March 21, 2015

"Non-Muslim liberals don't get it," says Muslim activist who wants to ban niqab

Marissa SemkiwArchive

Muslim activist Athar Khan and broadcaster John Downs joined me for a lively debate about the Muslim niqab.

Khan says this controversial head covering is not Islamic but was imposed on the religion.

"Non-Muslim liberals don't get it," he says. "This is part of a broader campaign" to introduce sharia to Canada.

He wants the niqab banned outright.

Broadcaster John Downs disagrees, saying it isn't up to Prime Minister Stephen Harper (or anyone else) to impose their opinions about the niqab on the rest of Canada.

It's a debate you'll want to keep going in the comments.

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commented 2015-03-22 09:25:25 -0400
What’s next, the politically-correct crowd stepping up to appeal for a Muslim woman be allowed to wear a niqab for a driver’s license photo?
Not surprisingly, her case was taken up by the ACLU – the American Communist Lawyers Union; oops, the American Civil Liberties Union.
commented 2015-03-22 09:12:54 -0400
Marissa…we need another interview in which the Muslim, Khan, gets a chance to explain his views. Downs talked over him the whole time and made me sad he was there at all. He added nothing and silenced Athar’s voice. Please let us have another interview…without Downs.
commented 2015-03-22 08:33:24 -0400
Nice to see and hear from this young man again. He has much to add to the discussions regarding Islam. As for John Downs what can I say " a useful idiot" perhaps. A simple rule regarding citizenship and oath blown all out of proportion by Harper haters.
commented 2015-03-22 08:11:41 -0400
Just out of curiosity, are Muslin women allowed to have their faces covered when boarding an airplane in Canada? Or when checking-in at the airport or going through airport security? Are they allowed to go into a bank and make transactions with a teller while their faces are covered? Just curious.
commented 2015-03-22 05:29:59 -0400
Athar! You’re very courageous for telling the truth, thank you. I agree the niqab and burka should be banned in Canada. They can wear it inside their homes and mosques, but not out in public or while driving.
commented 2015-03-22 05:05:07 -0400
John Downs is an asshole The fact that I am actually agreeing with the “Muslim” guy over him proves this.
commented 2015-03-22 03:38:15 -0400
Hey, John Downs. Commendable job as devil’s advocate.

A dirty job and all that.

Thanks. I loves a good fight, I does!
commented 2015-03-21 23:12:32 -0400
The wearing of face coverings, such as the BURKA, NIQAB, or HIJAB, is not commanded in THE QURAN. It is a cultural abnormality, which must not be forced on us here in the west. When a Muslim comes here they leave their cultural laws and ideals behind and they adopt the laws and cultures of their adoptive country. If they do not want to do this then they don’t need to come here because we do not want to be overthrown or taken over by their garbage.
commented 2015-03-21 23:00:40 -0400
It is outrageous that in 2015 we are having this discussion ; plus if Muslims demanded homosexuals to be covered up would we still have this conversation. I believe not which only shows how sexists liberal men are
This proud gay man for Harper.
commented 2015-03-21 22:21:15 -0400
this young feller should go around with haper on his campaign and debunk the liberals and the ndp.
commented 2015-03-21 22:20:36 -0400
what does he not get you have to show your face when you get your picture for your citizen ship or someone else could be in a naqb and pretend they are that person.
commented 2015-03-21 22:19:15 -0400
Where I, an alleged ‘white’ Canadian can legally wear a mask, so should muslims be allowed to wear their disguise. Having said that, If we want to change the law so that nobody is allowed to wear a mask in public, so be it and count me in. As the niqab is not a religious artifact and is in fact a symbol of the world wide abuse of women, it should and must be banned. To do less is to, defacto, add the official approval of our country to all muslim abuses of women.
commented 2015-03-21 21:50:06 -0400
John Downs is making light of an issue which I think that today is becoming more of a security issue. As I had posted re another niqab story, who the heck is behind that face covering? Sooner or later someone, be it a terrorist (they do exist John) or a robber, etc will use this as a disguise to commit a crime. But, what else would I expect from John Downs, another liberal who thinks that conservatives are all fear mongers & everything is honky dory. I agree with Athar, a Muslim no less that there should be a total ban of the niqab. This is not infringing on their religious rights as it is not part of Islam.
commented 2015-03-21 20:12:08 -0400
So good to see a Muslim Canadian man like Athar Khan sticking up for Canadian principles and values and John Downs making an complete ass out of himself.

