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A spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said that the RCMP is now going to allow Muslim officers wear the hijab as part of their uniform. The recent effort was made to encourage more Muslim women to join the RCMP as a career.
Bob Paulson, RCMP’s commissioner has approved of the recent change, calling it a similar decision to allowing Sikh males wearing the turban, which was allowed in the 1990 to promote interfaith unity, and bring communities together. The RCMP’s decision comes at a crucial time when other law enforcement agencies such as the Toronto and Edmonton Police Services also are allowing Muslim women to wear the hijab as part of their uniform. Similar examples can be given of the police in other countries as well, such as the US, UK, Norway and Sweden, all of whom allow the hijab as part of the uniform for their female officers.
But, the main reason behind the recent change of heart is because the RCMP has been struggling to attract young Muslim women to join the RCMP as a career. This has proven to be even harder amid the allegations of harassment by the female officers in the RCMP. According to the most recent statistics, only 18% of women from minorities join the RCMP, and the Mounties are looking to increase that meager number to at least 30% by the end of 2025.
This seems easier said than done, since the RCMP have faced continuing allegations of harassment, with over hundreds of female members recently joining a class-action suit against the RCMP alleging discrimination, amongst other charges. While none of the current members wear the hijab, its inclusion to the female uniform is a decision that has been welcomed by the minorities. The hijab that’s going to be allowed from now on has been rigorously tested to ensure that it meets the standards for the safety of female officers who wear it.
Is this the first step to bringing sharia law into Canada? Some extremists say it will happen, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.