A Canadian Muslim group wants the federal government to ban two kinds of garments, the burka and the niqab, worn by some women.
The Muslim Canadian Congress said the garments, which cover the face, have no basis in Islam.
The group’s spokesperson, Farzana Hassan, said the practice of wearing the burka and niqab is more rooted in Middle Eastern culture than in religious teachings. She added that there is nothing in the Qur’an that stipulates women must cover their faces.
She said the issue is one of public safety. “To cover your face is to conceal your identity,” she said.
The burka is a veil that generally covers the entire body, with only a mesh screen left to see through. The niqab covers virtually all of the face — with a slit generally left open for the eyes.
The proposed ban would not extend to the hijab, the head scarf that leaves the face uncovered.