Canada Ban Burkas – Canada has placed a ban on any face coverings such as burkas or the Islamic niqab during taking the oath of citizenship.
Muslim groups in the country have had a mixed reaction to the news. Some heartily applauded the move and others denounced it as causing unnecessary trepidation in the community
The new rule, announced by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney on Monday, will take effect immediately.
Kenney explained that the new rule was to solve a problem of identifying who is actually taking the oath which is impossible if they keep their face covered.
“I don’t know how we can verify that someone whose face is covered is actually taking the oath that the law requires of them,” he told a news conference in Montreal.
“This is a public act of witness in front of your fellow citizens, in front of the law — and you should be willing to show who you are,” the minister added.
The burka ban also came about after several complaints from Canadian citizens. Kenney said those concerns prompted him to raise the issue during a recent meeting of citizenship judges in Ottawa.
Kenney defended the burka ban after some Muslim groups said it religious meaning by saying, “When Muslim women do the hajj… they’re required not to wear a veil, they’re required to show their face. So, the notion that this is somehow a religious obligation, I don’t accept.”