Canada Bans Burqa in Citizenship Ceremony

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Muslim women are no longer able to wear a burqa while taking Canada's oath of citizenship.

Jason Kenney, the country's immigration minister, says citizenship judges need to be able to ensure individuals are actually reciting the oath.

"We shouldn't have the state using its power to dictate what people choose to wear in their private lives, but when there are important points of intersection with the state in obtaining state services I think it's entirely reasonable for people to show who they are," Kenney said.

The new Canadian rule takes effect immediately.

In Quebec, legislation is in the works that would ban face coverings in government-funded institutions.

Other countries have taken a more extreme approach. In both France and Belgium, it is illegal to wear any kind of face covering in public.

An estimated 940,000 Muslims live in Canada, which is about 2.8 percent of the Canadian population. Islam is the fastest growing religion in Canada.

Over the last decade, Canada has naturalized between 150,000 and 180,000 new citizens a year.

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