Tory MP Larry Miller tells niqab-wearers at oath ceremonies to ‘stay the hell where you came from’

Tory MP tells niqab-wearers at oath ceremonies to ‘stay the hell where you came from’



Larry Miller
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
MP Larry Miller is pictured in this file photo. (JAMES MASTERS/QMI Agency)

OWEN SOUND, Ont. — A Conservative MP has apologized for telling a radio station that Muslim women who want to wear a niqab while taking the oath of citizenship should “stay the hell where you came from.”

Larry Miller, who represents the riding of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, made the comment Monday in the wake of a Federal Court ruling that struck down a ban on face coverings during citizenship oaths.

“I think most Canadians feel the same. That’s maybe saying it a little harshly, but it’s the way I feel,” Miller told 560 CFOS AM.

“I’m so sick and tired of people wanting to come here because they know it’s a good country and then they want to change things before they even really officially become a Canadian, so I have no sympathy for her.”

Miller apologized on Tuesday, calling his comments “inappropriate.”

Tasha Kheiriddin: This isn’t about the right to choose a burka over a bikini. It’s about a country’s values

Tasha Kheiriddin: This isn’t about the right to choose a burka over a bikini. It’s about a country’s values

 | March 11, 2015 | Last Updated: Mar 12 3:56 PM ET
This week, Justin Trudeau lambasted the Conservatives for opposing the niqab — and basically accused them of being racist.

J.P. Moczulski for National PostThis week, Justin Trudeau lambasted the Conservatives for opposing the niqab — and basically accused them of being racist.

Political parties can’t be all things to all people, nor should they. Instead, they court votes based on their principles, and where they align with various constituencies. The progressive vote. The “family values” vote. The middle-class vote. The ethnic vote. The women’s vote.

It is the latter two categories that are colliding head-on in the run-up to the next federal election. At issue is a war of words over the niqab, a face veil covering all but the eyes, worn by some Muslim women as a symbol of devotion to their faith, eschewed by others as not being strictly necessary according to the rules of Islam. The niqab is banned in some countries including Turkey, Tunisia and France; in others, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria, it is not legally required, but is a norm that when violated is met with ostracism and physical abuse.

Afghani Johra Kaleki guilty in attempted honour killing of her 19-year-old daughter

Kaleki stabbed her daughter in the head at the family’s Montreal-area home

CBC News Posted: Mar 10, 2015 3:07 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 10, 2015 4:10 PM ET

Johra Kaleki, 42, has been found guilty of the attempted murder of her daughter.

The incident happened in June 2010 at the family home in Dorval.

Kaleki’s daughter,  Bahar Ebrahimi , then 19 years old, had gone out with friends to a nightclub.

When she returned, after midnight, her mother attacked her with a meat cleaver.

Ibrahimi suffered serious injuries in the attack.

Kaleki had been sent to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation at the defence’s request but was declared fit to stand trial.

On Tuesday, Quebec Court Judge Yves Paradis concluded Kaleki was not suffering from a psychotic episode and said there is “no doubt” she intended to kill her daughter.

“It is clear Mrs. Kaleki knew not only that her actions were contrary to law but also that they were morally wrong according to the standard of the ordinary person,” Paradis wrote in his decision.

“There is no doubt that her intention was to kill the victim.”

Kaleki did not react to the guilty verdict.

She was accompanied by her husband and the victim, her daughter.

Bahar Ebrahimi left the court room as soon as the judgment was read out.

Kaleki will remain out on bail until her sentence is handed down.


More on the case

LETTER – Special Accommodation (McGill University Fitness Centre )

LETTER – Special Accommodation (McGill University Fitness Centre ),

Dear Ms. Fortier,

I am addressing you as  McGill University Alumnus.
During my time at McGill, from 1992 to 1996, I earned two law degrees.  Despite the heavy coursework, I still managed to find time to go to the gym and use the weight room, the exercise room, the squash courts and later the indoor track, once it was opened.
As a member of the Judo Club for four years, I was in the martial arts room twice weekly.  I served as a liason between the gym and the McGill Outing Club for many years.
After graduation I continued my connection with the McGill gyms as an instructor of the kayaking program, and also as an assistant instructor in the Aikido Club.
I have benefited greatly from the gym facilities and my memories and attachment to McGill Athletics and Recreation Centre are deep and strong.

