Canadian female Ministers had to face criticism online after they welcomed a Muslim leader to the Parliament while wearing a head covering.
The ‘Khalifa of Islam‘ who is the worldwide head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was welcomed to Canadian Parliament by several Ministers including Debb Schulte and Judy Srgo. Both of them adorned head scarves for the occasion; a decision criticized by Canadian-French actress and blogger Sophie Durocher.
Durocher, who writes for Le Journal de Montréal, scrutinized the MP’s decision in her blog post and wrote:
“Why are these women veiled……..In the name of what principle you wore the veil in a democratic and political forum where religion has no place? To please your guests? Or because you were forced to do so?“
Durocher also wrote emails to MP’s Judy Sgro and Deb Schulte questioning their decision to welcome the Caliph while wearing scarves.
The office of MP Judy Srgo defended her decision and responded to the criticism with a lengthy statement, schooling her on the difference between a scarf and a veil and how she had adorned a similar scarf for the Pope.
The statement sent by office of MP Judy Srgo read:
Firstly, Ms. Sgro Did not wear a veil During the visit of His Holiness, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. Ms. Sgro did however wear a modest wear head-covering during the official welcoming that she lead, and during some formal meetings outside of the House of Commons Chamber.
This was not requested by the delegation, Ms. Sgro opted to wear the head-covering as a sign of voluntary compliance during the formative portions of the day. As you will know, Many Muslims believe that covering the head engenders some spiritual state of receptivity and centeredness. For Ahmadiyya Muslims in Particular, this custom is observed by both men and women and it is in this context that Ms. Sgro made the voluntary decision to demonstrate year Understand and respect for the customs of our guests.
In a similar vein, When Ms. Sgro was Invited to the 2014 canonization ceremony of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII, she observed the long-standing traditional Christian ritual (as Noted in 1 Cor. 1: 3-6) of wearing a modest head-covering during some events – Even When those events were held outside of a Church.
The Above aside, it is significant to note once the official welcoming ceremony and initial meetings had concluded, Ms. Sgro opted to interact with His Holiness, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, without a head-covering. As you would expect, she continued to be received by all the guests with respect and appropriateness befitting her role as a Member of Canada’s House of Commons.