What’s the point of showing photo ID at the boarding gate…

Posted August 1st, 2010 in Canada, Islam by MarkOttawa

…when one cannot tell who some other people are (with video)?

Lifting the veil on airport security
Air security won’t ask for veiled Muslims to prove ID

…a man traveling with the group hands in all the passports and is the only one to interact with airline staff while two veiled women simply walk through…

But some have more sense:

…[the] call for lifting the veil is backed up by two Muslim groups often at odds with each other, the Muslim Canadian Congress and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Canada.

“You cannot allow a person wearing a mask to be in the perimeter of an airport,” says Tarek Fatah [more here and here] of the Congress. “If you don’t want to take off the mask, take the TTC (public transit) to Cairo.”

“Women who wear the niqab are not constrained by the religious belief from removing their veil for legitimate reasons, and security is one of them,” said Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of CAIR-CAN.

Gardee admits that Canadian officials may be reluctant to deal with this issue head-on due to concerns about political correctness. “It’s something that needs to be addressed,” Gardee said.

Gardee says it would be preferable if female staff were able to conduct any screening that involved removing the veil but adds that if female staff are not available, the women must still be forced to remove their niqab.

Update: Ezra Levant takes on Pernicious Peggy Atwood et al. (Ottawa Sun on a roll today).

Mark
Ottawa

The Leftist Enablers Of Gender Apartheid

Posted July 26th, 2010 in Canada, Islam by Adrian MacNair

Twitter is a funny animal. Because of the nature of the beast, you wind up following and, in turn, being followed by a wide range of different people with different interests and beliefs. So long as you don’t discuss politics or religion, things can be fairly amicable. Some of the nicest people I’ve met on Twitter were wonderful conversationalists before we clashed swords on some tenuous topic.

Although political tweeters tend to become segregated into the the left versus right dichotomy, I strive for a balance from both sides. As a result, I usually wind up in an argument during the inevitable moment somebody rushes to the defence of Omar Khadr. Or when I discuss the relative merits of the death penalty. Or, as in the case of last night, when I discuss Islamic extremism.

The topic of Islamic extremist can be fairly toxic, since very few people are able to rationally discuss it without offending the other person. Criticizing the fascistic and expansionist aggressive elements of political Islam can be almost impossible, if that discussion is taking place with a leftist afflicted with relativist myopia.

For a political group that claims to reject intolerance and hatred, the left — and I use that term loosely, since I mean a specific subset of the socioeconomic-progressive leftist — have found themselves the apologists for racism, hatred, intolerance, sexism, misogyny, inequality, segregation, and hegemony.

The discussion I had last night with several people revolved around the political symbol of the burqa/niqab, and what it means in the context of a woman wearing it within western society. I posited that while wearing a burqa does not necessarily make one a supporter of political Islam, it certainly ignores the symbolism of the garment, and the gender apartheid it represents in Middle Eastern society.

My opponent made the prevarication that the burqa is nothing more than a choice of dress, worn by the prerogative of the woman, and that I, a male, had no right to repudiate that right. Moreover, toward the end of the conversation, this person suggested that our culture — which by the way, is an egalitarian one, where women’s right are enshrined in law — was not morally superior in this regard, and that we should not place judgment on those who wish to live under Islamic law.

Such nonsensical thinking is the reason why western civilization is rotting from the core outward. That a self-celebrated progressive-leftist can’t summon the ethical fortitude to apply universal concepts of equality beyond her own bubble of self-serving rights, is the reason why the Taliban smirk at our attempts to promote the health and welfare of women in Afghanistan.

So-called feminists in Canada are perfectly comfortable within their much-celebrated birthright to equality under Canadian law. But they cannot summon the courage even to fight for their international sisters yet enchained in the slavery of a codified patriarchal society. They stand on the shoulders of giants, suffragettes who fought for the international principle of human equality, only to stand at a bus shelter next a woman whose identity has been eradicated by a black shroud, and think to themselves how tolerant they are of differing cultures.