Good job, Athar – you are a good man.
commented 2015-03-21 20:12:02 -0400
the only way these liberals will get it is if they are destroyed in the polls over this issue
commented 2015-03-21 20:06:55 -0400
My impression is that John Down’s opinion is motivated more by anti Harper partisanship than human rights
commented 2015-03-21 20:01:46 -0400
“The debate about the niqab is raging on Parliament Hill”. Really? Enough already! C’mon, while Rome burns, our self-appointed, non-Muslim ‘progressive’ arbitrators of what constitutes appropriate women’s dress are fiddling on a niqab.
commented 2015-03-21 19:34:22 -0400
Hiding One’s face is a matter of domestic and national Security. Harper is right, Ban the burqua.
commented 2015-03-21 19:28:33 -0400
Downs is an idiot. No one should be able to hide their face in the citizenship ceremony. Also in banks etc!
commented 2015-03-21 18:44:54 -0400
Perhaps the government should not have the power to ban face coverings but we have as individuals lost our freedoms to PC lawfare. The Store owner, or jewelery store, or bank can demand that the “hoodie” be removed as necessary for their security…but…try that with the bag lady and be in legal trouble. Canadians are in trouble. This slope is beyond slippery
commented 2015-03-21 18:34:31 -0400
I found the debate totally offensive to the very concept of an INTELLIGENT debate. Except for Athar Kan, who tried to be focused and stick to the major point of the ’ thesis’, that self described broadcaster, was a total wash out in his argument and relevance of examples he brought into play. Frankly, while Athar was sticking to FACTS and HISTORICAL perspective to show and demonstrate ( and he IS A MUSLIM) that the niqab more than being either religious or cultural is really ’ ideological and political (theocracy) in nature …the Johns’ of this ’ liberal niwitdom" kept on talking about RIGHTS..without specifying that even RIGHTS have their own limitations and moral equivalency. The ‘niqab" maybe a right in private, for personal or religious purposes, but certainly it is not a RIGHT in a public forum, especially government, courts, schools, etc. which have established conventions of conduct based on cultural traditions (citizenship) and security. Just because I have ’rights’ that does not mean that I can ‘shout’ fire in a crowded movie-theater….or that , if you have a right to cover your face, I also should have a right to attend a citizenship ceremony in total NAKEDNESS, except for the ubiquitous, fig leaf, covering my genitals as a sign of modesty !!!
commented 2015-03-21 18:25:38 -0400
John Downs, mocking Athar Khan did not help make your point.
commented 2015-03-21 18:23:01 -0400
If it is okay for the niqab to be worn when swearing the oath of Canadian citizenship, then I suspect it should be okay to wear a niqab when having your picture taken when applying for a Canadian passport or any picture ID.
commented 2015-03-21 18:22:18 -0400
@richard Wakefield – “Under Islamic Shariah Law women are property of men. Under Shariah Law they can force marriage girls as young as 10.” – Actually no, it is much worse than that! According to Islam a girl of 8 years 9 months is acceptable to be married!!!! I don’t know exactly how that works but it has something to do with the Muslim Calendar and the youngest child bride taken by Muhammad. In my personal opinion it is religion propagated pedophilia.
In the Iran there is a serious problem where parents sell/“marry” female children to men who abuse them until they want another “wife”, then divorce them [toss them out on the street, if they are “lucky”] and get another. Those girls are now “Haram” [unclean/sinners] and are considered “worthless” and often will not be accepted back by their family. These girls have little choice but to become prostitutes or starve. In many cases the girls can only get a job if they become their bosses “mistress”.
There is a lot of truly sick and evil people and I do not want to allow any one to encourage them to carry on that disgusting behavior in Canada. People like John do so by encouraging those extreme views by Islamist who wish to spread Sharia across the globe so they can carry on their depraved actions everywhere. I have some good friends who are moderate Muslims and I completely agree with them on these issues.
