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dear-editor-typewriter-fullDear Larry,

You and I have met on a couple of occasions. I went to school with your kids, we sold cattle together in the black angus club and I spoke with you about our local library a while back.

After hearing you on the CF0S radio show this week, I would like to clarify some things and ask a couple questions. Thank you in advance for your time.

Do you believe in women's rights so strongly that you don't want Muslim women to be wearing a head covering that might be connected to oppression? Stephen Harper said that the niqab is "rooted in a culture that is anti-women."

I don't know if this is the case, but if so, then welcoming these women into Canada and  embracing what Canada stands for, (equality and freedom on that list), would ensure that they can have the freedom to choose to wear a head covering or not.

Telling Zunera Ishaq that she can "go the hell back where she came from" is not going to bring positive change to oppression. You siding with Harper to tell this woman what she can wear is interesting. You don't agree with her religion and culture telling her what to wear and yet you are doing the same thing. I am curious now. Would you ask an Amish woman to remove her bonnet or a heavily bearded man to shave or a nun to remove her habit in the citizen ceremony?

Is there a dress code at the ceremony? Could someone wear a bikini or be naked? I looked online and didn't see a dress code. Would you be more comfortable if women didn't wear head coverings? Maybe a dress code for the country would simplify things. We could also ask people to be of the same race and religion as well.

You said that you don't want people coming to Canada and wanting us to change as soon as they get here. I get that. Our ancestors were immigrants to this country Larry. We didn't have a very kind and gentle entrance. We didn't follow the dress code or the ceremonies and we asked for many things to change as soon as we arrived. You are right - I think that we can learn from that.

You also said that most of Canada feels the same way. I am sure you are hearing otherwise in the past few days. We all say things in the heat of the moment or without knowing the other side of things. I do hope that you listen to the Canadians that are reaching out and pass along their thoughts as well. As far as I know, there isn't a law saying that Zunera Ishaq or other Muslim women cannot wear a head covering in the ceremony right now and I think that we have a lot bigger issues to spend our time and money on in this country. I sure hope you and Stephen can let fashion be at the bottom of that list.


Shannon Crow


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