Indeed. Yet for all of the education of the pseudo-leftist feminists, who will not hesitate to tell you the underrepresentation of women in Parliament and the gender gap in income, they look to nations like Afghanistan and give a shrug that suggests we should allow Islamic fascism a chance at self-determination.

Ask an eight-year-old child whether women in the third world should have the same equal rights as women in the first world, and you’ll get an unequivocal answer. But ask a neo-feminist in Canada the same question, and be prepared to hear the non sequitur rants on George Bush, Stephen Harper, neoconservatism, neocolonialism, and the rest of the University-bred philosophizing that has dumbed down the common sense of supporting universal human rights universally.

Worse than the fact that these people unwittingly support the paradoxical concept of gender equality and a woman in a burqa, they have the unmitigated gall to bandy about the term “racist” for those who disagree with their shamefully relativist views. The very idea of calling somebody a racist because they don’t believe women should be dressed in black gowns and robbed of their innate individualism, is just about as intellectually bankrupt as it gets.

I have a little girl, whom I love more than anything in this world or beyond. I cannot fathom covering her face behind a veil that shuts her off from the outside world, because doing such a thing would annihilate her outward individuality, and relegate her to nothing more than an object, conformed by extremist religious dogma. I would hope that any parent would feel the same way.

The French won’t change the lyrics…

Posted July 14th, 2010 in International, Islam by MarkOttawa

…if they’re banning these:

A Muslim woman wearing the niqab poses during a meeting with Imam  Ali El Moujahed on May 18, 2010 in Montreuil, outside Paris.
A Muslim woman wearing the niqab poses during a meeting with Imam Ali El Moujahed on May 18, 2010 in Montreuil, outside Paris.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

In Tuesday’s vote at the National Assembly, there were 335 votes for the bill and just one against it…

The lyrics (and the tune, always chokes me up).  And here’s something you will not see in Ottawa on our national day–earlier.

Predate: In a former French protectorate

Mark
Ottawa

What’s Amazing Is That This Is Even A Debate

Posted June 9th, 2010 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

A simple question deserves a simple answer. Does an accused have the legal right to face his or her accuser in a court of law in Ontario? The answer is unequivocally yes.

The answer isn’t subject to approval based on whether the accuser believes there’s a man in the clouds who appointed a 7th Century shepherd to be his spokesperson. The answer is absolute, final, and definitive. When a person accuses you of a crime, you have the unfettered legal right to face that person.

So why is it that Ontario is now wasting untold bushels of cash having an appeal court adjudicate whether a lower court was in its legal rights to demand that a Muslim woman remove her niqab before testifying in court? Why has more than one second been spent analyzing this case?

A judge asked a Muslim woman to show her face because, as terrifyingly logical as it may sound, those are the rules, which were written for everyone. Not for everyone, except Muslims.

“Why are we getting all bent out of shape about this?” asked Mr. Justice David Doherty. “This isn’t about somebody coming into court saying: ‘I need to wear a bag over my head because of my religious beliefs.’

“I remember that when I was a lawyer, I had nuns testify and nobody said we should go and make them change,” Judge Doherty said. “And kids wear really baggy clothes now, don’t they?”

Simple question and answer time. Did the nuns and the kids with baggy clothes have their faces obscured so that their identity was in contention? No? Then please stay on topic, your honour.

At an inquiry last year, Provincial Court Judge Norris Weisman ordered a 32-year-old woman — who cannot be identified, making this doubly ridiculous — to remove her niqab so that defence counsel could assess her claims. The judge then expressed skepticism about the reason for her wearing of the niqab, and I don’t blame him. Who wouldn’t want to hide behind a face mask while testifying about a molestation case? Thousands of people before her have had to go before the courts, raise their head up high, and recall horrible abuses in front of the person or persons they are accusing.

So it’s entirely reasonable to suspect that her real motivations for hiding behind the niqab were based on the subject matter, rather than her devotion to Allah.

