Kenney confronts the veil, head on (National Post, Dec. 13, 2011, p. A1)
Chris Selley reports that give Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney credit for at least this much: On Monday, when he announced that the citizenship oath must now be taken with an uncovered face, he did not pretend that it was just another policy change. He mentioned it in the same breath as other initiatives he has championed, such as beefing up language requirements, the citizenship test and the Citizenship Guide. "This is part of a broader action plan to invest greater value in Canadian citizenship," he told CBC. But he also stressed, correctly, that this is no "technical or practical" tweak. "It is, rather, a matter of pure principle, which lies at the heart of our identity and our values with respect to openness and equality," he said at a speech in Montreal. It's controversial, and he didn't shy away. He expressed his personal distaste for the burka: "It's a cultural tradition, which I think reflects a certain view about women that we don't accept in Canada," he told CBC. As burka debates go - as Canadian debates go - this is really quite admirable.
Muslim leader backs feds on face cover ban (Ottawa Sun, Dec. 13, 2011, p. 6)
Kelly Roche reports that A female leader in Ottawa's Muslim community is applauding the federal government's move to ban face-covering garments when reciting the citizenship oath. "I am very happy about it," said Nazira Tareen, founder and past president of the Ottawa Muslim Women's Organization. "If we Muslims have chosen Canada as our country, we have come here, it is our duty as Muslims, it tells us in the Koran, to obey the laws of the land we have chosen to live in." The rule, requiring Muslim women to remove face coverings such as niqabs or burkas, was announced Monday by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. It is effective immediately.
See also/ Voir aussi:
'It is not a big issue' (Toronto Sun, Dec. 13, 2011)