©2017 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee
Identification of Canadians and Quebec’s Bill 62: Who Are You?
The Province of Quebec recently passed Bill 62, the ban of full-face covering —for anyone giving or receiving public services. The controversial ban is criticized by the ‘politically-correct’ as being specifically aimed at Muslim women. Wrong. It is not. It is aimed inclusively at all persons in Quebec, any and all individuals, any citizen, foreign, immigrant, visitor, asylum seeker, fake refugee or otherwise—any ‘person’ receiving or giving services who arrogantly insists upon hiding (his/her/its/gender-neutral, modified, transformed, whatever, your choice) their natural face. You got it, anyone in Quebec who hides their faces and identity from other Canadians is now required to conform to a common-sense law.
Who ARE You? Identification of Canadians… a valid Question of Security
“Who are you?” remains a valid question of security for people world-wide. Around the globe. Identification of Quebeckers, in fact any and all Canadians or others with covered faces in public places —is a security issue.
Don’t like it? Get used to it. Join the modern world. France and other countries including Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands have done the same. Worth noting, some Muslim countries also recognize that security is paramount and must come first. Chad, and even Egypt are doing the same. With good reason. Terrorists use deception and hide their faces, gender, and intent. Full-face coverings are NOT an “Islamic” religious requirement contrary to the loudly-expressed opinions of perhaps well-intentioned—but ill-informed protesters.
Identification of Canadians and the Stigma of Hidden Faces
Here in Canada we are an ‘open-faced society’ and always have been. Hidden faces have traditionally and correctly borne the stigma of suspicion and evil. The indeterminate stranger approaches presenting unknown and potential danger. Lack of trust is invariably created, regardless of what lurks behind masks and other forms of face coverings.
Hidden faces have been and will continue to be associated with persons having something to hide, criminality, untrustworthy, evil intent. Shady individuals, attackers, break and enter artists and car thieves alike do not want their faces revealed before or after being caught. Terrorists with murder on their minds do not wish to be identified. ISIS ‘fighters’ and extremists of every kind practice secrecy of the worst kind. Hidden intent. Terrorism. The past 20 years has demonstrated an automatic correlation between hidden faces and masks, including “burquas and hijabs”. We cannot help that. How unfortunate. But to deny the association between ‘hidden faces’ of any type and human lack of trust is to be naive, uninformed, and foolish.
Benefits of Open Faces and Identification of Canadians
Yes. Benefits. Open faces offer more than simple visual confirmation of identification. Uncovered faces increase trust between people in daily contact, on passing, standing face-to-face, silently, speaking directly to one another or not. Open faces improve communication via the inherent understanding of natural and unmistakable language of facial expression. Faces signal intent, friendship, status, happiness, sadness, good or evil —although such an interchange may be subtle, missed entirely, understood or not.
Why are there Objections to Reasonable and logical Identification of Canadians? Why is this even an issue?
Open, honest and uncovered faces improve tolerance, inclusion, and acceptance above all. Worth repeating, uncovered faces offer inclusion, acceptance, and even potential friendship to strangers. Open faces reduce concerns for personal safety— by honestly addressing, reducing or completely eliminating suspicion.
Canadians naturally object to covered faces for all of the above reasons. Canadians are, by our very identity, history and nature, friendly, open-faced, inclusive and tolerant of those who dress ‘strangely’ and those who may be ‘different’. We want to know who specifically stands before us for any purpose.
On the Other Hand…
Want to be looked upon with suspicion by all? Try it. Cover your face fully. Hide your face from any and all observers and passers-by. Lurk in public places, courts of law, lineups at bus stops, at the mall, in lineups at the show, ceremonies, events, schools, the supermarket, the welfare office, or your neighbourhood community center. Try entering an airport wearing a balaclava—and see what happens. Expect to be confronted and identified.
While you’re at it, protest Canadian social life, Canadian traditions, and whine loudly. Scream racism! Hide your face so nobody can determine who you are, what you are protesting and whining loudly for, or screaming dissent.
How about let’s sneak about like it’s Hallowe’en. Close enough. Pretend you’re practicing “it’s a woman’s choice’ , imagine you are a different gender and supporting “women’s issues.” Pretend that you’re a ‘feminist’, as certain out-of-touch, ill-informed, confused and incompetent politicians posing as ‘leaders’ seem to be prone to encourage. Does a full-face covering make your voiced opinion any braver, any more valid? No. In fact, the opposite; the hidden face demonstrates cowardice.
One may use the excuse that a burqua, Lone Ranger mask, niquab, rubber Grinch-face, wooden voodoo mask, head-scarf, extreme-weather face-cover-hoodie, ski-mask, hollowed-out pumpkin-head, rubber duck costume, toque, or northern balaclava — is somehow justified by a “religious requirement” and a ‘religion’. It is not. They are not. None of the above face coverings qualify for exemption or eliminate, dismiss, or trump the logical and reasonable quest for security for ALL Canadians.
Walk into a bank or jewelry store or bank—or any other civilized workplace with a full-face covering and try withdrawing money or inciting a nasty public demonstration— and discover why full face covering are a bad idea.
This is Canada. It is time for politicians of all stripes to remind themselves why the essential tradition of open-faced identification of Canadians IS the essence of Canada.