First France banned burqas, now other “free” countries are starting to infringe upon the rights of Muslim women. Recently, Canada passed a law saying Muslim women who wear the niqab or other face-covering veils must remove them in front of everyone while they take the oath of Canadian citizenship.

So why do Muslim women need to remove their veils to become citizens? According to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, it’s a matter of principle.

“This is not simply a practical measure. It is a matter of deep principle that goes to the heart of our identity and our values of openness and equality,” he said.

“The citizenship oath is a quintessentially public act. It is a public declaration that you are joining the Canadian family and it must be taken freely and openly.”

I guess wearing a veil prevents women from “freely and openly” expressing their desire to become Canadian citizens. Or perhaps Canada is starting to buy into the lie that Muslims are scary? Who knows.

Apparently, the new stipulation was hastily put in place after a conservative government official witnessed a citizenship ceremony in which four Muslim women in full burqas and veils took the oath of citizenship. After wondering if it was “illicit” and watching the women leave in a car with a man with New York license plates (which, isn’t unusual considering New York is about 100 mils away), Conservative MP Wladyslaw Lizon began working to change things.

Opponents of the rule feel it forces women to choose between their religious convictions and their desire to be citizen without giving a valid reason for doing so. And many feel the new stipulation is politically motivated.

What’s ironic is that the push to limit the rights of Muslims to express their religious views in the way they see fit is increasing becoming an issue in countries that purport themselves to be “free” and tolerant of everyone.

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