September 25, 2015

Here's an easy way to spot a pro-niqab hypocrite: Mention the Hutterites

Brian LilleyArchive

In 2003, citing security concerns, new government regulations were brought in regarding photo identification.

The move changed an existing law that did not require everyone to have photo ID.

A small religious minority group asked for an exemption, they claimed having their picture taken and the ID card created would violate their strongly held religious beliefs and be a violation of their Charter right to freedom of religion.

The government denied the request, so the religious minority group challenged the new rule in court. They won, then they won on appeal.

That didn’t matter to the government. They had what they believed were valid security reasons to impose this new rule, so they appealed to the Supreme Court and won.

The court said the new regulations did violate the religious freedom guarantee of the Charter -- but that it was a minimal impairment of the right.

That ruling came down in 2009. Did you hear much about it?

From 2003 to 2009, did you hear progressive politicians tripping over themselves to stand up for this threatened religious minority?

Did you hear media commentators call those that wanted to impose this restriction on the religious minority "bigots"?

No, of course you didn’t. Because the small religious minority group were Christians, members of a sect called the Hutterite Brethren. The government in question was the Alberta government, concerned about the security of their driver’s licence system and identity theft in a post-9/11 world.

I bring this up in the context of the niqab debate because I think Alberta V. Hutterian Brethern of Wilson Colony stands as an indication that the Supreme Court has already ruled on this.

There is a valid security concern about who is taking the oath of citizenship. In Canada, we have always taken oaths and sworn testimony with faces uncovered. There were no rules because none were needed. It was expected and it was how we operated.

Now some Muslim women want to take the oath with their faces covered. They claim not to do so is a violation of their religious freedom.

Some argue that the niqab and the more extreme burka are not Islamic, but let’s grant for the sake of argument that they are. Is it a heavy burden for these women to show their face while swearing an oath? No, it happens for a few moments, that is all. The Hutterite Brethren have to have a permanent photo, a constant violation of their faith, or give up driving. The court still called it a minimal impairment.

I agree.

I could also point out that any of these women taking part in the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca that has just wrapped up, would not be allowed to do so with their faces covered.

But let’s stay with Canadian examples.

Supporters, often liberals and feminists, love to point out that this shouldn’t matter because there are really only a few women that dress like this. First off, those people should get out of their leafy, less than diverse enclaves more often; this is a growing trend.

Secondly, that same argument could have been made and likely was made for the Hutterite Brethren. It didn’t hold.

Now truth be told, despite what politicians like Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau will tell you, this case being appealed on the niqab was not decided on Charter grounds; it was all about judicial discretion.

That is an easy change to the law and that law should be changed.

Once that happens, though, there will be a Charter challenge and the arguments we hear now will come out again.

I will leave you with this though.

If you did not stick up for the Hutterites, or won’t call for their exemption from the driver’s license law now, then you really shouldn’t call anyone opposed to the niqab a bigot.