But in the end, all of this really has nothing to do with the fact that the laws were written for everybody. And they apply to everybody equally and blindly. If we bend the laws for certain kinds of people, it means that the law is not absolute. It is malleable and relativist and discriminatory. It says that all men are equal before the law, but some are more equal than others.

Lectured By An Islamist On The Virtues Of Freedom

Posted April 1st, 2010 in Canada, Islam by Adrian MacNair

Someone has somehow unearthed a rather obscure blog entry by the husband of “Naema”, the woman in Quebec who was twice expelled from a government-funded integration and language course for refusing to take off her black Niqab.

I’ve decided to clean up the language, primarily for ease of understanding, but also because we should focus on his ideas and not on what is obviously a second language for him. You can always read the original entry if you are so inclined.

Waleed Aboziad writes:

Which is preferable:

1. That the government try to enhance the quality of life for people by improving health services and the economy, especially after the financial crisis [in Quebec the wait for emergency care is 8 hours] ?

or

2. That the government make a law against the niqab or make any limitation on freedom?

This is what one might call a “false dichotomy”, in which the person attempts to show that there are only two mutually exclusive options, when in fact they are but two possibilities of many.

Actually, the health care issue in Quebec is a separate issue from the the prospect of banning the niqab from the public service [but not completely separate, as immigrants have no doubt contributed to the increased demand and burden on the system as reported by Mr.Aboziad].

A society is represented by a government that acts in the interests of people. Just as in Egypt, the government acts in the interests of the people to protect certain cultural traditions, norms, and the dominant religion, so too does Canada attempt to serve the the needs of the people here. A long time ago it was decided that Canada was going to avoid catering to just one concept of culture or religion, which is why we made our government secular and separate from religion. This is one reason why banning the niqab makes a lot of sense in the public service.

But perhaps more relevant and important to the discussion, is that “Naema” chose to join an integration class in Quebec in order to more properly adapt to life in Canada. Though our laws permit the wearing of the niqab, despite the rather unsettling association it has with gender apartheid and sexism, most Canadians find the garment to be a barrier that impedes communication, and ultimately the integration that is the purpose of the class. And since the funding of that class is provided for by the taxpayers of Quebec, it’s hardly a limitation of freedom to assign certain restrictions to the delivery of this free service.

Mr.Aboziad goes on to explain culture is a combination of values [such as freedom, respect, and human rights], language, history, and art. Since our clothes change every day, we can’t claim that the niqab is a cultural infringement.

I think the obvious answer to this is that within our value system respect is most certainly an important aspect of our culture. It is therefore disrespectful to wear the niqab while interacting in Canada, mainly because Canadians view women on an equal level to men. Because the niqab is a political symbol of the gender inequality in Islam, it is a barrier not only to communication, but to interaction and ultimately to integration. Nobody wants to approach a woman in a niqab, for the garment itself is a symbol of reproach to all but her husband.

How can one expect the taxpayers of Quebec to fund an integration class to a person who wears a garment that is symbolic of isolationism and non-integration?

A Human Rights Commission Gets One Right

Posted March 17th, 2010 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

Well, you knew it had to happen one day, right?

A Muslim woman in Quebec who wanted to maintain some traditions from her old country, such as wearing a great big black overdress that blocks out her identity entirely, wasn’t so finicky when it came to adopting our universal health care benefits. Unfortunately for her, in order to get our great big free health care card, the woman was asked to visually confirm her identity by showing her face and taking a photograph for her card.

Predictably, she refused.

So the case went to the Quebec Human Rights Commission, with the woman no doubt expecting it to roll over on the province, and affirm the right for Muslims to walk into a government office and apply for a health card without having to actually prove they are who they claim they are.

But somewhere along the way, an incredible thing happened. The Human Rights Commission, notorious for making such land-breaking decisions as affirming the human right for obese women to get a good parking space, or for ordering retroactive backpay to Iranian recruits who can’t make the cut as an RCMP officer, finally got one right.

