A Stark Contrast: Edmonton Police Approves a Hijab Headscarf Uniform


In Edmonton, Alberta, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has made a huge leap in accepting cultural and changing diversities within their city.

Announced on December 6th, the EPS has approved a police-issued hajib headscarf uniform for female officers of Muslim faith. Currently, no officers have requested to wear a hajib, but in a truly proactive move the EPS hopes to create an interest in policing careers from their Muslim community. Male officers are already allowed to wear turbans and with the integration of hajibs, females now have the same opportunity.

With no police hajibs designed yet, a division of the EPS created a hajib designed to be unobtrusive and easy to remove. After testing to ensure it did not interfere with the officer or put them at risk, Alberta now joins Ontario in allowing hajibs to be worn while on duty.

This poses an interesting contrast to Quebec, which has pushed to ban any public sector employees from donning conspicuous religious symbols (i.e. hajibs, turbans, kippas, and large crucifixes). As Quebec never formally signed the Canadian Constitution, which includes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it is within their right to propose this legislation. Quebec hopes to conserve their culture and create religious neutrality, a concept found in their roughly forty year old Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.


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