Judges say Muslim women can wear burqas while pledging Canadian citizenship.
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commented 2015-10-18 16:04:52 -0400
Still flogging a dead horse. If you really cared you would demand that all Canadians be ordered to swear an oath to one of the first nation bands. They are the first Canadians and we who came later should assimalate with them.
commented 2015-10-12 23:30:49 -0400
That stuff with the Hutterites doesn’t make it easier for criminals to commit crimes and avoid capture, but a niqab does. They can walk into a bank (or school) armed to the teeth under a niqab and not raise suspicion until it is too late, and security camera footage won’t be any help. Wanted by the police? Toss on a niqab and you don’t have to fear being recognized. There is no way to limit the use of a niqab to nice Muslim women. There is no right to put the lives and property of others at risk, not even in the name of religious freedom.
commented 2015-10-08 22:48:50 -0400
In a world of corruption and deception, we ask pple to SOLEMNLY swear they are who they say they are ….what a procrastination of responsibility …..
commented 2015-10-08 20:38:29 -0400
Pazit Smillie – The wearing of the niqab has absolutely nothing to do with Religion. It has everything to do with certain cultures.
commented 2015-10-08 18:56:22 -0400
I cannot get the sign our petition link to work
Tried with three different browsers
Can anyone send me a different link or provide another option
Thank you
commented 2015-10-08 13:01:25 -0400
Why can’t they take off the niqab and pledge the oath in a “women only” room? It seems to me that it would not violate their religion or overstep the rights of the government. Just a thought.
commented 2015-10-07 20:58:15 -0400
One way to let our Canadian voices to be heard on the niqab issue…..let’s hold a referendum! Let’s see how many Canadians will vote to allow the niqab or any face covering to be worn during the Citizenship ceremony!
My opinion on this whole mess….. Assimilate to our culture or go to Saudi Arabia where wearing the niqab is accepted! We shouldn’t have to change our culture for anyone else’s preferences of clothing attire!
commented 2015-09-28 20:15:49 -0400
Religion has simply become a legal and political loophole. We really got suckered into that one.
commented 2015-09-28 12:20:41 -0400
Dave, that question is answered in the thread.
commented 2015-09-28 11:06:33 -0400
“Judges say Muslim women can wear burqas while pledging Canadian citizenship "
What happened to the separation of religion and state.
If people are allowed to wear burqas when being sworn in to citizenship how do we know who is being sworn in?
commented 2015-09-28 08:30:28 -0400
Only white people are bigots and racist! No other culture is racist or bigoted. Because of this white Liberal guilt and therefore their own biases, we find our culture and rules and yes, even our safety at risk! I was raised to believe that multiculturalism was a good thing, it would bring other cultures into ours and we could all live in harmony. That explanation didn’t wash with me. I said to my parents at the time, why did they come here if they want their culture and way of lifestyle choices that are different? They had that life where they came from. Fast forward 20 something years now and I was proven to be right! They don’t come here to live as Canadians and enjoy the culture of this country. They come here, not all but some definitely, come here to change our ways to suit them. This is a free country and I want it to stay that way, but apart of being a free country, you are free to leave and take that culture with you. But to demand that culture takes precedence over ours is just plan wrong! Don’t like our way of life, your free to leave!!!!!
commented 2015-09-28 08:00:56 -0400
“The Sikhs have already taken away our mounties.”
Good God, man.
Before that, the damned Liberals “took away” “our” two dollar bill.
And before that, “our” flag.
And someone went and changed the words to the National Anthem.
And now I hear they’re letting women vote. What next? NATIVES? The DARKIES?
So when exactly did you turn into a toothless old codger, gumming your pilot biscuit and spitting into the pot bellied stove?
Man up, for heaven’s sake, and have a little faith in our culture. I do.
commented 2015-09-28 06:28:47 -0400
“there are a few that want to round up all Muslims and deport them. I think the impression in your mind is largely exaggerated.”
No, it’s not. Although the folks urging this Semi-Final solution included two posters for whom I previously had quite a bit of respect, I don’t assume their attitude is widespread.
And as I said to Token, I’m tired of repeating myself responding to the same points again and again. No offense, but I do GET it. I don’t agree.
commented 2015-09-28 06:25:04 -0400
Token: thanks of an elegant summary of the lengthy and interesting discussion that preceded it. Since I’ve already responded to every actual point you raised, I think, I’ll just refer you back to the thread.
commented 2015-09-28 02:04:21 -0400
@terryrudden As much as I agree there are a few that want to round up all Muslims and deport them. I think the impression in your mind is largely exaggerated. Generally I think most Canadians are very welcoming of other cultures and races again with the exception of the few and they are usually the most vocal. I do think many Canadians look around the world and see Muslims in conflict in virtually every area they inhabit combined with the historical fact that many countries which were once Christian in the middle east are now under Muslim control and it seems very few of them can be managed without brutal dictator and are deeply internally divided. So it is entirely reasonable for host countries of immigrant and refugees to have concerns about what are your intentions coming here? It only adds to the concern when people who are not yet citizens expect to be treated differently than everyone else and they have no problems removing their face and mouth covering in other circumstances convenient to them insist it is their right when swearing an oath with others. As I mentioned earlier the purpose of the Niqab is to avoid mischief between the women wearing them and men who are available for marriage. That doesn’t seem likely at a citizenship ceremony. My personal opinion is many Muslims just want to work and raise a family like everyone else however I also believe they get stoked by radicals who left unchecked will exert enormous amounts of pressure nominal believers to be more active.
commented 2015-09-27 22:18:47 -0400
Wow, it’s the Terry Rudden Show! Here’s my contribution: Terry, the problem is creeping sharia. Maybe what you don’t really get is that this outrage isn’t really islamophobia. It doesn’t have to be strictly a muslim issue, it could just as easily been a Pastafarian, or Satanist, or whatever. What was once a proud uniquely Canadian tradition, now becomes a not-so-unique multi-cultural tradition, with an asterisk. We’re allowed to be proud to have Canadian traditions, aren’t we? We’re allowed to say that those traditions that are unique to us, as Canadians, should stay as such, aren’t we? We’re allowed to resist, to a certain extent anyways, efforts by those who aren’t Canadian to change such traditions, to accommodate foreign traditions, aren’t we? The Sikhs have already taken away our mounties, can we at least call our citizenship ceremony our own, or do we have to endlessly accommodate every little tradition, from every different culture, lest we offend? This is why right wingers come across as patriotic, and left wingers seem traitorous. Is there not one, single thing in Canada that’s Canadian? I say if there is one, single thing in our country that’s ours, and ours alone, it must be the ceremony that makes us, us. I’d like it if there was at least that one, single thing that we didn’t feel the need to apologize for, to anyone, from anywhere. But Terry would rather that one single thing be that need to apologize. As others have pointed out here, the accommodation isn’t religious, it’s cultural. But our focus is on their culture. It should instead be on our own.
commented 2015-09-27 22:05:11 -0400
Liza, I’ve carefully removed the angry froth and drivel from your post in order to respond to any substantive or thoughtful points you raised. Here’s what was left:
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Have a great week. Ciao for now.
commented 2015-09-27 22:00:09 -0400
Rick, sorry, you’re just being silly. Theft is theft under the criminal code, and you bloody well know it.
commented 2015-09-27 19:07:14 -0400
The left live in la,la land. This laissez faire attitude is really insulting to the majority. The left can argue that point all they want, if there were a referendum on it today, it would show that Canadians stand behind full visual identity when giving oaths, or having ID photo’s etc.. that is, if our pop. ratio isn’t over-run with one group already.

