Monday, October 23, 2006

a veil of fear?

Monday, October 23, 2006
i watched this show ... and, honestly? not sure what to think. on the surface, sure, the issue of this veil controversy seems simple. but ... dig deeper. if you're a cannabian - er, canadian - then, it ain't so simple. a canadian will think mosaic, not melting pot. do we have a right to dictate the dress of civilians in our society? why do we? what about freedom of religion? freedom of expression? does dress constitute expression? does a veil - really known as a niqab - pose any threat? or intimation of violence? ie - as in the black trenchcoat and t-shirts with violent messages.

so ... let's talk about this niqab. jack straw wants us to believe that a niqab presents a barrier to communication. really? so ... i'm guessing jack doesn't do the telecon thing? HA HA. how does he reconcile all the communicating he doubtless does in the course of his day via telephone, email, memo? i can't imagine that he refuses to engage in these means of communication on the grounds that they preclude him from observing facial gestures. so ... what gives? perhaps an inability, or unwillingness, to assimilate a foreign custom? a sort of hiding behind one's own veil of fear, in rejecting the validity of niqab? one wonders.

i think of france - where legal restrictions curb religious expression wrt dress. and i wonder. i understand the sentiment. but - does it go too far? i think of the usa. known as a melting pot. meaning, from a cultural perspective, dilution of cultures of origin by the american culture. i think of canada. what makes canada, canada? does the term mosaic have anything to do with it? i think so.

and so ... we as canadians must decide - mosaic? or melting pot?