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Winner of legal battle to wear veil, Zunera takes citizenship oath in Canada

ONTARIO: The woman winning the legal battle to take her citizenship oath while wearing veil (niqab) has been official granted Canadian citizenship.

29-year-old Zunera Ishaq was granted citizenship in a private ceremony in Mississauga, said her lawyer Lorne Waldman.

“It was very emotional,” he added.

She had to take her veil off to show her identity in front of a female officer in a private room before the oath was taken, he said after which all of us went to the judge’s office to perform oath taking ceremony officially.

“O Canada was sung after the oath was taken, citizenship certificate was give and oath card was signed by her”.

In the video, it can be seen that Zunera took the oath while she was wearing her niqab. She got citizenship before the federal elections were in Canada on October 19 and she had a wish to cast her first vote as a Canadian in 2015.

She said, “it’s every one’s personal choice to cover face or show it. Being a Muslim, it is my religious obligation to cover my face and no one should interfere into it and Canada should respect the differences of culture and opinion prevailing within its borders”

The Conservative government that banned new Canadians from wearing veil while taking oaths, lead to this controversy which got hype in 2011.

Zunera’s challenge to the new rules brought her into court where she actually won her legal battle of wearing veil during the oath taking ceremony of Canadian citizenship.

The attorney Waldman said Ishaq did not request a private ceremony.

The government though has refused to back off and decided to go in the Supreme Court of Canada as in their point of view, showing identity is mandatory for Canadian rules and national security.