It is so typical of the left to steal issues from other groups to serve their purposes, in this case saying that feminists support the wearing of the Burka and Niqab. Oh no sorry, I mean they support any woman’s freedom to choose what she wears and when, What a crock!
Speaking of weak, borderline ridiculous. Considering how hypocritical it is. There is no freedom involved, the niqab and bee keeper suit are shackles, and if you support them you are for keeping women down.
commented 2015-09-27 18:21:50 -0400
Terry Rudden said: “Not quite.” Too true! In my life’s journey, I have experienced and witnessed things that would make most people’s hair stand on end! I do not regret any of it, as I believe it has made me a stronger person less susceptible to a lot of the BS that seems so prevalent these days. Fun chatting with you Terry. Let me know when you go wreck diving again, and I’ll see if I can come up with some interesting trivia.
commented 2015-09-27 18:14:50 -0400
Terry Rudden said: “Oh, sorry. I wasn’t connecting the two thoughts. My mistake. That would be called “theft”, I believe.” Hmm….., Terry, thanks for the response. Theft presumes ownership. When Pierre Elliot Trudeau brought to Canada the Constitution, the concept of personal property ownership was (some would say deliberately) left out for Canadians’ in tune with PET’s Communist/Socialist leanings. The result is Canadians can only “own” property at the leisure of Government supported by some elements of custom, past practices, and what is referred to as Common Law. However personal property ownership is not an absolute. So, taking your premise of a non citizen being able to dictate according to their “religious beliefs” to it’s logical? conclusion, someone cannot be accused of “stealing” what is not yours to begin with! That said, also following your premise, I should be able to do what I have indicated according to my “religious beliefs” because you believe my rights as a non citizen trump that of a regular Canadian Citizen! The Government will not care as long as the appropriate taxes are being paid!
commented 2015-09-27 18:03:43 -0400
“Ah, the wonders of a sheltered life that this nation can provide!”
Not quite.
commented 2015-09-27 17:43:05 -0400
" So a non citizen can trump the will of the Canadian people because they disagree with it?"
LOL. Yes, an applicant for citizenship can ignore an opinion poll on a matter not covered by law. You sure make it sound a lot more dramatic, though.
“I stated if I held a religious belief that as a non citizen that I could seize your property according to my belief, You disagreed with that saying it is contrary to Canadian Law. What law is that?”
Oh, sorry. I wasn’t connecting the two thoughts. My mistake. That would be called “theft”, I believe.
commented 2015-09-27 17:39:20 -0400
Terry Rudden said: “Thanks for the clarification, BZ. Sorry, my own life’s experiences haven’t led me to that conclusion.” Ah, the wonders of a sheltered life that this nation can provide! I too have travelled somewhat similar to BZ and understand precisely what is expressed! Paranoia notwithstanding, it never hurts to be wary or “ask the questions” everyone else is afraid to!
commented 2015-09-27 17:34:45 -0400
Terry Rudden said: “I believe applicant for citizenship can disagree with a public opinion poll says, and act according to the law.” So a non citizen can trump the will of the Canadian people because they disagree with it? We are talking about a non citizen……they get to choose what they want, and Canadians can go pound sand? For the record, a non citizen cannot claim access to our laws. If such were the case, any aggressor would use it to their advantage, and IMO had this been prevalent in the mid 20th century, we would all be goose stepping and speaking German now! As for my question, let me make it super simple. I stated if I held a religious belief that as a non citizen that I could seize your property according to my belief, You disagreed with that saying it is contrary to Canadian Law. What law is that?
commented 2015-09-27 17:23:48 -0400
“So you believe a non citizen should be telling the Canadian public what to think or have an opinion on?”
No, not at all. I believe applicant for citizenship can disagree with a public opinion poll says, and act according to the law.
commented 2015-09-27 17:20:56 -0400
Thanks for the clarification, BZ. Sorry, my own life’s experiences haven’t led me to that conclusion.
commented 2015-09-27 17:19:34 -0400
“Terry. I’ll repeat. " Your religious belief conflicts with Canadian law: Canadian law wins.” Terry. Which law is this?"
I’m not sure what you’re asking. Canadian civil and criminal law trump religious beliefs, as I said. When someone accepts Canadian Citizenship, they agree to be bound by the rule of law, which in some cases means refraining from a practice sanctioned by their religion. Is that clear?
““I haven’t read that report, but it doesn’t really impact on my view that the woman should be free to wear what she wants to wear.” Confirming your belief a non-citizen should be telling Canadians to bend to their will…..because?”
I think I have answered this one. I believe in governance by law, not public opinion poll. When a person is directed by law to do something, I expect them to adhere to the law. I don’t demand that they follow a poll to define their behaviour, and I find self proclaimed “conservatives” who do insist that quite puzzling.
commented 2015-09-27 17:15:39 -0400
@ Terry Rudden commented 3 hours ago – “Sorry, seems we posted simultaneously. But I’m asking whether YOU are proposing the expulsion of all Muslims, as you seem to suggest.”

