Edmonton police set to unveil official hijab that Muslim officers can wear on duty

Joseph Brean | National Post, November 24, 2013

The Edmonton Police Service is to reveal a prototype official hijab for its officers this week, following testing to ensure its safety.

It is understood the Muslim headscarf would be black, and designed to be worn underneath the standard police cap.

Unlike a traditional hijab, it is to be affixed with tear-away snaps, and designed so as not to obstruct an officer’s vision, or even breathing, during a struggle or other dynamic situation. It is being tested by the force’s tactics training unit, though a final version has not yet been decided, said Leila Daoud, a civilian spokesperson for the force.

Scott McKeen, a city councillor who has helped immigrants settle in Edmonton, called it a “gesture of inclusion” toward a local Muslim community that “can feel a little skittish at times” about Islamophobia. He compared it to Quebec, which has taken precisely the opposite tack, and mandated that any religious garb on state employees is to be banned as contrary to the province’s values….

In fact, there is as yet no picture of the official Edmonton police headscarf, but a prototype is to be revealed later this week, Ms. Daoud said…

Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, called it a “natural evolution” for policing in Canada, that follows similar moves in the private sector, and opens up career options for minorities.

He compared it to the introduction of the Sikh turban to the RCMP in 1990, which was controversial at the time but is now broadly accepted.

“The Muslim community is growing in Canada, and [a police hijab] is certainly something that we welcome,” he said.

It is not the first time a Canadian security force has permitted the hijab. Airport Customs officers have been allowed to wear it, and it has been approved in Toronto….