commented 2015-03-21 18:13:00 -0400
reason’s for wearing or not wearing a niqab
1…She’s so ugly she has to wear a niqab to go out in public.
2…She goes into a store takes out a baseball bat hits the merchant steels his money and leaves. The police are called and they round up 10 niqab wearing woman ( ? ) take them for a line up. Tstore owner looks them up and down and says to the police sorry I can’t identify my attacker they all look the same. So the guy who is wearing the niqab goes free THE STORE OWNER GOES BANKRUPT
commented 2015-03-21 18:12:16 -0400
I believe women should have the right to wear the niqab, because everyone has the right to be stupid. If they didn’t, liberals would never get elected! However, all choices have consequences! Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in blood transfusions or breathalyzers. They should have the right to refuse both (for themselves… not for their children). However, the state also must have the right to charge them with refusing to take a breathalyzer, just like they would with anyone else. If women have the right to wear the niqab, the rest of society must have the right to treat them as they would anyone else openly concealing their identity. Banks and stores must have right to refuse them service; Provincial Governments must have the right to refuse them driver’s licenses, Hospitals must have the right to refuse them medical treatment without first removing their face covering, and especially in court proceedings and citizenship ceremonies, they must absolutely be required to identify themselves. You want to wear the niqab? Fine, that’s your right… but if you voluntarily cut yourself off from Canadian society, then that society has no obligation to make special accommodations for you. And let’s be honest, you don’t really consider yourself to be a part of Canadian society anyway, so what’s the problem? By the way, with my apologies to those in the who consider him a friend, I’ve always considered John Downs to be a pompous, arrogant liberal ass who is overly impressed with his own intelligence, starting back in his days on Sun News. I’m not disputing his right to hold the views he espouses, nor am I questioning his legitimacy as a commentator on this site, but my opinion of him still holds. Sorry, just my opinion!
commented 2015-03-21 17:57:12 -0400
John wants an example of how a Burqa can be a security problem.
1) The man who recently dressed in a Burqa to go kill his wife who had escaped his “custody” and was divorcing him.
2) ISIS soldiers dressing in Burqa in an attempt to sneak away when over run.
3) Other cases when men or women used a Burqa to conceal weapons used in Terrorist attacks in the Middle East and Africa.
In addition to those things;
How can driving while wearing a Burqa or Niqab be safe due to the obstructed view?
If someone does get into an accident and is seen fleeing the scene, how does the witness identify them?
People like John ARE THE REASON we are having problems with EMPOWERED ISLAMIST EXTREMISTS in Canada and if people like him get THEIR WAY we will all be living under Sharia within a few decades.
commented 2015-03-21 17:36:29 -0400
If it is okay for the niqab to be worn during the citizenship ceremony, then it is okay for me to enter my bank with my face covered and ask for my OWN MONEY from a teller. It is okay for anyone totally covered from head to toe to enter the LCBO to purchase liquor. As David Menzies proved when he was working with SNN, a 14 year old boy went into 3 LCBO outlets and came out with a bottle of liquor each time. This boy was NOT ASKED for ID, was NOT ASKED to SHOW his FACE at any of the outlets. Is this what we want in Canada? If Muslims can cover their face, ALL CANADIANS can COVER THEIR FACE. This would save a hell of a lot of money on security issues – let’s just have a totally open society where you can do what the hell you want. So if some people lose their lives because of this totally covering your body – no big deal eh John Downs and the rest of the Left Wing fools.
commented 2015-03-21 17:27:55 -0400
No John! There is no RIGHT to wear any particular garb! There is NO SUCH RIGHT! You think you know more than a REAL MUSLIM who actually studied it! You GOOF!