Court gives woman second chance for niqab at trial – thestar.com. – by Tracy Tyler
an excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
Ontario’s highest court has quashed a judge’s order that required a Muslim woman to remove her niqab while testifying at the trial of two male relatives accused of sexually assaulting her.
However, in its 3-0 decision Wednesday, the Ontario Court of Appeal stopped short of saying the woman can give evidence in front of a jury with most of her face shielded by a head scarf.
Instead, the court opened the door to a more thorough inquiry by a preliminary hearing judge, saying the woman, who can be identified only as N.S., should have been allowed to explain the connection between her religious beliefs and the wearing of he niqab and to demonstrate the sincerity of those beliefs.
I’m afraid that I have to agree, mostly, with a letter writer’s (below) position on the niqab. I have a lot of friends who come from countries like Pakistan and India and so forth and most of those people are caring, wonderful people. But I can’t stand cultures that have barbaric rules about how their people treat each other. I don’t care whether those are strictly cultural or religious rules. Most religion, in my view, is manmade anyway. In fact, I would argue that all of the religion on earth right now, Christian and the rest, is manmade and does not meet with Jehovah’s approval.
Star reader, Rena Hussain, responded to the above linked-to article with the following letter to the Star:
I understand freedom of religion and beliefs, but I don’t think the wearing of a hijab — anywhere — is a freedom or a belief. It’s simply repression and sexism exercised to its fullest in countries where men rule and women are not even second-class citizens. Would women really choose to wear a heavy dark-coloured, full-bodied outfit in the heat of most Arab countries? I don’t think so.
The woman in question now lives in Canada where different laws exist in our courts. Allowing customs from countries where sexism and repression are rife is not “freedom of belief.” Freedom of belief and religion is celebrating “gods” or festivals, not encouraging or adopting any traditions that belittle women and insist they are quiet, unseen and unheard. I say all people in the courtroom ought to abide by laws that are practised and exist here in Ontario.
Here’s a link to the Star website’s page that contains Rena’s letter, as well as others: Court ruling on the niqab
One of our fake friend’s (Toronto Star) dirty tricks is to allow readers to search, for free, its website for articles found in its print edition, for seven days I think it is. Except that they arbitrarily change headlines or titles of articles once they are online and if you don’t know that and type in the original title for the article, you may not find it. I had to email one Star columnist (Robert Cribb) once because of that. He was kind enough to email me back with the link I sought.