Niqab ‘never an issue’ for federal roundtable on culture and security

Not surprising given that the niqab, while an issue of integration, is not one of security (given that it has to be removed at airport security etc):

The question of whether Canadian Muslim women should wear the niqab is a non-issue for the government’s hand-picked sounding board on culture and security, says the Montreal professor who heads the panel.

The matter of face coverings became an election campaign focus as the Conservative government turned to the courts in an unsuccessful effort to preserve a rule banning them during the taking of citizenship ceremony oaths.

Stephen Harper’s party insists obscuring the face at the very moment one becomes a citizen runs contrary to Canadian values. Opponents have accused him of using a culturally sensitive issue to stir up xenophobic sentiment and, in the process, the votes of people who feel threatened by unfamiliar traditions.

The topic has “never been an issue” for the federally appointed Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security, which meets every few months, said Myrna Lashley, the body’s long-time chairwoman.

“I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. And I don’t want to go there. I just wish the whole thing would go away,” said Lashley, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Montreal’s McGill University who studies terrorism and security.

“I’m a researcher, I’m not a politician. That’s their thing, not mine.”

Source: Niqab ‘never an issue’ for federal roundtable on culture and security

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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