Recently there have been a LOT of posts going around Facebook (which have led to a LOT of arguments between me and fellow face-bookers) spreading hate and intolerance of other cultures/religions. Let’s be real here:
It spreads hate against Muslims. It spreads the message that all Muslims are terrorists so we shouldn’t allow “them” to wear a burqa at times when we designate it may be a threat to our “safety” (airport security, taking the citizenship oath, out in pubic..). It spreads the message that we shouldn’t take in refugees because “they” *might* be “terrorists”.
It spreads the message that we will continue to ignore the fact that although more violence toward Canadians occurs by OTHER Canadians we will not consider ALL white men terrorists, but because a few radical Muslims have started some shit, all Muslims are therefore, terrorists.
I have heard tons of arguments either way. It’s ridiculous. Recently I have had several arguments specifically regarding the issue of the Burqa. The argument is: We need to ban the Burqa. Rationale? It varies.
- Because the Burqa is oppressive. Muslim men FORCE Muslim women to be their slaves and be covered head to toe against their will.
– Let’s unpack this because it is full of holes. First, not ALL Muslim men consider Muslim women “less than”. The ideas around this are changing every day. Saying ALL Muslim men mistreat their wives is like saying that ALL white men hit their wives. Some do. Some don’t. I also find it funny how many White, Canadian men are against this “mistreatment” of Muslim women but do nothing about living in a patriarchal society that puts them above women in the “importance hierarchy”.
Further, ask a Muslim Burqa-wearing woman why she wears it. There are many reasons. Not the least of which is because SHE WANTS TO. Because she was taught that wearing a Burqa= dressing conservatively. Banning a Burqa is akin to banning pants and turtlenecks for Canadian women. Really unfair.
Banning the Burqa also oppresses Muslim women. You are taking away their CHOICE. Instead of saying that Muslim women can wear what they want when they come to Canada, you are saying that they can only wear the clothing that makes us more comfortable.. even if it means they feel exposed, vulnerable, and embarrassed by their dress.
- It’s a safety issue.
– Because you cannot see their faces, women in Burqas could be anyone. Literally anyone! Nevermind the fact that my drivers license photo looks completely different from my passport photo which looks different from my current look… I mean, I could be *gasp* anyone… In a society where we dye our hair, get colour contacts, and undergo plastic surgery, seeing someones “face” does not = security.
More than that, please cite me one example of a terrorist coming to this country dressed as a Muslim woman in a Burqa, and performed an act of terror.. Seeing a person’s face will NOT stop them from terrorist actions if that is the path they are travelling on. Likewise, not seeing someone’s face will not make them a terrorist.
- It is disrespectful to Canadian values.
– BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Okay, now that I am finished laughing… let’s look for a second at Canadian Values as stated in the Magna Carta (The Great Charter of Freedoms)
- Freedom of conscience and religion;
-Translation: You get to believe in any religion you want, and it upholds Canadian values!
- Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of speech and of the press;
-Translation: You can have any belief or opinion you want, and still uphold Canadian values!
- Freedom of peaceful assembly; and
- Freedom of association.
-Translation: You can associate with whomever you want and still uphold Canadian values!
- Mobility Rights — Canadians can live and work anywhere they choose in Canada, enter and leave the country freely, and apply for a passport.
- Aboriginal Peoples’ Rights — The rights guaranteed in the Charter will not adversely affect any treaty or other rights or freedoms of Aboriginal peoples.
- Official Language Rights and Minority Language Educational Rights — French and English have equal status in Parliament and throughout the government.
- Multiculturalism — A fundamental characteristic of the Canadian heritage and identity. Canadians celebrate the gift of one another’s presence and work hard to respect pluralism and live in harmony.
-Let’s highlight this one because it is very relevant. This days that a fundamental Canadian value is to respect other cultures and live in harmony with them. What this doesn’t say is that we are to assimilate them, ban parts of their culture or religion, or impose our lifestyle onto them.
There is also this piece to being a citizen:
In Canada, rights come with responsibilities. These include:
- Obeying the law — One of Canada’s founding principles is the rule of law. Individuals and governments are regulated by laws and not by arbitrary actions. No person or group is above the law.
- Taking responsibility for oneself and one’s family — Getting a job, taking care of one’s family and working hard in keeping with one’s abilities are important Canadian values. Work contributes to personal dignity and self-respect, and to Canada’s prosperity.
- Serving on a jury — When called to do so, you are legally required to serve. Serving on a jury is a privilege that makes the justice system work as it depends on impartial juries made up of citizens.
- Voting in elections — The right to vote comes with a responsibility to vote in federal, provincial or territorial and local elections.
- Helping others in the community — Millions of volunteers freely donate their time to help others without pay—helping people in need, assisting at your child’s school, volunteering at a food bank or other charity, or encouraging newcomers to integrate. Volunteering is an excellent way to gain useful skills and develop friends and contacts.
- Protecting and enjoying our heritage and environment — Every citizen has a role to play in avoiding waste and pollution while protecting Canada’s natural, cultural and architectural heritage for future generations.
Nowhere in here do I read anything about dress.
Maybe more “Canadians” should uphold Canadian values and stop trying to tell other people how to be more “Canadian”.Just sayin’.
- Freedom of conscience and religion;