This was posted in the Toronto Sun...
Top 10 reasons not to ban the burka: Janes
1. It's against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I can hear people choking on their cereal right now and shouting vehemence with words like "Trudeau," "multiculturalism," "Canadian values" etc. Be that as it may, we "have" a charter and it "is" against it.
2. a) I don't believe that the prime motivator for this ban is women's rights, as some have said. Based on the comments I've read here and in many other sites it comes from a strong anti-Muslim sentiment. I think that if white Canadian women were wearing burkas we wouldn't even be having this debate. And although I'm no fan of the "slippery slope" argument, if we demonstrate that we can ban the burka then every other piece of clothing that smacks of Islam or Islamic culture is up for grabs.
b) A ban would drive both those forced to wear the burka and those who choose to (and they do exist) underground, making them even more invisible than they are now. It would also motivate some women who wouldn't normally wear a burka to wear one in protest. Where would the women's rights issue be then?
3. It is one more government intrusion into private lives and private decisions.
4. It would give a legal standing to "burka bashing" or for people to accost burka-wearing women in parks and malls and try to rip their burkas off. Do we really think anti-Muslim idiots are going to wait around for a cop if they think they have a legal right to confront burka-wearers.
5. It makes religious persecution legal.
6. It's completely unenforceable and would never survive a court challenge.
7. I don't care what Britain and France do, it would make us look like xenophobic idiots.
8. Don't even mention the driving a car thing. We've all seen so many makeup-appliers, sandwich-eaters, map-readers, texters, CD-player-fiddlers-wth, etc., not to mention the countless other just plain bad drivers, to make this a non-issue. The roads aren't exactly teeming with burka-wearing drivers.
9. It actually goes "against" Canada's traditional vales of openness, tolerance, equality, compassion, etc.
10. Women can go topless in Ontario and we want to ban a piece of cloth? Get real.
Having said all that, we should make it mandatory to remove the burka for purposes of identification. If I tell the driver's licence inspectors or the police that I refuse to wear the glasses or contacts that my licence says I must then I will lose my licence, so I have no problem with denying a licence to a woman who refuses to remove her burka for a photo. Same deal for a passport or any government document that requires photo ID. Ditto court proceedings or any institutional situation that requires a proper ID.
Otherwise, leave it alone.