Excerpt:

Middle Eastern garments designed to cover a woman's face are "medieval" and "misogynist" symbols of extremism with no basis in Islam, a Canadian Muslim lobby group said Wednesday as it urged Ottawa to ban the burka and the niqab.

The Muslim Canadian Congress called on the federal government to prohibit the two garments in order to prevent women from covering their faces in public -- a practice the group said has no place in a society that supports gender equality.

"To cover your face is to conceal your identity," congress spokeswoman Farzana Hassan said in a telephone interview, describing the issue as a matter of public safety, since concealing one's identity is a common practice for criminals.


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