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About face

Canadians mock niqab ban by showing up to vote in masks and a pumpkin

By WITW Staff on October 20, 2015

Should Muslim women be allowed to cover their face while swearing their oath of citizenship? While it might not seem like a pressing issue to many, it became one of the most contended debates in Canada in recent months, as the Conservative government sought to overturn a Federal Court of Appeal decision that had granted Zunera Ishaq, a Muslim woman, the right to wear a niqab during her citizenship ceremony. While Conservatives argued that covering your face while taking the oath showed a lack of respect for Canadian values, others saw the ban as a prime example of the Conservative government’s Islamophobia. Some crafty Canadians, fed up with the debate, decided to make a statement as they headed to the polls with their faces covered creatively. Mike Kendrick, an Edmonton resident posted a picture on Facebook of himself at the poll station, wearing a Mexican wrestling mask, writing: “This campaign has been plagued with fearmongering and jingoism, making a farce of real issues. I’ve chosen to respond to [Conservative leader Stephen] Harper’s ridiculous tactics by ridiculing the very issue he’s forced on Canadians for weeks.”

He was one-upped by another man who was already in good Halloween spirits and chose to wear a carved pumpkin on his head: “Despite the ugly views of some politicians who would like to lead us, all Canadians are equal,” Instagram user jrprus wrote. “We don’t come in different vintages.” The nine-year reign of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party came to a sudden and stunning end on Monday night, when Canada’s Liberal Party swept to power.

Read the full story at the National Post.