29 September 2015

Niqab ban prevented 2 women from proceeding with citizenship oath

Since the Conservative government implemented a policy in 2011 stating that candidates for citizenship must remove any kind of face covering when taking the public citizenship oath, only two women have decided to not go through with the ceremony.

"Citizenship applications have not been refused based on the 2011 policy," said Sonia Lesage, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. "We are only aware of two individuals who have chosen not to proceed to the citizenship ceremony based on the requirement to remove their face coverings.

The controversy centres around the case of Zunera Ishaq, a Pakistani woman and devout Sunni Muslim who is seeking Canadian citizenship. Based on her religious beliefs, Ishaq wears a niqab, or veil, to cover most of her face when out in public.

It's not known how many women are dissuaded from seeking citizenship because of the niqab ban. [CBC News] Read more