Canada bans burqa at citizenship swearing in

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 10:22

Montreal: New Canadians will have to remove
any face coverings, such as the Islamic niqab or burqa, while they take the oath of citizenship, the country`s immigration minister said Tuesday.

Jason Kenney said he`s received complaints from lawmakers and citizenship judges who say it`s difficult to ensure that individuals whose faces are covered are actually reciting the oath.

Kenney said it`s also a question of values. He said new
Canadians should be taking the oath in view of their fellow
citizens.

"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," Kenney said.
Kenney said the oath of citizenship has to be done freely
and openly and under equal conditions.

The location of the announcement was not without
symbolism. The French-speaking province of Quebec has had
debates over how much Canada should bend to accommodate
newcomers.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 10:22

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