Yes, Lisa - that's what I see here in Toronto too. Rarely do you see a burqa-clad woman walking with a man.
A Muslim couple lived here in our buiilding for a while (my husband manages/supers an apartment building). They were lovely people - she was such a cheerful sort. A bit sensitive though - she once knocked on our door and Jeff wasn't in the apartment - I don't know why people expect a superintendent to be in his/her apartment at all times; if they were, they wouldn't be doing their work - ha ha!
Anyway, she came out to the front lot where I was gardening to tell me that she thought Jeff was avoiding her - that he'd looked through the keyhole, saw her standing there and didn't answer the door - she thought it was because she was Muslim.
I spoke to her husband and asked him to convince her that this wasn't so.
They were from Algeria and while they were here they had a sweet little girl.
I remember she came out with her in the stroller one day, then had to rush back up to her apartment with something. She left the little girl in her stroller and asked me to watch her - I was very pleased, as this showed that she trusted me.
If he abused her in any way, we never saw it. I used to hear her yelling at him though - ha ha!
They had to make a quick move to the west coast; I don't know why, but they did. It was around Christmas time - my eldest daughter and her family live in Vancouver and I knew that's where they were going.
I asked if he could take a box of gifts out there. He said he could do that - didn't mind at all. I put them in a Christmas bag - I asked if that bothered him, and he said it certainly did not - he'd be more than glad to carry the bag.
It so happened they couldn't take the bag and box after all - they were over limit on their own luggage - they sent their friend back with the gifts and an envelope for me. He enclosed 40 dollars! He said I should use it to send the gifts by bus or purolator.
I thought that was so sweet.
But burqa's . . . actually forcing women to wear them is abusive, sure, but I think some of the women tend to wear them because they want to.
It must be hard getting used to our customs, wearing what we girls wear here.
(The way I feel about my aging body and face sometimes, I think it would be good to get a burqa - ha ha!)