Earlier in October, the Canadian province of Quebec passed a law, Bill 62, banning public workers and citizens riding public transport or receiving government services from wearing the niqab. It was the first law of this type to be passed in North America.
Our favourite niqabi, Niqabae Chronicles, recently shared a video discussing her thoughts on the ban.
Ihsaan Gardee of the National Council of Canadian Muslims said “It seems like a made-up solution to an invented problem. We don’t have a big issue right now with hordes of Muslim women in niqab trying to work in the public service or accessing public services with difficulty.”
Hate crimes targetting Canadian Muslims have increased by 253% between 2012-2015 according to Statistics Canada, and earlier this year six Muslim men were shot dead when praying at a mosque. Quebec’s decision to implement a ban provides fuel for this Islamophobic fire, and presents the possibility of “vigilantes” across other parts of Canada attempting to enforce a ban themselves, particularly since a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for Global News found that 68% of Canadian adults supported the idea of a ban being introduced in their area.
For the women who wear it, will this ban mean they will simply take off their niqabs, or will it result in them becoming homebound? What are your thoughts?
Image by Khadr family, CC BY 3.0