Racism not acceptable in Canada —-کینیڈا میں نسل پرستی نا منظور

To read the PDF file in Urdu please click:  Canada Nasl Parasti Winnipeg1

Racism not acceptable in Canada.

My Op-Ed published in Urdu Times, a major Urdu weekly of US and Canada, discusses systemic, inherent, overt, and covert racism against its First Nations, Black, and other minorities in Canada, my country that is considered to be among the most civilized in the world.
Despite its high global ranking in social justice and inclusion, Canada continues to carry the stigma of blatant racism, especially against the First Nations. Many have the perception that the country is established on the lands of the First Nations who have been systematically deprived of the benefits of its resources, under one sided treaties, and through other abuses.

They have been compelled to live in segregated areas which are called “reserves’, and racist term in itself. The percentage of First Nations in Canada’s federal prison is disproportionally large than their population in Canada

It quotes Former Supreme Court of Canada justice Frank Iacobucci, who wrote “a stinging report on “racism” in the justice system toward aboriginals.”

Justice Iacobucci also said that, “his work surrounding the residential school settlement and probing a lack of aboriginal representation on juries are two issues that have perhaps meant the most to him as a Canadian.”

He also said that “We can’t continue to treat First Nations as objects. We have to be partners. I don’t care if it is in the justice system or economic development. It is going to take time.”

The Op-Ed discusses the recent article of MacLean’s magazine that has exposed serious racism against the aboriginals in Winnipeg, and all Prairie Provinces. The article detailed the death of Tina Fontaine, a 15 year old daughter of the First Nations, who was brutally and sexually assaulted and murdered.

I also discuss the racism against black, specially the policy of Carding practiced by the Toronto police, which has faced serious criticism and is being abolished. It points out the large number of hate crimes against this minority. It also mentions the death of black youths in various police encounters.

The Op-Ed also highlights the insensitivity of Canada’s Muslims and Pakistani towards the plight of the First Nations and black minorities. It suggests that these groups are used to stereotyping the others and have carried the same mentality in Canada.

I bring attention to the fact that most of the Pakistani and Muslim writers living in Canada ignore these issue, and some even use the stereotypes against the blacks in their own writing for vulgar entertainment.

It also discusses two exceptional writers, Nasim Syed, and Khalid Sohail, and Jawaid danish who have used their writings to introduce the Native and black culture and writings, so that their readers may be acquainted with the traditions of these important minorities of Canada. It is only when knows the traditions of others, one can overcome the prejudices.

Nasim Syed has already published a collection of her Urdu translation of the poetry of First Nations, and is currently working on the poetry of aboriginal women poets.

Dr. Khalid Sohail and Jawaid Danish, have compiled their own and other works on the Black people around the world under the title, Kalay JismoN ki Raizat.
The Op-Ed urges the readers to stand united in saying no to racism against all minorities in Canada.

In Your Face – Piercing the Veil of Ignorance About Niqab-Wearing Women

In Your Face – Piercing the Veil

Piercing the Veil of Ignorance About Niqab-Wearing Women

by Natasha Bakht
Read the article by clicking the link : In Your Face – Piercing the Veil


This article examines three judicial decisions in three different jurisdictions involving niqab-wearing women in courtrooms. Particular emphasis is paid to the Canadian Supreme Court case of R v. NS in which a sexual assault complainant wanted to wear her niqab while testifying. The uniquely challenging context of sexual assault, which has garnered much feminist attention and reform internationally, is considered. It is argued that serious consideration must be given to the multiple rights of Muslim women by reassessing the traditional use of demeanor evidence. Some judges in these cases attempt to be inclusive of niqab-wearing women in accordance with policies of multiculturalism, yet they do not go far enough in protecting Muslim women’s rights. Other judges refuse to accommodate the niqab entirely. This troubling analysis parallels attempts made to exclude niqab-wearing women from public spaces in Canada and permits dubious objections that certain requests for accommodation have gone too far.


Shared for general public interest with the permission of the author.

  1. Natasha Bakht, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, 57 Louis Pasteur St., Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5, Canada. Email: nbakht@uottawa.ca

Originally  Published by:

(Natasha Bakht is an associate professor of law at the University of Ottawa. She specializes in the intersecting area of religious freedom and women’s equality. Natasha lives in Ottawa with her son, Elaan. She is also an Indian contemporary dancer and choreographer.)






  1. University of Ottawa, Canada
  1. Natasha Bakht, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, 57 Louis Pasteur St., Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5, Canada. Email: nbakht@uottawa.ca