RCMP allows Muslim women Mounties to wear hijab
New policy aims to better reflect diverse communities and recruit more Muslim officers
By Kathleen Harris
CBC News | August 24, 2016
The Mounties have adopted a new uniform policy to allow female Muslim officers to wear the hijab.
Scott Bardsley, spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, confirmed that RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson recently approved an addition to the uniform policy to allow women officers to wear the head scarf « if they so choose. »
« The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is a progressive and inclusive police service that values and respects persons of all cultural and religious backgrounds, » Bardsley said in an email.
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The National Council of Canadian Muslims applauded the policy change, calling it a « welcome one and a natural evolution for Canadian policing. » The advocacy group said three types of headscarves were tested to select one that would not encumber officers and could be easily removed when required.
« While in 1990 there was initial reluctance to allow Sikh RCMP officers to wear the turban as part of their uniforms, Canadians have since embraced the change and we expect that this will be the same with the decision to allow the hijab, said the council’s communications director Amira Elghawaby in a release.
« The Canadian Muslim population is growing and this decision will help reflect the richness and diversity of our country as well as open up career options for minorities. »