least get an education before voicing your scholar-less remarks.

  7. The part where the judge suggests they accomodate these slut-shamed women be accomodated by all-female courts really sticks in my craw. Number one, I will not endorse any "religion" that deems women who do not dress "humbly" are sluts and deserve to be raped. Second, I will not endorse a religion that treats a female's testimony as one-half of a man's. This is why a raped women must have at least two MALE witnesses at her trial in order to be taken seriously. Third, in my country of birth I will not stand by and watch sexism be enforced from the bench. If a man demanded an all-male courtroom, he'd be cited by the HRC. A Muslim woman does it and judges bend over backwards to accomodate the delicate, exotic, shrinking violet that they believe they are looking at.

    The niqab, burqa, and hijab are not enforced by any edict within the Koran. The Muslim Canadian Congress is laughing at us; they know this, and now they know how little we know about Islam and how easily we will trade in our values for another.

  8. The headline should read "Ontario Court endangers Canadian Women by refusing to take a stand against the dirty disgusting Niqab". The Niqab, Burqa and related excrement have no place in Canadian society and those who are attached to it are free to move back to the hell holes they came from. Misguided "tolerance" of an openly agressive culture will only help to curse our children and grandchildren to a life dominated by Radical Islam.

  9. Can't men see how they can dominate women by belonging to the world's superior religion? Oh, how great the feeling looking down on infidels. How wonderful the feeling of power over even the judges. One should recognize the power of the essence of domination.

  10. The problem wil be at the moment when first judge refuses woman to have "right" to waer shmatte at the court.
    Bunch of libtards muzzies will scream "racism!" "xenophpobia!" "intolerance!" and other passwords that are so abused in Canada.

    When ppl. finally understandf that Canada has the right to preserve its cultural heritage and universal values?
    It is not a place for third-world slum coming here, sucking wellfare, forcing us to change law to "accomodate" them!

    Who should we vote in next elections to change this growing b/s ?

  11. I really, really hate even the idea of the Niqab. I think it is a slap in the face to Canadian women.

    That said, if you are a woman who for some unfathomable reason has had your reasoning skewed to honestly believing that your faith in God requires you to wear it, and you are raped, the last thing you will do is report the rapist–probably someone you know anyway, as most rapes are. And men you know will know this.

    So I'm terribly afraid that means its open season on Niqab wearing women. And I certainly can't approve of that.

    • men are not all rapists who would run wild if they think they can get away with it.
      what a disgusting comment.

  12. I believe it is time to have judiciary review. Some of them do not educate themselves what is truly part of religion and what is not. Even Muslim nations, universities and courts like Syria bann their women from wearing Niqab. The judges ignorance and their playing as social advocates are just beyond the pale. Too bad, there is no process in place to boot these uninformed judges out.

  13. Besides the cultural implications of this decision, there should be a greater discussion of the impact of a veiled face on the ability to receive a fair trial. I have discussed this in detail on my blog http://bit.ly/dds5H8, but the nub of my comment is that there is actually little evidence for believing that a masked witness undermines the fairness of the courts.
    As I said, this is no comment on the cultural implications of the niqab – it is strictly about the link between a fair trial and a veiled face.

  14. Ban the Niqab, ban the burqa, arrest all those who encourage Muslim women to wear it and ship them to Guantanamo Bay where they belong. In these dangerous times, "tolerating" the hideous practices of Radical Islam is not just naive, it's treason, pure and simple. The next smiling airhead who appears on TV to defend either the Niqab or the Burqa should be arrested on the spot and charged with treason.

  15. Abosultely absurb!!!!!!!!!!!  I am a first Nation member of Ontario and I get interrigated everytime I use my tax exempt…….I’m sure if I was to show up in court with war paint and a head dress, I would be asked to leave……I don;t even know where we live any more…..god help us…oh, an Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Shame on you CANADA, shame on you

    • excuse my spelling….i am so mad about this I can’t even think……..