The commission ordered that the niqab-clad universal-health-care-seeking woman must uncover her face to confirm her identity when applying for medicare. It also said that she does not have a right to be served by a woman when doing so. Any health care worker will do.

Among 146,000 applicants for health care photo ID last year, there were just 10 special requests from woman covering their faces. The request to uncover their faces does not infringe on their freedom of religion, since it only takes a few seconds, the commission ruled.

Unreasonable Accommodation In Quebec

Posted March 12th, 2010 in Canada by Adrian MacNair


Aislin/Montreal Gazette

A cartoon referred to as “controversial”, and the Islamic faith, are both back in the news together today, after the Montreal Gazette ran an editorial cartoon on the Muslim woman expelled from school for refusing to remove her niqab in class.

The cartoonist, Terry Mosher, who draws under the name Aislin, crafted a picture of a common niqab, but with prison bars and lock where the eyes would go. As far as cartoons go, it’s not particularly original, or offensive. A simple google images search for the word “burqa” turns up the niqab instead, with a digitally edited photograph of a woman looking through a veil of prison bars. The photo was commissioned by the International Society for Human Rights, which opposes third world gender apartheid for women.

The Egyptian-born immigrant, Naïma Atef Amed, has now twice been removed from provincially funded French language and integration classes for new immigrants after refusing to remove her niqab. The province has backed the wishes of school instructors who said that the niqab was making interaction impractical.

Ms.Amed has since spawned the obligatory provincial human rights complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission, an ironic move not lost on many women who say that religious freedom should not be used as an excuse to wear the symbols of gender oppression.

Several Islamic lobby groups and organizations expressed disapproval of the political cartoon today, saying that many women wear the Niqab because they believe it to be the truest expression of their faith. Islamic scholar and author, Tarek Fatah, is not convinced.

“You are free to support these ninjas and I will continue to expose this hideous symbol of Islamofascism,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

“The niqab is a symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood doctrine best expressed by the Saudis where an entire population is identified by their attire just as the red guards were under Mao’s China.”

Many people, like Mr.Fatah, believe that the burqa and niqab aren’t expressions of religiosity, but rather political symbols of political Islam. Indeed, he has written that the burqa is an imported and modern compulsion of Saudi Arabia’s strict Wahabbist interpretation of Islam. It is an interpretation that has been widely condemned by human rights observers the world over.

There’s nothing wrong with the editorial cartoon, which accurately symbolizes the voluntary imprisonment of individuality behind a black curtain of religious dogma. But if I were Mr.Mosher, I would purchase a panic room forthwith.

Pushing An Agenda? Niqab Woman Back In News.

Posted March 9th, 2010 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

The same Muslim woman who was banned from an “integration” class funded by the Quebec government for refusing to remove her Niqab, has been removed from another class for the same reason.

The immigrant from Egypt is launching a “human rights” complaint after provincial Immigration Department officials expelled her last fall from a government-sponsored language course after she refused to take off her niqab. The school had asked her first, citing problems of interacting in the classroom because of the face-covering.

I think most people will agree there is a sort of logical disconnect with a woman taking a cultural integration class, paid for by the taxpayers, and then refusing one of the most reasonable and basic requests to that integration.

Instructors in the community centre where the class was being offered said that they need to be able to look at the face of their students in order to correct their elocution and language pronunciation in class, which is of course impossible when one can only see the student’s eyes.

Apparently the student is, at times, amenable to reason. She removed her veil to have her student picture ID taken, and when speaking privately to a female teacher. After she refused to remove her veil, she was also offered the course online, but apparently did not take up the offer.

Even ordinarily sympathetic ears have said that Quebec has made a “reasonable attempt to accommodate her”, which means that a decision in favour of the immigrant is unlikely. But then again, this is the Quebec Human Rights Commission we’re talking about, an entity which has “evicted a mid-60s woman with a bum shoulder from her condo parking space and given the space instead to a 57-year-old woman who weighs 389 pounds.”