Theists actually believe this stuff!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Uproar in Canada over face-veil ban

In the Canadian province of Quebec a furious public debate has erupted over Muslim women who wear the niqab - face veil.

Out of over 200,000 Muslims in Montreal in Quebec, only a few dozen women wear the niqab, but under a proposed new legislation they could be barred from receiving public services.

Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds reports from Montreal where the debate has divided the Muslim community. (18 April 2010)

Tarek Fatah: Burn your burka

Defenders of the burka contend that the wearing of a face-mask by Muslim women is protected by our Charter's right to religious freedom. But such arguments are premised on the myth that a face-mask for women is a necessary part of religiously prescribed Islamic attire.

Link: Full Comment - National Post

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, the important point is that the woman sincerely believes that wearing a niqab is part of her faith.

Obviously, disagreements will sometimes arise over religious questions. Interpretations of Islam, or Judaism, will differ.

Should the State decide who is right? For example, should the State determine whether it is correct, in the Jewish religion, not to eat pork? May Sikh men cut their hair? Clearly, the State is in no position to determine these questions by declaring that one view is correct and not the other.

Likewise, the State should not attempt to determine whether a woman wearing a niqab is "right" as a matter of Islamic doctrine. It may merely inquire as to whether her belief is genuine.

I will quote from the Supreme Court's decision in Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem:

"Freedom of religion under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) consists of the freedom to undertake practices and harbour beliefs, having a nexus with religion, in which an individual demonstrates he or she sincerely believes or is sincerely undertaking in order to connect with the divine or as a function of his or her spiritual faith, irrespective of whether a particular practice or belief is required by official religious dogma or is in conformity with the position of religious officials. This understanding is consistent with a personal or subjective understanding of freedom of religion. As such, a claimant need not show some sort of objective religious obligation, requirement or precept to invoke freedom of religion. It is the religious or spiritual essence of an action, not any mandatory or perceived‑as‑mandatory nature of its observance, that attracts protection. The State is in no position to be, nor should it become, the arbiter of religious dogma."