The niqab issue at civil ceremonies has involved a total of two women. Two people among a population of 35 million Canadians and Stephen Harper is trying to make that a “wedge” issue to win re-election.
Then there’s his promise of a “hotline” to report barbaric cultural practices. That sounds Orwellian but that is in the Conservative platform.
The Conservatives have re-focused their campaign on suspicion, division and fear.
The Quebec National Assembly voted unanimously to call upon Harper to stop using the niqab as a ploy to fan the flames of what Danny Williams (a Conservative) has said is “bordering on racism.”
But where are our moral leaders in all of this? Where are the voices of our respected business leaders, our academics, our religious community leaders, our mayors, our premier?
The Canada I am so proud of is based upon the values of fairness, respect, unity, neighbourliness and inclusion.
There is still time for our moral leaders to take a stand and tell Stephen Harper that appeals to fear, suspicion and division have no place in Canada. We need only look to history to find examples of what happens when political leaders are allowed to single out individual religions and races without being challenged by true community leaders.
Canada needs you to speak up, now.