Good! Ex-immigration minister Jason Kenney ‘dictated’ niqab ban at citizenship ceremony, court told

A Mississauga woman has taken the federal government to court over a policy that forbids wearing the face-covering veil while taking the oath of citizenship, arguing the ban breaches her Charter rights and fails to accommodate her religious beliefs and dress code.

Banning the niqab from citizenship ceremonies is the result of former immigration minister Jason Kenney imposing his own ideology of “Canadian values” on the process, Zunera Ishaq’s lawyer, Naseem Mithoowani, told federal court Justice Keith Boswell at a hearing in Toronto on Thursday.

“The true motivation of the policy is to compel Muslim women to abandon, albeit briefly, their religious adherence,” Mithoowani said.

“The failure to remove the veil is at the heart of this policy, more than being seen taking the oath . . . This is about Kenney deciding that niqab does not fit into the mode of Canadian citizens.”

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