Terry if that was aimed at me – I would love to see it happen. Certainly it needs to happen asap in Eurabia – but Germany has caused a huge problem and there will be violence.

To the best of my knowledge there has never been a country that has allowed islamics in that has remained at peace. Canada is at peace because of low numbers – when they rise it will be violent.

I would adopt the Japanese plan – and throw anyone out of this country that claimed to be a follower of islam.

Make me a bad person? In some eyes I suppose – however all of my experiences with islam have been “good at the start” and “violent at the end”.

Evil people and evil culture and no moderates despite what people would have you believe.

In closing – as I am out of this one – if someone says “I have many muslim friends” – they may truly believe that.

The other half of that friendship is not as rosy – no follower of islam will befriend with a non-believer unless there is an advantage to it. And you can be sure they will not tell the person who THINKS they have a friend in a follower of islam that they are not truly a friend – it means the advantage is lost.

So ban the culture – toss the believers and close the doors – or trouble will come. As it has to EVERY country that has allowed islam to enter.

Evil culture and evil people.

My best.
commented 2015-09-27 17:12:39 -0400
Terry Rudden said: “As I’ve noted, I don’t believe in governance by public opinion poll, Rick. I believe in governance by law.” So you believe a non citizen should be telling the Canadian public what to think or have an opinion on? As to the questions previously posed, the first is quite clear. Are you just practicing avoidance so as not to answer? I do not believe for a nanosecond you are that dense as not to understand!