I am now writing you to voice my opposition to the idea of sexually segregated hours, as is currently being proposed.  I understand that this trend is being increasingly explored at other facilities as well.   I consider the concept to be very much against the modern, liberal, socially open society that Canada represents and that McGill University should be encouraging.  I can understand the ideal of wanting to accommodate everybody, however, this ideal becomes self-defeating if you accommodate philosophies that are segregationist.
I understand that certain individuals, such as Soumia Allalou, claim that they cannot train nor benefit from the facilities because men are present.   It is of critical importance to the good of our society that a role model such as McGill University remain steadfast in pursuing liberal, inclusive and modern values.   The mindset of people such as Soumia Allalou is anathema to the ideals of a modern Western, liberal institution.  Allowing such people to impose discriminatory policies would be an explicit approval of such a retrograde mindset and would be a step backward in the cultural evolution of our society.   If Soumia Allalo and people of similar viewpoints are incapable of evolving and adapting to the most basic of modern Canadian norms and values, then they will have to find, manage and or finance their own alternative manner of exercising their preferences and their prejudice.  Such should not be tolerated nor encouraged by an institution that is supported in large part by public funds.

The message sent by McGill University and by Canada as a whole to society and to the outside world should be as follows:
All are welcome.  All may bring with them their culture and practices.  None may impose their culture upon others, nor force their bias or their beliefs upon other groups or individuals.

To approve segregated training hours of the manner proposed is tantamount to importing a prejudice against both men and women at the same time.   Such is not the nature of the McGill Community to which I belong since twenty-three years.

Yours truly,

Daniel Romano, Esq



Letter published with Mr Romano’s permission


MONTREAL: Soumia Allalou “surprised” there are no women-only hours at McGill University fitness centre

A proposal by two McGill law faculty students to have women-only hours at the downtown campus gym is causing an uproar at the Montreal university.

Soumia Allalou, a second-year McGill law student, started the proposal for women-only gym hours along with fellow student Raymond Grafton. (Photo used with permission from Soumia Allalou)

When student Soumia Allalou, 23, decided to get back into shape, she contacted the university’s gym and asked when women-only hours were. She was surprised to find that there was no such thing.

“Personally I prefer to work out in a women-only environment. I just kind of assumed they would have women-only hours. I asked them if there was a project for that in the works and they said that they didn’t think so,” said Allalou, who wears a hair covering and cites religious reasons for her preference. She took to Facebook to voice her concerns.

“I feel like there are many women who have a variety of reasons for preferring to work out in a women-only environment. Whether it’s how comfortable they are, whether they have had bad experiences at the gym in the past, whether they have less access to the machines. A lot of women tell me they feel intimidated in the weights section,” said Allalou. 

Plain diversity or selective diversity?

From CIR readers:

Plain diversity or selective diversity?

By Audrey  Davis

February  2015

 The Federal Court of Canada has ruled it is “unlawful” for Ottawa to order new citizens to remove their face-covering veil when taking the oath of citizenship. This decision deserves applause.

 More likely, outraged voices will thunder in disapproval of this latest ruling triggered by the case of Zunera Ishaq, who arrived from Pakistan in 2008 after being sponsored by her Canadian husband.

 Ms Ishaq successfully passed the citizenship test in November 2013 and was scheduled to be sworn in at a citizenship ceremony in Scarborough two months later but decided to forego the event after learning she would need to remove her niqab under a ban introduced in 2011 by then Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

 I am shocked that our government is so blatantly opposed to multiculturalism and diversity while simultaneously promoting these principles as core Canadian values.

 The Canadian Multiculturalism Act declares:

 “The Constitution of Canada provides that every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination and that everyone has the freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion, expression, peaceful assembly and association and guarantees those rights and freedoms equally to male and female persons.”

 Ms Ishaq’s refusal to remove her niqab in public is her fundamental right, as the head garment is not a fashion-related item, but a symbol of her deep religious belief. Interfering with one’s rights to preserve and enjoy their own culture, in this case the removal of a niqab, is a violation of religious rights protected by the Act.

 Why this two-faced attitude on multiculturalism and diversity promoted in our society?

 Conventional politeness encourages being a proponent of an open and multicultural society. Being opposed to diversity automatically triggers daunting names in the form of ethically questionable libels: racist, anti-…., intolerant …-phobic, etc.

 Nobody wants to be vilified, thus people are simply recycling the same reasons for loving multiculturalism and diversity: food, restaurants and… interesting spices. Using various food-related elements will not mask the truth: they are talking about food.

 The one-step-more-advanced proponents are those who solemnly and proudly state that multiculturalism and diversity are tools of cultural enrichment, as they “learn so much about other cultures”.

 How much of this claim is true? How much do you personally know about your spouse’s or co-worker’s culture?

I don’t doubt that some really learn, but knowledge is not related to being in direct contact with a representative of a certain culture.

