The woman at the centre of the identity debate that has come to define Canada's federal election campaign accused the government Thursday of hiding "behind the niqab" to avoid debating real issues.

Zunera Ishaq plans to take her citizenship oath in the next few days, having won the right in court to participate in the ceremony while wearing a niqab.

In recent weeks, Ishaq's case — and the larger theme of veiled women in Canadian society — has emerged as a dominant issue in the campaign, and perhaps the defining one in Quebec.

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