Monday, March 08, 2010

Conservative minister calls niqab a mask

In the wake of the story of a Quebec woman who wears a niqab (a head garment which is worn over the entire face with a slit for the eyes) filing a human rights complaint over her expulsion from a French course at a Montreal-area college, federal Conservative Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Josée Verner waded-into the fracas last week.

In an interview with a Quebec City radio station, Verner went on the offensive against Muslim women that choose to wear the niqab. She called it a mask, said she wouldn't open the door to a woman wearing one, nor would she want them using her hypothetical day care centre. She also ponders if they should go to the bank or not:

"It has nothing to do with religious beliefs, even though there's a debate that should take place there," Verner told CHOI-FM in Quebec City. "But quite frankly, for someone who goes around who is quote-unquote masked, no matter what time of day, if someone rang on my door bell wearing a mask, I wouldn't open the door."

"If I was in charge of a daycare, I wouldn't allow a child to leave with someone if I could not see their face," Verner added. "I don't think I'd be able to go into a bank with a mask on my head."

Cultural sensitivity, thy name is Josée Verner. Wonder if she'll be getting a call from an enraged Jason Kenney...

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WesternGrit said...

Yeah... she'll get a call from him alright... A call of "thanks" for continuing to perpetuate stereotypes. People who despise correct speech/political correctness, or plain old diplomacy is what these NeoCons/SoCons are.

Greg said...

She gets the first annual Rob Anders Cultural Sensitivity Award.

S.K. said...

Um a niqab is a mask. That's the point. What is yours?

The Rat said...

Isn't the point our friends in Quebec are making that cultural sensitivity has limits? Or are we OK will all cultural practices, from drinking a beer on the 17th right through to genital mutilation? Just to make my point clearer, how many of our dear leftish friends see no problem criticizing the Catholic church for their male-only clergy? Yet these same "culturally sensitive" people won't say a thing about this much more oppressive practice.

Anonymous said...

Hiding your face is a rejection of the society and people around you. It shouldn't surprise anyone if others reject you in turn. Tarek Fatah has it right on this. People should be allowed to wear what they like. Everyone else should be allowed to call it offensive and refuse to have anything to do with them.

To use the Rat's example. The Catholic church can have male only priests, but there's nothing that forces you to accept this as "okay" if you think it's wrong.