PM is ‘playing cheap politics at the expense of Canadian Muslims’

“Canadians could be forgiven for thinking veiled Muslim women pose an urgent threat to the integrity of our electoral system after Prime Minister Stephen Harper made one of his first priorities in the fall sitting of Parliament a bill to force voters to show their faces at the polls.

“But there is not one shred of evidence that such a problem existed in the first place. Even Harper’s Conservative government has admited ‘there was no apparent case of fraud’ in three federal by-elections that were held in September in Quebec, when unjustified hysteria over veiled Muslim women first boiled over. Yet that has not stopped Harper from trying to fix this imaginary problem by proposing changes to the country’s election law that would require voters to show their faces before they cast their ballots….

“Harper has tried to dress up the bill as a means to ‘enhance public confidence in the democratic process’. But it has nothing to do with electoral integrity and everything to do with pandering to narrow-minded fears about minorities…. Harper and other federal politicians are shamefully playing cheap politics at the expense of Canadian Muslims.”

Toronto Star, 4 November 2007