Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) holds media launch of its report, Women in Niqab Speak: A Study of the Niqab in Canada

For immediate release

Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) holds media launch of its report, Women in Niqab Speak:  A Study of the Niqab in Canada

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 – CCMW will hold its Toronto media launch of Women in Niqab Speak: A Study of the Niqab in Canada at York University on Friday, February 28.  The study is the first of its kind in Canada and gives voice to Muslim women who wear the niqab.  Dr. Lynda Clarke, Associate Professor of Religion and Islam at Concordia University conducted the study and the Ontario Trillium Foundation funded it.   Results are based on 81 responses to a survey, focus groups and personal interviews with women who wear the niqab. Participants were from across Ontario and included women in Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, and from Quebec (Montreal).

Study findings include:

  • The majority of respondents are willing to show their faces for the purposes of security and identification (in person or photo I.D).
  • The women have positive experiences in gaining access to services such as social services, legal services and medical care in Ontario.
  • The women’s experiences and rationales for wearing the niqab are diverse. The majority of the women come from families where the niqab is not worn and cited spiritual/religious growth, expression of Muslim identity and individual freedom and liberation as reasons they choose to wear it.

“I think CCMW approaches these difficult issues in a respectful, nuanced, and sensitive manner,“ said Dr. Barlas. “This is in stark contrast to the racism and stereotyping of Muslims prevalent in the media and public discourse which doesn’t benefit anyone in the end.”

The Toronto media launch is one of a series of being held in Ontario.  The have already taken place in London and Guelph. The Toronto media launch takes place on Friday, February 28 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the Executive Dining Room, Schulich School of Business, York University. Another one is planned for Ottawa on Thursday, March 6 from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm in Room 129, Simard Hall, University of Ottawa.

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For further information, please contact Sahar Zaidi at 416-875-7796 or projects@ccmw.com.