Conservative Government introduces anti-niqab Oath of Citizenship Act for election propaganda


Tim Uppal Photo submitted
Tim Uppal
Photo submitted

TO further their election propaganda, the Conservatives shamelessly pressed on with their agenda to whip up racism by introducing the Oath of Citizenship Act, to ensure Canadian citizenship applicants show their face while taking the Oath of Citizenship during citizenship ceremonies.

The whole purpose is to attack the niqab worn by a handful of Muslim women. The Conservatives are facing a stiff challenge from the NDP and are in a state of panic.

The Oath of Citizenship Act will ensure that candidates are seen and heard reciting the Oath in community with others, to confirm their commitment as new citizens to Canada’s laws, values and traditions.

The Oath of Citizenship Act will require that the Oath be sworn or affirmed publicly and openly, and in a way that others can verify: aloud and with face uncovered, states the government’s press release.

Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism, said: “Canadians expect that new citizens should show their face when swearing or affirming the Oath in community with others, at the very moment they become part of the Canadian family. This means they are committing publicly to embracing Canada’s values and traditions, including the equality of men and women.”

Uppal has been criticized for allowing himself to be used in this manner by Harper.

Last week, The VOICE in a piece titled “Shame on Tim Uppal for allowing himself to be used against the niqab by desperate Harper!” pointed out: “How stupid is Multiculturalism Minister Tim Uppal to allow himself to be used by a desperate Prime Minister Stephen Harper against the niqab!

“With Harper and the Conservatives’ fortunes plummeting in Quebec in the face of solid NDP support under Tom Mulcair in recent weeks, Harper ordered Uppal – a bearded and turbaned Sikh – to announce that the government will introduce a last-minute bill to ban face coverings at citizenship ceremonies.”

Mainstream media, too, has lashed out against Harper in the past on this racist move, as the quotes in last week’s article showed.

Back in 2011, Vancouver Sun’s Craig McInnes wrote: “Still, on a functional level, the objections raised by the Conservative government for both swearing-in ceremonies and voting are largely nonsensical. they have no objection to the thousands of votes cast by mail, and even for a swearing in, it would be easy to confirm both identity and intent without insisting on full public exposure.”

Toronto Star’s National Affairs Columnist Thomas Walkom wrote: “It is a remedy to a problem that does not exist, based on complaints from a single Conservative MP and the unverified anecdotes of unnamed citizenship judges. … Playing the Muslim card is a classic remedy. It gets people talking. It discomfits the opposition. It appeals to lurking racism. It changes the channel.”

The Globe and Mail columnist Sheema Khan wrote: “The Harper government has done a 180-degree turn on the niqab. In 2009, the Prime Minister’s Office said: “In an open and democratic society like Canada, individuals are free to make their own decisions regarding their personal apparel and to adhere to their own customs or traditions of their faith or beliefs.””