Thursday March 19, 2015 2
Amid a national debate that’s filled the Twittersphere and the public square, the voices of Muslim women are often under-represented in the conversation. We hear from a panel of women who wear the niqab — or used to.
Ever since Prime Minister Stephen Harper made his remarks in the House of Commons last week, the niqab has found itself at the centre of a national debate. Unlike the hijab, which covers a woman’s hair, the niqab covers the entire face of the women who wear it — revealing only their eyes.
Last month, a federal court judge ruled that Zunera Ishaq, a Canadian permanent resident, could indeed wear the niqab during her citizenship ceremony, in spite of a 2011 policy against the practice put forward by the Conservative government. But Stephen Harper is adamant — and has vowed to appeal the decision.
It has become a hot button issue, with passionate arguments from both sides, and a sarcastic uprising on Twitter, questioning the Prime Minister’s place in dictating dress codes.
We invited three women to share their thoughts:
Shomyla Hammad is from Mississauga, Ontario and wears the niqab.
Khadra Ali wore the niqab for a year, before deciding to take it off.
Rezan Mosa is a student at Western University who wears the niqab.
This segment was produced by The Current’s Pacinthe Mattar and intern Samira Mohyeddin.