A Muslim group that opposes the introduction of Shari‘a, or Islamic law, in Canada, is urging the federal government to ban the wearing of the burqa in public, saying it “marginalizes women.”
In addition to the burqa, a garment that covers the entire body with only a mesh screen for the eyes, the Muslim Canadian Congress is also calling for a ban on the niqab, a veil covering head and the face that allows only a slit for the eyes.
The Toronto-based Muslim group says that the garments are not a requirement of Islam or the Qur’an. The suggested ban would not prohibit the hijab, a headscarf that is often worn by Muslim women.
“In Canada we recognize the equality of men and women,” said Farzana Hassan, a spokesperson for the MCC. “We want to recognize gender equality as an absolute. The burqa marginalizes women.”