In the article “Banning the niqab harms an open society. So does wearing it,” from yesterday’s Globe and Mail, Omer Aziz begins an elliptical critique of the niqab open-mindedly enough. He states, correctly, that the state has no business in the nation’s dressing rooms, echoing Pierre Trudeau’s famous line with respect to his reforms in support of Canada’s LGBTQ community.
However, Aziz, a law student writing from George W. Bush’s alma mater, quickly steps into sleight of hand. The reasonable accommodation provision, bounded in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not refer to wether majority Canadians feel its reasonable to accommodate someone’s weird cultural practice. The Charter was in fact created in order to protect minority rights (i.e. sexual, religious, gender, ability, and other minorities), from oppression by the majority. Reasonable accommodation refers to the level of hardship it is reasonable to expect an employer or service provider to bear in order to make accommodations to protected groups under the charter.”
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