A day ago, The Winnipeg Sun carried a front page photo of a Muslim woman wearing one of those face coverings they call Nijabs. The Headline read, “ABOUT FACE”, and the article basically dealt with how Muslim women who wear these veils would have to remove them in order to get their citizenship photos. It’s a security measure.
In today’s paper, a Muslim preacher (Imam) equated women, having to remove their veils with Hitler’s abuse of Jews during the Holocaust! The NERVE! First off, it’s not like these women are being strip-searched! They are asked to remove a veil temporarily. Second, Islamic hatred of Israel and Jews makes such a comparison tragically ironic, at the very least, as many practicing Muslims were raised with a hatred of Israel and its people and would do no better than Hitler did! And third, to refuse to do so (remove the veil) would have denied any Muslim woman citizenship. Period. It’s not like these women would be herded into death camps, fed on next to nothing, while waiting for death by gassing! As well, coming to Canada was by CHOICE. It’s not like Muslim women were rounded up into planes and forced to come here! The whole idea, behind the immigration to Canada had to do with FREEDOM. And that’s all well and good. On that same subject however, there is NO SUCH THING as ABSOLUTE FREEDOM. Never has been. You can’t yell, “FIRE”, in a public place, without being seriously fined for causing a riot. And, because of the events of September 11th, extra precautions are the rule, all round. For example, just to fly to a place in the same province I live in now (but further North) I need to get photo I.D. Fair enough. I’m not terribly photogenic, so I’m looking forward to it with all the enthusiasm of a blood test! Still, it’s the law and I’ll abide by it.
And that’s another point! When someone moves to a new country, they have to abide by the rules of that country. If I were to move to a country where Islamic rule was the law of the land (by the way, that will NEVER happen!) but for the sake of discussion, here, let’s imagine it COULD happen. In such a country, casual dress like jeans and a t-shirt (especially for WOMEN) would not be permitted in public. Not sure about private, but I doubt it. Again, my point is, if I were to move to a Islamic country, I would have to respect and abide by their laws. So how come some Muslims think they can come to Canada and still play by their own rules? Sorry, Achmed, it doesn’t work that way here!
In B.C. I think it is, (though I could be wrong about the place) a man, his son and his second wife are on trial for killing the man’s two daughters and first wife because they would not submit to the wearing of the Muslim face veil (Nijab) . The girls, at least, wanted to live as other teenagers, and they were both of the age where they had that right, under CANADIAN law. As I understand it, the two girls and their mother were found in a car that was submerged in a canal or lake. The father is protesting his innocence, but it’s more than a bit of a coincidence that three people who did not want to submit to Islamic rule in Canada, wound up dead in a car. Could it have been a coincidence? Anything’s possible, but I’m doubting it, somehow.
For the record, I have a minor measure of sympathy for the father, who feared his girls would become ‘loose’ , wearing clothes that girls their age were known for. I see enough of it to understand where he’s coming from, to a degree, anyway! But to dislike what kids are wearing and to kill your own kids simply because of it! It’s not natural! My parents didn’t like what my sisters wore to school, but if they’d reacted the same way this man and his son (possibly) did, I would be out two sisters. Of course, my sisters did what most teens did, then and now….they brought a change of clothes to school and wore what they wanted then. Then again, were weren’t raised in a strict Muslim home. I say STRICT because I had a Muslim friend, back in the 80’s, when I was part of a Canadian student program. We went to three different provinces in 9 months, and during one change over, we went to Toronto, where I met my friend’s dad, who was a doctor. He was quite nice and bought me an orange Juice, as I had a cold. In other words, the stories I’m sharing are NOT indicative of ALL Muslims. Matter of fact, I’m guessing (HOPING) that more Muslim families in Canada are like Fah’s, with all the aggravations we all have, but settled in a rational manner.
Anywho, back to my original story, when someone moves to a new country, there is a certain level of adapting that has to take place, and if the potential citizens of this new country are not prepared to adapt to those changes, then they should have been better prepared before hand. The matter of temporarily removing the veil for citizenship photos does NOT turn Immigration Canada into a Nazi death Camp! Far from it! My guess is that the requirements of the country they left were WAY more stringent. So much so that they came to Canada for some breathing space. Leastwise, that’s what I’m assuming, for the sake of giving the benefit of the doubt.
My other dilemma over this Nijab controversy is more out of confusion than anything else! For starters, I don’t even know WHY these women wear this thing. Is it an option for them, or a requirement. And if so, WHOSE requirement? Is it in the Qu’ran, or has the Qu’ran been misapplied for the sake of giving some macho jerks the upper hand? Hey, the same is done with the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13, I believe it is, there is a verse that says, ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands….” Problem comes in when the rest of the text isn’t read or it’s just ignored. Because the next verse says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her….” Those who ignore the second part of the verse use the part about submission of wives, to husbands as carte blanche to do what they want and get away with it. NOT! Those who abuse their wives on the basis of ‘submission’ will be very sorry one day. I can’t help but wonder if Muslim men aren’t pulling the same game with this whole Nijab thing! On the other hand, what does Allah have against women? If, (for the sake of discussion) Allah is God, then shouldn’t He LOVE his creation rather than try to hide one part of it? Does the Qu’ran have a LOVE chapter?
The reason I’m asking is because that whole face covering thing just seems so…..demeaning. There’s no room for individuality. Apart from height and weight, the full body dress, from the head to the feet, gives no place to anything really personal, aside from color. I mean, the whole point of coming to Canada, as I mentioned earlier, had to do with freedom. But what kind of freedom is there to be had, locked inside a fabric prison? There IS room for modesty in dress without covering oneself from head to toe, literally! If this Nijab thing is being imposed, then surely there is a way out of it. Isn’t there? Or is there fear of ending up dead unless that rule is obeyed?
If, on the other hand, you wear this Nijab voluntarily, may I ask one question? WHY??!??!
Another thought just occurred to me. One more terrifying than the plight of those who feel they may have no choice. What IF Canada is being used as a testing ground? Forcing change, little by little. Like the frog in the pot, who adapted to the gradual changes in temperature until he became frog soup. Is this Nijab issue simply for Muslim women, or is this a way of finding out how much Canadian law will tolerate, until we wake up one day and the rest of the country, Non Muslim women included, are dressed from head to toe. You have to admit, the whole Nazi comparison had to make a few people wince. Of course! Who wants to believe they’re so cold blooded as ol Adolf, but using such a scale for a case like this, is, in itself, OFF BALANCE. I applaud those with the gumption to stand up and say, “You wanna live in our country, you live by our rules.” Because the minute we lose that courage, we’ll lose our country.