Elections Canada has begun to contact Muslim organizations to gauge their feelings on how to accommodate veiled women if photo identification becomes necessary to cast a federal ballot, Sun Media has learned.

Sameer Zuberi, with the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he spent 30 minutes on the telephone with an Elections Canada representative on Tuesday.

“They asked about how we can deal with this and what are the ways we can deal with it,” said Zuberi.

Zuberi said veiled Muslim women should be given the option of unveiling in front of another woman.

An Elections Canada spokesman said the council was contacted to confirm comments made in the press by one of its members during the Quebec election furor over veils.

Agency spokesman John Enright said no other groups have yet been contacted.

“Elections Canada was following up as part of its ongoing efforts to assist in the better serving of all Canadians in the exercise of their democratic rights,” he said.

A government bill that passed through the House of Commons and is currently before a Senate committee would make photo ID mandatory for voting during a federal election.

Zuberi said he believes only about 50 Muslim women in Quebec wear the niqab and maybe 250 across the country.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.