Friday, April 10, 2015

Canadians are the nicest people on earth.

With that stereotype in mind, I want to say that all Canadians should be entitled to dress as they please. Be it topless at the local beach, or covered from head to toe in  a Niqab.

I've read all sorts of arguments pro and con. Many from females from North African and middle eastern backgrounds. For some it is the sign of a backwards patriarchal oppression, to others, it is a choice to not be seen as a object to be lusted over.  Personally I do not want anyone to decide how much or how little I should wear and I certainly should not be doing it for others.

Yes many women who did not wear a veil in their country wear one here in Canada, why? Because they are free to do so. Free to wear one without labeling the woman as being anything more then a Muslim woman. I've read plenty of intelligent, articulate females who felt completely comfortable being invisible in society. That for them being noticed is the equivalent of being seen like a sex object. Being invisible as a sex object does not mean they are just invisible. Many of the middle eastern women I've met over the past 10 years are incredibly driven and from their own steam, not because men impose their views on them.

Of course what most non-Muslims do not know is that men should be modestly dressed as well and to be honest, I've met few middle eastern men who go around in wife beaters and tiny shorts. The majority tend to wear baggy clothes, and few go around half naked.  Lets just say as a Quebecois, I have never been offended by a middle eastern man too scantily clad. It's been the local French Quebecois, in their tiny speedos, with the large overlapping bellies that have left me somewhat traumatized!

If i lived in the middle east I would probably never leave my house without a scarf on my head. I burn so easily in the sun, being covered would be logical.  Here in Montreal, if I just go to work, I don't cover my head, but if I go camping or canoeing or spending the day outside, I wear something on my head, because I don't want to have fried brains.

I'm rambling, but logically to get back to the nice Canadians, well if we are some of the nicest people on earth, we should not let ourselves get indoctrinated by islamophobes. We should continue to be just as nice INCLUDING to our Muslim sisters, whether they chose to be "westernized" and just blend into a crowd of Montrealers, or be very visibly invisible, by wearing a Niqab in Ottawa.

When I visited Lebanon some of the Lebanese I met often asked me if I was surprised to see highly covered women walking with very uncovered women. It did not surprise me, as I have seen it in Montreal. One of my favourite random photos of the Printemps Erable, is one of a Muslim girl posing with a bare chested girl at a protest.

That is my point. Montreal can be like that. We can be nice Canadians. There is room for women in Niqabs in Canadian society. Isn't that what a mosaic is about?

Before anyone gets all offended, there is  room for the Hasidims in Canadian society, there's room for the Mennonites,  there's even room for the Mormons of Bountiful, there should be room for women in Niqabs. I don't expect any of these groups to be in large numbers in the Canadian Mosaic, but in existence and respected nonetheless. 

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