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Tory MP apologizes for 'stay the hell where you came from' niqab comment: report

Conservative MP Larry Miller is reportedly apologizing after saying Muslim women who choose to wear a niqab during a Canadian citizenship ceremony should “stay the hell where you came from.”

On Monday, during a call-in show on CFOS in Owen Sound, the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MP said he had “no sympathy” for Zunera Ishaq.

Ishaq, a Pakistani national from the Toronto area, has been a permanent resident of Canada since 2008. She wears a niqab when in public, and wants to be allowed to take the oath of citizenship while veiled.

In February, a federal judge ruled in Ottawa that a portion of the law requiring citizenship candidates to remove their face coverings while taking the oath was unlawful.

Ishaq had sued the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration claiming the government’s policy on veils violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“It just baffles me that lady challenged this in court and won,” Miller said during the show on Monday.

“If you are not willing to show your face in a ceremony that you’re joining the best country in the world, then frankly, if you don’t like that, if you don’t want to do that, stay the hell where you came from.”

At the time of February’s federal ruling, Harper said the government would appeal it and also called it “offensive” to cover one’s face while taking the citizenship oath.

Last week, Harper called the face-covering veils, which are worn by some Muslim women, a product of a culture that is “anti-women.”

He also said wearing a niqab is unacceptable and contrary to Canadian values.

Niqabs are face coverings worn by some Muslim women in public areas and in front of adult males who are not relatives.

“I think most Canadians feel the same. That’s maybe saying it a little harshly, but it’s the way I feel,” Miller said on the radio show.

“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.”

Listen to the audio below, courtesy of CFOS 560 AM Owen Sound:

Bayshore Broadcasting reports Miller issued an apology on Tuesday morning, saying his comments were “inappropriate.” However, he insists a person’s face should not be covered during a Canadian citizenship swearing-in ceremony.




Miller’s initial comments has sparked outrage on social media. Below are some tweets:





With files from The Canadian Press