Saturday, March 14, 2015
Niqab controversy in Canada gets weirder
Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau's eagerness to exploit divisions in Canadian society, and attack Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a 'fear-monger' for supporting a ban on the Islamic niqab face covering during citizenship ceremonies, has taken a few weird twists and turns.
Harper has been the target of accusations of "Islamophobia" for saying that the niqab "is rooted in a culture that is anti-women." The Liberals and NDP have been trying to distort Harper's comments on the niqab by extrapolating it to an insult to all Muslims. That even though most Muslim women shun the niqab, which is a remnant of tribal Arabia in the medieval era, and the wearing of the full face covering has been criticized by many liberal Muslims.
Making matters more interesting is the resurfacing of reports that the Liberal Party, in 2010 under Michael Ignatieff, supported a niqab ban for a wide variety of government services in Quebec. Justin Trudeau was a member of the Liberal caucus at that time, having already served two tears as MP for the Papineau riding in Quebec. There is no record of him having voiced any opposition to Mr. Ignatieff's support of the niqab ban at the time.
Seeing political hay to be made, Trudeau recently became vocal about the issue, as has NDP leader Tom Mulcair. Mulcair and Trudeau may soon start backtracking as it is emerging that most voters, particularly in the NDP's stronghold of Quebec, support the Prime Minister's assertion that the niqab conflicts with Canadian values.
Although, what only a few days ago looked like an opportunity for the NDP and Liberals to gang up against the governing Conservatives has taken a sharp turn towards civil war within the opposition parties.
The NDP is facing a mini-mutiny from some of its Quebec caucus fearing Mulcair's support for the niqab may hurt their chance for re-election later this year. Even radical NDP member Alexandre Boulerice, who was a supporter of the Sea Hitler Gaza boat that tried to break Israel's arms embargo of the terror group Hamas, has expressed "uneasiness" with the niqab. Sounding almost exactly like Prime Minister Harper, the NDP's Boulerice referred to the niqab as " a symbol of oppression."
Adding fuel to the fire with another bizarre twist is the news that an Islamic honor killing was perpetrated in Toronto by a man who disguised himself in a burqa with niqab in order to get access to his victim.
In the sparring in the preliminary rounds leading to the upcoming election, Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair thought they had landed some blows on Stephen Harper with the niqab controversy. It's now looking like the cagey, experienced Prime Minister was just playing rope-a-dope with the two freshmen opposition leaders.