The Harper government was more than correct in banning the veil for Muslim women when taking the citizenship oath to their new country. It sends the message that new citizens are expected to integrate and become a part of their new land’s social life, and that there are values they will have to accept and requirements, including future ones concerning the veil, they will have to meet. In other words, they are to live in Canadian society and not just remain in a self-segregated state of arrival like has happened all over Western Europe.
In making Muslim women take the citizenship oath without the veil, the Harper government is also enforcing the important Western value of equality on the first day they become citizens. Besides the symbolism, the ban showed special treatment will not be granted to anyone and that in Canada there is a separation between religion and state as well.
The Canadian government’s ban can only represent a defeat for those Islamists who regard the wearing of the face-veil in the West as an outward display of sharia law as well as a barrier meant to separate Muslims from their Western societies. In the West, in the Islamists view, the veil’s wearing was always meant to make Islam visible in public spaces and relay the unspoken message: We are different. Besides being the Islamists’ version of showing the flag, the veil and headscarf have also served as Islamist probes to test a host society’s resolve to defend its values.
As a result of the veil’s and headscarf’s importance to Islamist plans, it is not surprising that in Germany a parliamentary delegate of Turkish origin, Ekin Deligoz, received death threats when she told Muslim women living there to take their headscarves off. Deligoz was a member of the leftist Green Party at the time. Ninety percent of the threats she received were from men and were so serious that Deligoz had to have police protection.
But the Canadian ban’s greatest significance is that it represents a setback for Islamic supremacism. There is currently a religiously motivated, political offensive being waged in Western countries, principally in the courts and under the guise of religious freedom, through which Islamists are attempting to establish a superior position for Islam over other religions in Western societies. Council on American-Islamic relations (CAIR) co-founder Omar Ahmad clearly expressed this Islamist design for the United States when he said to a Muslim audience in Fremont, California, in 1998 when he said: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.”
Islamists like Ahmed are carrying out this plan by using Western tolerance to relentlessly promote their intolerance. The Canadian ban, however, shows that tolerance has a limit and that a different set of political and social ideals exist in the new countries Muslims have chosen to emigrate to. And among these new political and social ideals they will have to accept is a ban on wearing face-veils at swearing-in ceremonies in citizenship courts in Canada.
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