NCCM welcomes court ruling on niqab & citizenship oaths
(Ottawa – February 9, 2015) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, welcomes the decision of the Federal Court of Canada to strike down a government policy that new citizens must remove their religious face covering or niqab when taking the oath of citizenship.
Although the Federal Court did not rule on the constitutionality of the policy, the court made it clear that the rule preventing women taking the citizenship oath while wearing the niqab is “unlawful”.
“We applaud the Federal Court’s decision. While the niqab is controversial even among Muslims, this ruling reflects what Canada is about: accommodating differences that harm no one in order to preserve and protect individual freedom,” says NCCM Human Rights Coordinator Amira Elghawaby.
“This ruling reaffirms the role of our courts in ensuring that government does not overstep in exercising its powers, even when doing so may score political points,” adds NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.
Amira Elghawaby, Human Rights Coordinator, 613.254.9704
Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, 613.254.9704 or 613.853.4111