Canadian National Police

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Female officers of the Canadian National Police will now be permitted to wear their hijab while on the job.

The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently made official the change in policy, which will allow Muslim women to wear the garment while they’re working. The announcement was made by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s spokesman Aug. 24. A hijab covers the head and chest.

Commissioner Scott Bardsley said the policy change was made to better reflect the diversity of Canada and to encourage more Muslim women to consider a career with the force.

The force, known in the nation as “Mounties,” faced backlash a quarter-century 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 the change. Bardsley said police forces in the Toronto and Edmonton areas, as well in the U.S., United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway have adopted similar policies.

Julie Gagnon, a spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said the force has developed a special hijab for officers. However, no officer is wearing it as no members have requested to wear the hijab on duty since the policy was officially adopted in January. How many Muslim officers the Mounties have remains unclear.

While Canada believe they are trending in the right direction, it’s the complete opposite direction France — the nation with Europe’s largest Muslim population — have taken. At least a dozen French towns have banned body-covering burkini swimwear favored by some Muslim women.