Saturday, October 27, 2007

On Purple Fingers and Bare-Faced Racism

Stephen Harper's federal government has introduced legislation that will require veiled Muslim women to reveal their faces prior to voting.

Dave at Galloping Beaver calls it bare-faced racism. I agree.

Not so long ago, on January 20, 2005, the women of Iraq turned out for a historic vote, many veiled, all purple-fingered. It was hailed by conservatives at the time as a monumental victory for democracy and women's rights in the Middle East.

Purple fingers and heady moments, indeed.

Apparently those are long forgotten, as this proposed legislation gives Canadian Muslim women the proverbial middle finger.

Once again, a solution without a problem.

Pandering to xenophobia is not the Canadian way.

Stephane Dion should delay this bill. And then defeat it.

CBC has the story:

The Conservative government introduced legislation Friday to force all voters — including veiled Muslim women — to show their faces for identification before being allowed to vote in federal elections.

Conservative House leader Peter Van Loan introduced the proposed amendment to the Canada Elections Act, which was promised in the Tories' Oct. 16 throne speech.
The proposed amendment makes a limited exception for any voter whose face is swathed in bandages due to surgery or some other medical reason.

The Tories were furious over a decision by Elections Canada to allow Muslim women to vote with their faces covered by burkas or niqabs during three Quebec byelections in September.

"During the recent byelections in Quebec, the government made it clear that we disagreed with the decision by Elections Canada to allow people to vote while concealing their face," Van Loan said.

"That is why … we committed to introducing legislation to confirm the visual identification of voters."

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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