PM's Office Says Muslims Can Wear Headscarf in ID Photos, Facial Features Must Be Visible

August 13, 2004

Source: CAIR-CAN

On August 13, 2004 the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada reported, "In a letter to the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), the Prime Minister’s office has assured Canadian Muslims that their religious right to wear a hijab, or Islamic headscarf, will be respected and protected when photographs are taken for the Permanent Resident (PR) Card. The letter came after a formal complaint was filed with CAIR-CAN by numerous Muslim women who were told to remove their hijab for their PR Card photograph by Canadian immigration officials at the Pierre Trudeau port of entry... In his July 23, 2004 letter, the Prime Minister wrote: 'Please be assured that your concerns regarding Permanent Resident (PR) Card photographs have been given careful and appropriate considerations... CIC policy is that allowances be made for practitioners of religious faiths that prohibit the removal of head coverings. CIC does not require the head covering to be completely removed, but for security purposes, all facial features must be visible for the photographs.'"