Canada PM Opposes Muslim Veil Decision

September 10, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Guardian Unlimited

Wire Service: AP,,-6909414,00.html

OTTAWA (AP) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Sunday he disagrees with a decision to allow Muslim women to wear veils covering their faces when they vote.

Elections Canada - an independent body that oversees national elections - said last week that Muslim women will be allowed to wear veils when they vote in by-elections later this month in Quebec, where the issue of the traditional covering has been hotly contested.

The decision means women who wear niqabs - which cover the entire face except for the eyes - or a burqa, an all-covering body veil, can bring a photo ID or another document proving their identity when they vote in the Quebec elections.

Harper said he ``profoundly disagrees'' with the decision and noted all four parties in Parliament this past spring voted to bring in a new law requiring visual identification of voters.