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Canada expunges refugee questionnaire that asked about prayer habits, views on hijab

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“Inappropriate”? This looks as if it was the most appropriate screening process to surface in a long time. Clearly this was an attempt to identify jihadis and Sharia supremacists. So of course the Trudeau government is discarding it. They wouldn’t violate politically correct norms in order to protect their people.

“‘Inappropriate’ RCMP questionnaire probed asylum seekers on prayer habits, hijab,” by Benjamin Shingler, CBC News, October 12, 2017 (thanks to Graham):

An RCMP interview guide used to screen asylum seekers on their prayer habits and views on women who don’t wear the hijab was “inappropriate” and “wrong-headed,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says.

The three-page form, obtained by CBC News, asked people who were trying to cross the Quebec-U.S. border on Roxham Road, a busy crossing east of Hemmingford, Que., for details on their work history, whether they had a criminal record and what motivated their decision to leave the United States.

It also asked for their views on female bosses, terrorist attacks and ISIS.

Muslims in particular appear to have been targeted, as no other religion is mentioned in the questionnaire.

Goodale said the questions amounted to religious profiling and the RCMP has suspended the use of that version of the interview guide, which was deployed at Roxham Road and a processing centre at the Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle border crossing.

“As soon as they were drawn to our attention, which was during the course of the day on Tuesday, we immediately contacted the headquarters of the RCMP to determine what exactly what was going on,” Goodale said Thursday.

“These questions were not appropriate. They were developed at the local level but they were immediately withdrawn, and the RCMP is now examining how this decision-making took place so they can make sure it does not take place in the future,” he said.

Goodale said any data collected as a result of the questions will be traced and expunged
.

Toronto lawyer Clifford McCarten, who obtained a copy of the document after it was mistakenly handed to one of his clients, said it’s “entirely appropriate” for the Canada Border Services Agency to ask probing questions about criminality and whether border crossers are associated with extremist groups.

But, he said, “I’ve never seen someone asked how regularly they practise their religion, what their opinion on having a woman as a boss is, or their views of different religious coverings. And the reason I’ve never seen that is because it’s utterly irrelevant, from a legal point of view, to the refugee claims process.”


Mitchell Goldberg, president of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, said the interview guide “smacks of a values test” like the one proposed by failed Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch.

“You expect the RCMP to be concerned about our security, about Canadians’ safety, not asking people questions about their religion and their politics,” he told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak.

“It’s the kind of thing we’d expect on the other side of the border, in the United States.”

Samer Majzoub, president of the Canadian Muslim Forum, said authorities shouldn’t be targeting asylum seekers because of their religious or cultural background.

“It was very shocking, honestly,” he said.

“One of the things that was really surprising was that it was many social questions, not so much security questions.”

A copy of the interview guide used by the RCMP on Roxham Road

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