Thursday, March 4, 2010

Niqabi kicked out of class

Click here to read the full article from Canadian Hijabis blog.

Basically, this niqabi was entered in a French class and got kicked out for not accepting to remove the niqab. I need to explain that this is a course paid by the government, and that they even, in certain cases, give the person money for attending (my husband got some). It's to teach new immigrants the French langugage and how to use it, and to teach them about the culture and how things work here. So they learn language needed to get a job, rent an apartment, order at a restaurant, converse with others. My husband completed this program and can now speak pretty decent French!

And obviously there's something that the government is getting from this or they wouldn't pay for the program. They make sure that the main language in Quebec stays French and that our culture is understood and they help the immigrants get the skills needed to be able to get jobs, which helps the economy (and in the end is why we need and want our immigrants).

So this niqabi... Personally I feel that it's justified that a niqabi should remove her face veil to participate in these courses. These are not courses she is paying for herself; they are paid for by us the taxpayers, and it's reasonable that there be certain conditions. I think it sucks that this wasn't made clear from the beginning, but the government is so scared of causing something. It *will* be made clear soon though at least. As much as I think this is necessary, it does scare me a little that they could possibly start making other rules like not being able to do any government-related thing in niqab (like attending university or something), which I think is totally their right. Or even scarier that they could prevent government employees from wearing just the hijab. I sort of doubt it would get to that, but there could be talk.

What do you guys think about this situation? Should a niqabi be allowed to take these classes that are paid for by taxpayers in full? Is removing the niqab a reasonable obligation?

14 Comentários:

Mrs. S said...

I'm actually interested in how well she can participate in a language class with niqab on since depending on the thickness speech can be muffled.

Turkey has a ban on hijab at universities and government offices. I think whether the "right" of the government to ban clothing depends on our definition of civil liberties and how far we're willing to extend it.

Anisah said...

Poor girl got a rude awakening there ehn!
I happen to agree with you though. It's not fard in Islam and this is not an Islamic country. I mean if it's her choice.. ok...CHOSE where ur gonna put it on. I know I would if I was wearing Niqaab..and I am not against it at all , I happen to think about it sometimes for myself..but I would never wear to work or to school. So I think it very reasonable that it not be allowed. invokes FEAR. Why would any Muslim wanna do that to ppl? not when it's not necessary certainly! It would NOT be good dawah at all.

I am however afraid of what you brought up..if they ban Niqaab..will they try to ban the hijab too? Like killing two birds with one stone ! I really do not think they can do that though.

I have a feeling this person did it on purpose actually. I pray not... but chances are...

Rene´s Bare Essentials said...

I personally dont see why it should matter if the student wears niqab or not. Its like telling a woman who comes to the class wearing tight clothes to leave the class and not come back until she is dressed modestly. Banning niqab is just another way for the government to control muslims. Next it will be hijab, etc. There really is no reason why the teacher needs to see the face of the students, so if the woman decides to cover, mashaAllah more power to her. For example, there are classes given online where the teacher never sees what his or her students are wearing. The teacher is still able to teach the class, so for the government to state that niqab makes it harder to teach is a lie. If the teacher is a woman the student could maybe arrange to sit in the front so she can remove her niqab. If the teacher is a male, then I still feel its the womans choice to wear it or not. Wearing niqab is sunnah, something our prophets wives and his companions wore. It really has nothing to do with what shes wearing, its more about power. As muslims we should back up our fellow sisters and brothers. =)

OumAmir said...


I have to disagree with you. I'm a teacher, and there is nothing more distracting than attempting to teach when you can't gauge your students reactions for comprehension. That's why most schools have rules against hats, hoods, and sunglasses in classrooms. It obscures the face and makes teaching difficult.

Candice said...

Mrs. S: I think it definitely makes the situation harder since it's a language class. It's a lot of repeating what the teacher is saying, practicing in small groups, having oral presentations. For me, the biggest factor is that it's government paid, but the fact that it's language that is beign taught and not just theory of something is also a factor.

Anisah: I'm glad you agree with me. I hate that it has to come up in the news like this though and be made a big deal. You feel that which person did what? The niqabi to cause a stir?? Or the government to cause a bigger ban?

Rene: For sure they wouldn't refuse a student for wearing "tight" clothes, but they would refuse certain things like belly shirts or other "provocative" clothing. And she'd just have to go home and change. I think that in the case of a person trying to ban hijab, it *is* about power, but for niqab, I think it's about just too many things.

OumAmir: Nice to have the point of view of someone in this career.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

I don't think banning the niqab will automatically lead to banning the hijab and other things. I think it can make things difficult for teachers, as one of the comments mentioned.
At the same time it is difficult because sometimes the niqab is banned for purely Islamophobic reasons masquerading under "health/safety/public order" rhetoric.

Anisah said...

oh the Niqaabi..maybe both really.

Anisah said...

