Canadian Muslim women are now prohibited from wearing traditional religious garments while taking that nation’s citizenship oath.
The burqa and niqab facial coverings are no longer allowed during the ceremony because they mask the wearer’s mouth, making it unclear if the person taking the oath is actually reciting the pledge, reports DailyCaller.com
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the ban was prompted by complaints from judges and others at the ceremonies.
“All we ask of people is to fulfill the requirements of citizenship and to swear an oath before one’s fellow citizens that one will be loyal to our traditions that go back centuries,” said Kenney. “If Canada is to be true to our history and to our highest ideals, we cannot tolerate two classes of citizens. We cannot have two classes of citizenship ceremonies.”
Canadian Islamic leader Ihsaan Gardee of the Canadian Council of American-Islamic Relations warned the decision could have far-ranging consequences.
“If implemented, this decision will have a damaging effect on our democracy because it forces those who wear the niqab to choose between their religious convictions and adopting Canadian citizenship,” Gardee said.
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