Women wearing Burka in Regent Park, Toronto on Monday May 9th, 2011.
Credits: Toronto Sun/QMI Agency
TORONTO - A former Muslim Canadian Congress president is angry a 14-year-old clad in a burka was filmed buying booze in three LCBO stores without being asked to provide identification or show their face.
"This is evidence that the burka is crime-enabling garb. It's being used to break the law," Farzana Hassan said Tuesday.
Hassan said Muslim women, particularly, have politicized the issue and says she knows of circumstances where women have refused to show their face on principle.
"Now criminal aspects in society are taking advantage of this," she said.
"This is why I've always (wanted to) ban burkas in public places. In your home, wear whatever you want. But in public buildings and places, we need to know the identities of people and that is impossible if you are covering your face," Hassan said.
Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, director of the equality program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said there are other ways people can determine age, such as looking at one's hands and stature.
Aviv said an option should be made available to Muslim women covering their faces to be able to identify themselves to a female employee, rather than a male one, adding she thinks the number of women in Toronto who wear burkas is actually very small.
"I think we need to be really careful not to turn this into an anti-Muslim issue. It's an underage kids finding fraudulent ways to buy alcohol issue," Aviv said.