The Edmonton Police Service is to reveal a prototype official hijab for its officers this week, following testing to ensure its safety.
It is understood the Muslim headscarf would be black, and designed to be worn underneath the standard police cap.
Unlike a traditional hijab, it is to be affixed with tear-away snaps, and designed so as not to obstruct an officer’s vision, or even breathing, during a struggle or other dynamic situation. It is being tested by the force’s tactics training unit, though a final version has not yet been decided, said Leila Daoud, a civilian spokesperson for the force.
Scott McKeen, a city councillor who has helped immigrants settle in Edmonton, called it a “gesture of inclusion” toward a local Muslim community that “can feel a little skittish at times” about Islamophobia. He compared it to Quebec, which has taken precisely the opposite tack, and mandated that any religious garb on state employees is to be banned as contrary to the province’s values.
Statistics prove that Islamophobia is a myth. McKeen blindly perpetuates it.
“One of the perceptions about Edmonton and Alberta is that we’re kind of redneck,” Mr. McKeen said. Offering the hijab to police recruits, especially in the absence of any political pressure, “is sort of saying we want to have a diverse police service that reflects the diversity and multicultural aspects of Edmonton…. I’m proud of us.”
That’s just plain creepy. More via Just how far do we take reasonable accommodation in the police department?
Indeed, just how far do we take reasonable accommodation in the police department?
Do Muslim police officers reserve the right not to work with the Canine Unit, given that many Muslims consider dogs “unclean”?
Will ham sandwiches be banned from police stations due to dietary restrictions?
As well, is there not a profound double-standard at play here?
For example, here’s a scenario I’d find most amusing to observe: Imagine “Constable Duncan MacDonald,” who is of Scottish heritage, waltzes into the station tomorrow decked out in a ceremonial kilt, complete with sporran. How many nanoseconds would tick by before P.C. MacDonald is hauled before a supervisor and sternly disciplined?
Something is indeed rotten these days when it comes to sensitivity issues.
Consider the plight of Tarek Fatah. This moderate Muslim author has been subjected to written death threats from radical Muslims, yet the police have decided not to lay charges.
And, full disclosure: Last summer at Yonge Dundas Square, your correspondent was punched in the face by a hijab-wearing woman who objected to me taking pictures. Even though the assault was photographed and eye-witnessed, police declined to lay charges.
Imagine if a citizen was to call the cops regarding a suspected honour killing in the neighbourhood and the policewoman who responds is decked out in a hijab? Would this not be unsettling?