Conservatives Vow to Appeal Against Decision Supporting Veils at Citizenship Ceremonies

The Conservative government made an important announcement on Wednesday to go to the Supreme Court to appeal against the court decision allowing Muslim women’s to cover their faces during citizenship ceremonies.

In the decision announced on Tuesday by the federal appeals court, it found the ban on veils such as the niqab unlawful. An immigrant from Pakistan, Zunera Ishaq, refused to partake in the citizenship ceremony because as it meant she could not wear a niqab and show her face. In its response to the court ruling, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander stated that “the government of Canada will seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in the Ishaq case.” Whereas, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stated that the niqabis rooted in an “anti-women” culture. On the other hand, Defense Minister Jason Kenney also stressed that people’s faces should be visible when taking the oath in a citizenship ceremony. He elucidated that “at that one very public moment, of a very public declaration of one’s loyalty to one’s fellow citizens and country, one should do so openly, proudly and publicly, without one’s face hidden.”

However, the opposition parties including New Democrats and Liberals have come out on the other side and highlighted that the ban violates the rights of Canadians. Accusing the Conservatives of fuelling prejudice against Muslims, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau “This government … is continuing with the politics of division and even fear, and that is not worthy of a country as diverse and extraordinary as Canada.”

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