TORONTO — Canada’s national police force will permit its women officers to wear the hijab.
The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently approved the addition to the uniform to allow Muslim women to wear the hijab, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s spokesman said Wednesday.
Scott Bardsley said it is intended to better reflect the diversity of Canada and to encourage more Muslim women to consider a career with the force.
The Mounties faced a public backlash more than 25 years ago when a Sikh man took the government to court and won the right to wear his traditional turban instead of the usual Mountie headgear.
Canadians have long since accepted that change to the uniform.
Bardsley noted police services in the cities of Toronto and Edmonton and those across the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Norway, as well as some US states, have adopted similar policies.
The change in Canada is in contrast to France, where at least a dozen towns have banned body-covering burkini swimwear favored by some Muslim women.