 There is a misconception related to how we perceive each member of a cultural community: it is mechanically seen that each individual is an ambassador of their own culture. Some don’t know their own history; others have no basic knowledge about their literature, art or philosophy.

Sharing a space with members of a cultural community does not automatically make one more informed.

 Would you say that while riding a multicultural bus , one would routinely engage in culturally enriching conversations?

 How many times have you asked someone who was chatting with a friend in an unknown language what language they spoke? And how many times have you asked more questions about their culture?

Probably never as this would be seen as unacceptable behaviour, rather than thirst for knowledge.

 Let’s take this basic test:

1.            What is the official language of Brazil?

2.            Is Burkina Faso a monarchy?

3.            What is the difference between a burka and a niqab?

4.            Why do Chinese dislike  #4?

5.            Who was Dracula?

6.            Is Somalia located on the east or west coast of Africa?

7.            A Muslim place of worship is called: a church, synagogue, temple or mosque?

8.            Before entering a Japanese home, one must: wash their feet, remove their shoes, wash their hands or remove their socks?

9.            Offering your right hand is an insult in many countries, especially India. True or false?

10.        What is the Philippine’s recognised language?


This is basic knowledge that every proponent should know as many Canadians have hired a nanny from the Philippines, while others are probably married to an immigrant or have adopted a baby from China or Africa.

 Now, let’s return to Ms Ishaq.

She came to Canada to be reunited with her husband.

She grew up in Pakistan, perhaps in a little village where women wear niqabs.

How does one demand that she suddenly “become Canadian and embrace our culture and values”?

This request is not only unachievable, but also ridiculous and cruel in its blindness.

 We all know what love means. We fell in love with a person and we know that every person has faults. But we have chosen one person to love, cherish and spend our lives with, not because that person is perfect, but because we love that person, in spite of their faults.

This is love.

If we think that the person we love is faultless and once we discover a fault, we decide to abandon him or her, would we call that love?

 Multiculturalism and diversity are not different.

We have opened our doors to non-European immigration, knowing so well that Canada would become a space shared by many non-European cultures that bring very specific, new and powerful customs and family traditions, as well as values that may not be similar to ours.

We asked them to marry Canada. And they said “Yes”.

Consequently, they came to Canada with their languages, food, clothes, lifestyle and philosophy.

 They came only because we had opened the doors telling them: “Come and live with us and your cultural identity will be preserved and protected.”

 Please do not be angry with Ms Ishaq.

Please do not hate those immigrants who live according to the Canadian Multiculturalism Act.

 If you don’t smoke and you invite a smoker for dinner, don’t be shocked if the guest will smoke.

You should have informed your guest in advance.

 If you feel uncomfortable mentioning the fact, next time your guest will smoke again. Out of politeness, you allow your guest to smoke in the living room, while enjoying the cup of coffee. The smoke bothers you, yet, you dare not say anything.

The evening ends and you feel frustrated about the odour left behind; the curtains got impregnated with the unmistakable cigarette smell.

Do you feel angry? Will you blame your guest?

Perhaps you shouldn’t have invited him/her again. Next time, select your guests more carefully.

Find the guts to tell him/her or speak no word and stop complaining.

Your guest might choose to continue visiting you, while making a major compromise or might simply stop visiting you, if enjoying a glass of wine without smoking is not an option.

 How about this scenario? You need a roommate and you accept a devote Muslim who needs to pray five times a day, who doesn’t smoke, drink or eat pork.

After a few days, you begin feeling irritated by his cultural practices. After a few weeks, you mention the prayer-related aspect: it disturbs you.

Your roommate doesn’t understand your reaction and he is right.

You have accepted him in the first place and you were supposed to be aware of his cultural practices. Now, you are asking him to stop praying or move out.

What is wrong in this picture?

 Asking immigrants who have been accepted into Canada with their unmistakable cultural identity to suddenly abandon it denotes crass thoughtlessness and ignorance.

 If Canada wants diversity and multiculturalism, so be it. Then be ready to accept kirpans in schools, gender-separation, religious accommodations, non-English or French signage, honour-killings, dowry feuds, and arranged marriages.

 If you are ready for all this, you are a true proponent of diversity and multiculturalism.

If not, you support a selective diversity and multiculturalism and this is simply insolent.

 True proponents of multiculturalism would proudly stand with Ms Ishaq in defending her right to wear the niqab while being sworn in as Canadian citizen.

 In lieu of supporting “weekend diversity” by dining at ethnic restaurants and maintaining token social ties with visible minorities at work, a real multiculturalist embraces diversity without being selective. Offering unconditional support to all cultural practice is non-negotiable, particularly if some cultural aspects cause some level of social discomfort.

Multiculturalism is a table d’hote affair, not a buffet.