The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is travelling to Prince Rupert to host an information session at the public library on to remove misunderstanding regarding Islam. (Submitted)

The new Niqab-ban is not so Canadian

A letter to the editor from Tariq Azeem, Missionary Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, British Columbia

Dear Editor,

Being an Imam of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canada, as I hear the news about the “niqab-ban” in one of our provinces, it truly saddens me. I have always felt that Canada is a role model for the entire world, exemplifying values of tolerance and inclusiveness. Yet with this recent ban, however it may be worded, Muslim women that like to cover their faces out of modesty, have directly been attacked.

Safety of our people has been stated as a reason for disallowing face-coverings. I applaud the effort for finding ways to protect our nation, but policies such as this one, create divisiveness in the society. Instead of creating a peaceful environment, a wrong message is sent when one group is clearly targeted. It sends the message that every Muslim is thought of as a terrorist until proven otherwise, for this reason their religious face-coverings are to be removed.

In cold winters of Canada, especially in Quebec, many individuals cover their faces while waiting for a bus in public areas, or just walking through the streets. I am sure this will continue to happen, despite this ruling as it doesn’t disallow that. Though, whenever a Muslim man or woman would be covering their faces for this very reason even, it is likely that they would be targeted and reminded of this law in a painful manner by some passersby.

Even without such a ban in existence we have seen incidents in past couple years, where Muslim women in their religious face-coverings have been attacked in public for no apparent reason. I feel this new ruling breeds grounds for further intolerance toward Muslim women.

Islam tells us there is no compulsion in matters of faith. Thus, men and women are free to live their lives as they desire. For this reason, some women cover their faces out of modesty and others do not. But those that choose to do so, this new ruling clearly affects their religious freedom. While Canada is a champion in freedom of every sort, I feel this ruling is not very “Canadian.”

Tariq Azeem

Missionary Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Vancouver, B.C.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Timber Sales’ operations on the North Island and Central Coast to be audited

The Forest Practices Board randomly chose the region to check for compliance to legislation

BC Ferries Sailing Cancellations

Prince Rupert - Haida Gwaii - Northern Adventure

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Most Read