The government will appeal a Federal Court ruling that women can wear a niqab when taking their oath of citizenship, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says.

The woman who launched the motion, Zunera Ishaq, said she removed her face-covering veil during her citizenship test in November 2013 because she was allowed to do so in private with a female citizenship official.

However, in court documents she objected to the 2011 law requiring her to remove her niqab while she took the oath of citizenship, because she believes it requires her to temporarily abandon her Sunni Muslim belief that she wear the cloth that covers the face in public.

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