Quebec NDP candidate Romeo Saganash calls niqab ‘the oppressor’s clothing’ despite party’s support of it
CBC News Posted: Sep 30, 2015 9:38 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 30, 2015 10:44 AM ET
The NDP and Liberal parties’ position that Muslim women should be allowed to wear the niqab during citizenship ceremonies might not be universally shared by all their party members, if statements made by several Quebec candidates this week are anything to go by.
Both parties have said Muslim women should be allowed to wear what they want during citizenship ceremonies while the Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois would like to see face coverings banned during the ceremonies.
On Monday, Romeo Saganash, the NDP’s candidate in the northern Quebec riding of Abitibi-James-Bay-Nunavik-Eeyou, said he personally believed the niqab to be “the oppressor’s clothing.”
Saganash, who is also a member of the Cree First Nation, said at debate earlier this week that when French settlers arrived in Quebec, they had to adapt some of their customs to the culture of the First Nations living there, and Muslim women should similarly adapt.
“When the first French people arrived, they had to adapt, and even adopted, some of the indigenous people’s customs … That’s what we have to do on this issue,” he said.
At the same debate, his Liberal opponent, Pierre Dufour, also expressed his opposition to the niqab.
Meanwhile, NDP candidate in Joliette Danielle Landreville tweeted on Tuesday that she was against the niqab. She later deleted the tweets, but a cached version of her website still showed them.