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Muslim Canadian Congress – UnVEILED November 14, 2006

Posted by Taleb Haqq in Proggies, Religion.

A few days ago, the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) – [See here and here], decided that it needed some sort of media attention. In the face of growing attacks against the Muslim community and the way that some of us dress – especially our women – these people decided to defend against these criticisms by, you guessed it, Rejecting the Niqab! These people need to understand that the Niqab is a choice that anyone should have. Anyways, they are entitled to their opinions I suppose. There is one disturbing fact that I did notice in their statement, however. See the following quote:

The Muslim Canadian Congress acknowledges that women have the right to dress as they please—but the rights of the individual have to be balanced with the rights of society. We must keep in mind the impact we have on Canadian society when we exercise our rights. Wearing veils—whether as an expression of religious identity, or as a means of political defiance, is not in the best interest of Canada’s Muslim communities. Nor is it a requirement of our Islamic faith.

Notice how they use the words “niqab” and “veil” interchangeably. Which one is it MCC? Are you rejecting the niqab? Or any sort of veil?

Salutes to Dr. M for pointing out this story.


1. Rasheed Eldin - November 16, 2006

I wasn’t at all surprised to see this, but what is the MCC’s position generally on hijab? The issue of head-covering in general is palpably absent from their article. It’s really very odd that they haven’t either come out and said all “veils” are against their idea of Canadianmuslimness, or alternatively that they support women’s right to observe the religious imperative of hijab.

How odd to quote Sheikh al-Qaradawi speaking of his opinion against niqab without any mention of his support for the mainstream accepted scholarly opinion that says hijab is obligatory (i.e. covering all except face and hands)?

How very odd to make mention of Tunisia like this:
“From Tunisia to Turkey and Indonesia to India, and here in Canada, Muslims are fiercely engaged in debating the issue. At times there are dire consequences for those who see the niqab as a major obstacle in the path of women’s economic and social empowerment.”

No! The oppression is against women who choose to wear hijab!

They wrote:
“Muslim queens governed from their thrones, presiding over meetings with their advisors and with their faces uncovered, as is shown in paintings from those times.”

I wonder, were their heads covered? Strange that it goes unmentioned. In any case, what difference does it make if some “queen” dressed this way or that? Should we learn other aspects of life and faith from them? Is it really OK to have kings and queens at all?

“Islam must not be used as a tool to score political points for the Islamist agenda.”

Funny, I thought the Islamist agenda was, by definition, Islam. So what are the Islamists to use if not Islam? Like it or not. Duh.

2. Rasheed Eldin - November 17, 2006

Via Indigo Jo, I came across this detailed response by Mere Muslim:


3. Yusuf Smith - November 20, 2006

As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

The reference to “Muslim queens” really does take the biscuit. I wonder why they did not refer to female Muslim scholars instead, as (as Habib Ali Jifri confirmed to me when I asked him in Ilford in 1999 or 2000 I think) they did cover their faces.

The reasoning clearly demonstrates that their audience is non-Muslims; what rulers do has never been an example for Muslims any more than it is for anyone else!

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