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Hijab Debate Takes Twitter by Storm

Posted in Talking Politics


Published on March 13, 2015 with No Comments

New Yorker re-creates Canadian Hug-a-Muslim experiment

Many people have tweeted responses to the prime minister’s recent comments on the subject that, as of Wednesday afternoon, a hashtag meant to mock said comments was trending Canada-wide.

The #DressCodePM hashtag sprung up on Twitter  after a debate on the oath and the niqab took place in the House of Commons.

Hijab debate


It’s based on a video shot in January in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square. Called the Blind Trust Project, it was created by activist Asoomii Jay in response to recent hate crimes and bullying against Muslims. In her video, the subject stood between two signs. One read:  “I am a Muslim I am Labelled as a Terrorist”, the other read “I trust you do you trust me? Give me a hug.”

In the three-minute video some passersby stare, others take photos. But many more stop and give the man a hug. The huggers are young and old, male and female and from various ethnic backgrounds. The Toronto video has more than 1.8 million views on YouTube.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau faced off  over a growing debate about whether wearing a niqab is a choice and when it should be allowed.

Trudeau called on Harper to explain a remark one day earlier where he seemed to suggest Islam is “anti-women.”

“The prime minister made more alarming statements yesterday on the rights and freedoms of Canadians. Can he please explain to Canada’s half a million Muslim women why he said their chosen faith is anti-women?” Trudeau said in question period.

Harper shot back that it was Trudeau who owes Canadians an explanation, but uncharacteristically stumbled over his response.

“These are not the views only of the overwhelming majority of Canadians, they are the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslims, moderate Muslims,” Harper said.

“It is up to the leader of the Liberal Party to explain why he is so far outside that mainstream view.”

On Tuesday, Harper suggested during a response regarding niqabs, coverings that veil most of a woman’s face, that Islam is anti-woman.

“Why would Canadians, contrary to our own values, embrace a practice at that time that is not transparent, that is not open and frankly is rooted in a culture that is anti-women?” Harper asked in question period.


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