Muslim veil, Elections Canada and Stephen Harper: why the issue?

I am not a supporter of the Muslim veil (Niqab or Burka, among other names), as I think it is more cultural than religious. But I certainly do not mind someone wearing it for whatever reasons she may think.

Now,
Elections Canada said that veiled women will not have to uncover their faces to have their identity verified for the upcoming elections.

CBC reports:

Veiled women will not have to show their faces at polling stations in upcoming elections, but they may be asked for sworn statements in some situations to verify their identities

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that he profoundly disagrees with Elections Canada's stance.

I am not sure why Elections Canada preempted this issue, or whether they consulted the Muslim women in question.

The
solution to all this is really simple: the Muslim woman can uncover her face to a female elections official who verifies her identity before she votes. This way the veiled woman stays within what she sees as a religious mandate, while identity verification happens for them as with anyone else.

Again, why is this an issue at all?

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Comments

Legislation introduced

The Conservative government introduced legislation to force all voters, including Muslim veiled women, to show their faces for identification in elections.

Again, if there is a female election official at the booth, which is almost always the case, then this issue can be avoided, and the veiled woman can show another woman her face.

End of controversy!

What next? Force Amish, Hutterites and Mennonite to have a driver photo ID too? Last time I checked, they were not required to have one.
--
Khalid Baheyeldin

Niqab

Check out The Doha Debates

February 19th , 2007
"This House believes the face veil is a barrier to integration in the West "

Vote Result: The motion was passed

http://www.thedohadebates.com/output/page12.asp

the media just wants to put

the media just wants to put niqab in the spotlight and make it look bad. the wearing of the niqab is an act of peity, the wives of the prophet covered their faces and many sources in islam support its wearing.