I'm sorry Rene.. I don't agree. It's not someone's religious belief to wear tight jeans...and that religion is not tied to stigma of terrorism. I would agree with u if it was Muslim country. but this is not. things are changing and Incha'allah one day it will not be such a big deal.But why force something that is unnecessary. Unfortunately we have to be realistic to the fact that there are "bad" Muslims that have ruined it for the rest of us. If you respect other religions and the prophet(PBU)told us to do in Sunnah...then we have to respect their rights as well and follow the law in the land we are living..which is also Sunnah, I believe.
I do not feel I am not backing up our Muslim brothers and sisters. but instead sticking up for them and expressing that it is necessary for tolerance in this country to not cover one' face the scare the heck out of ppl.
Like I said above, if I was in a muslim country, I would wear one. If I was going shopping in a market here there are a lot of Muslims... if I was going to masjid..I might wear Niqaab..but not in a public university..not in a public government run establishment that is there to serve EVERYONE in the country. It's not fard...its sunnah like u said. It's sunnah to pray on time too. Are u gonna drop down and start praying in the middle of the street in downtown Montreal? emm no.... I doubt it. there is a time and place for everything and I think a person choosing not to wear niqaab in these establishments.would be a step forward to tolerance of Islam, instead of shoving it their faces and scaring them, which would make them fear and hate even more. Not in this day and age and not now.. Incha'Allah in the future.

Now.. I feel HIJAB is a different Issue. I am a hijabi. I do consider my scarf as obligatory. As it is in Christianity as well....btw. This is an issue which is and should not be negotiable.

Jamilah said...

being a niqabi I would have to disagree. I do think its fard, as do quite a few scholars, so we have to remember that there is a difference of opinion. I would never tell another sister she had to wear it, but for me it is an obligation.

Excluding this sister from this class because she is covering her face is insane to me, but it does not surprise me. May Allah give her sabr with the situation, and good for her on not backing down on her beliefs.

Rene´s Bare Essentials said...

Just like you feel hijab is fard, a lot of women who wear niqab feel its fard, myself being included. There are a lot of well known scholars who claim it is fard, just like there are some who say its not. Its a difference of opinion, allahu alum! However, for those sisters who agree with the scholars and feel its fard, its part of their identity, just like hijab is part of yours which is why its a sensitive issue. The governement has banned it because it has to do with power and control like i mentioned before. the comment about not praying in an open area, id have to disagree. If its prayer time and someone cant get to a masjid and isnt near their house there is nothing wrong with praying on a bus, in a field, in a class room you name it. The earth belongs to Allah and we are allowed to pray anywhere anytime alhamdulillah!

Rene´s Bare Essentials said...


I agree it can be distracting, and I guess thats one of the problems with classrooms being taught with both sexes. Classrooms used to be segregated according to sex which studies have also found is a better learning enviornment for the student. Now that schools are mixed we are finding conflicts.

Candice said...

CLA: I think that if it were to be banned in universites and colleges and stores and all this, then it would be for islamophobic reasons. So I worry that it will lead to these bannings if they start with this, but I think that this one (the government-paid French courses) is justified. I really hope it doesn't lead to more.

Rene's and Jamilah: Of course my view comes from my opinion that it's not obligatory for women to wear niqab, but I keep in my mind the fact that the opinion exists that it is obligatory and so I wouldn't want these women to be forced to uncover in their day to day lives grocery shopping, picking their kids up at school, etc. That would be unfair. I would be upset if they banned niqab from places like universities and colleges as well.

I just think there's a line to be drawn though because niqab is not something that Quebec, the government and general population agrees with, and we have reason to believe that it's not something that all Muslim women have to follow (from scholars who believe it is not fard).

Rene's: I think that segregated classrooms are good ideas for teenagers and I'd like my daughter to be in an all-girls class. But I really don't think it's necessary at college/university level or at work, or on the street or in restaurants, etc. We can control ourselves, we're adults! If we have trouble, we should learn. And one conflict from a Muslim niqabi is not enough to segregate these French classes. Here in my city, they don't even start them every semester because sometimes they don't have enough students, and classes are normally 20 students. It would be ridiculous to split them or make these students wait an extra 6 months or a year to get enough males or females for a group. They have families to support and need these skills!

Anonymous said...

Anisah, There are different interpretations of Christian teaching on head coverings. You cannot just read that one passage in the New Testament (and that is the only passage in the whole Bible that talks about head covering for women). It's all predicated on the proper relationship between men and women. And that is discussed elsewhere in the Bible. And on top of that, the Bible talks about how all persons are to relate to all persons. And all of that has to be read and digested before one comes to a conclusion about head coverings. And the vast majority of Christians in our time conclude that it is not obligatory. Even if they (as do I) normally cover their heads.

Anisah said...

Candice, I sent you some Interviews that Nermine has been doing past few days on behalf of the Canadian Muslim Forum. and I think the Femmes Muslemane de Quebec.

check ur email

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