Women refusing to remove niqab in Canada will be chargedMarch 31st, 2010 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS
By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, March 31 (IANS) After the landmark niqab ban in French-speaking Quebec province last week, Canadian police now say they will charge anyone refusing to remove face-coverings, including niqab, when being booked after arrest.
Under Canadian laws, police always take mug shots of the offenders after their arrest.
Though no Muslim woman with a niqab has been arrested in the country yet, police said Tuesday that anyone refusing to remove face-coverings for a mug shot will face charges.
Outraged over the new developments, Wahida Valiante of the Canadian Islamic Congress told the Canadian Press, “This is getting absurd, really.There are only, in the entire Quebec province, 25 women who wear the niqab so they can’t be in the highest number of criminals expected to be arrested.”
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) - the country’s national police force - the Identification of Criminals Act allows them to use ‘reasonable force’ to remove face-coverings if someone doesn’t comply with their orders.
The niqab issue hot up in Canada after an Egyptian immigrant woman refused to remove her niqab during her French language classes in a Montreal college. The college said it tried to accommodate the Muslim woman by giving her the front seat so that she didn’t face male students and allowing her to make presentations from the back of the class.
However, the woman was thrown out after she refused to sit with other students around a U-table for classes in French conversation. After the incident, the Quebec government outlawed the niqab, denying government services to anyone with the veil.
The police in Montreal, where the controversy started, said if someone refuses to remove face-coverings “the law has consequences for the person.”
Four in five Canadians have backed the ban on the niqab which still has no restriction in the rest of the country. Currently, there are about a million Muslims in Canada’s population of 34 million, and their numbers will triple in two decades, says Statistics Canada.
(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Niqab ban gets unanimous support in Canada - Mar 28, 2010
- Canadian Sikhs angry as Quebec assembly bans kirpan - Feb 10, 2011
- Cartoonist lampoons niqab, angers Muslims in Canada - Mar 15, 2010
- Niqab for Muslim women banned in Canadian province - Mar 25, 2010
- Niqab becoming a flash point in Canada - Mar 23, 2010
- Veiled Muslim women barred from entering France - Jun 13, 2012
- Canada outraged over security exemption for niqab-wearing women - Aug 02, 2010
- After France, niqab controversy now hots up in Canada - Mar 04, 2010
- France puts burqua ban into effect - Apr 11, 2011
- 25-year-old Indian-origin woman ordered to unveil or leave French course in Canada - Apr 12, 2010
- Drugs in bath-towel shipment from India seized - Jan 28, 2011
- Top-level visits from Canada to India begin this month - Jan 06, 2011
- Biggest date-rape drug seizure by Canada - Jan 27, 2011
- Canada busts single biggest immigration racket - Jan 07, 2011
- Banning niqab would put Quebec on collision course with human rights groups: Experts - Mar 26, 2010
Tags: canadian islamic congress, canadian mounted police, canadian police, french conversation, french language classes, french speaking, government services, immigrant woman, male students, montreal college, mug shot, mug shots, muslim woman, national police force, niqab, quebec government, quebec province, reasonable force, royal canadian mounted police, toronto march