In response to a letter in the Pipestone Flyer I was provoked to raise some concerns and clear some things as my moral obligation as a part of Canadian society.
When we talk about Canada and Canadian culture, we should remember some facts that Canadian culture is amalgamation of different sub-cultures including but not limited to Native Canadian culture, English Canadian culture, French Canadian culture and so many others.
All those wonderful festivals including Christmas, Eid and many others are not to divide people, but these are opportunities for all of us to share our happiness and joy. I, as a progressive Muslim, do not miss a single chance to celebrate Christmas, Eid and other occasions as it gives me a chance to intermingle with other fellows and get some good friends.
I believe united we stand, divided we fall. But I realize there are some issues and some non-issues and we should refrain from making non-issues into issues. Like if a women is wearing bikini or hijab, I personally consider it choice of that women or person and by the way Canadian constitution allows people to enjoy their religious rights.
Fact is that a Muslim women who wear niqab as religious obligation, are entitled to do so if we believe in religious rights as far as they don’t hurt any one. Similarly if a nice gentleman is wearing Jewish cap (I am sorry I don’t know its name) or a nice gentleman is wearing turban as he is practicing his Sikh faith then no one should be bothered and I expect we should embrace other cultures. Diversity and muticulturism is strength of Canada.
However I feel that if security is an issue then a Muslim woman can disclose her face in front of lady officer and there should be no problem with it. Also I would like you to understand that there are different schools of thought for Islamic scholars and in one school of thought a women can show her face. If security is concerned then ladies purse can also be a security threat as some lady can carry a knife or gun in that purse, will it be banned too? So please educate ourselves by using Google or You tube about it.
We should also get rid of our “double standards”. For example if God forbids a Muslim man to slap his wife, which is condemnable for sure, his house will be surrounded by media and every TV channel will be talking about how brutal the religion of Islam is. However on the other hand when in South Carolina a supremacist kills eight to nine innocent Afro-American fellows in a church, media will not portray it as terrorism. It may be considered a hate crime and once mental illness certificate is presented by such criminal’s lawyer then people start feeling sympathy for such person. What I want to say is that we should establish and follow same standards for all.
Syed Hyder Ali, Leduc