Radio Netherlands Worldwide

SSO Login

More login possibilities:

Close
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
Home
Wednesday 30 July  
Proposed ban on Muslim veil stirs controversy in Quebec
International Justice Desk's picture
Map
Montreal, Canada
Montreal, Canada

Proposed ban on Muslim veil stirs controversy in Quebec

Published on : 21 May 2010 - 10:46am | By International Justice Desk (RNW)
More about:

A proposed ban in Quebec's public service against the niqab, a veil worn by some Muslim women, stirred up a fierce debate this week in the mostly French-speaking Canadian province.

Widely supported in Canada, Bill 94 would require Quebec public servants and anyone accessing a provincial government service to show their face.

But Indian-Canadian Tasneen Mughal, who wears the veil, says it is "an attack on Muslims." The 27-year-old woman, born in Montreal, is among 100 or so women in Quebec who have garnered much attention for wearing a niqab as committee hearings are held in Quebec City on the bill that is expected to become law.

"People should be seen... in order to identify a person, for security reasons," Quebec Justice Minister Kathleen Weil said of her brainchild.

Louise Beaudoin, spokeswoman for the opposition Parti Quebecois, would like the law to go even further.
"For the rest of Canada, multiculturalism is a virtue," she said. "For us, it's different. We try to find a way to all live with one another, without a return to segregated communities (or ethnic ghettos)."

Lobbyists for and against the niqab already have submitted some 60 recommendations to Quebec politicians as they parse the bill in committee before members of Quebec's legislative assembly vote on it.

It is unlikely the bill will be voted into law before the end of the current legislative session on June 11.
Among the first to testify before the committee, Jean Tremblay, mayor of Saguenay, Quebec, said the niqab is "unacceptable" in Quebec.

Dominique Peschard, president of the League of Rights and Freedoms, however, denounced the proposed law as "useless."

A Toronto group calling itself "Kill Bill 94" organized online protests to the Quebec law, arguing that the measure runs the risk of "depriving all women of social services, employment, access to healthcare and education, and on top of that creating a climate of shame and fear."

Even though the controversial act would only be applied in Quebec, the debate is being watched closely elsewhere in the country.

According to an Angus Reid poll in March, 80 percent of 1,004 Canadians surveyed support the initiative, which Prime Minister Stephen Harper also has deemed a "reasonable" measure.

Ratifying the law would create a precedent, imposing limits on constitutionally protected religious freedoms in Canada, a multicultural nation that welcomes some 250,000 immigrants annually.

 

Related content

Discussion

michael MacTavish 13 September 2013 - 5:20pm / montague prince edward island canada

government trying to ban the muslims from wearing there head piece that is discriminating against there own culture and I don't like government like that because mulsims has there own rights to wear there head piece and there haijaps and I support them 100%

michael MacTavish 13 September 2013 - 5:19pm / montague prince edward island canada

government trying to ban the muslims from wearing there head piece that is discriminating against there own culture and I don't like government like that because mulsims has there own rights to wear there head piece and there haijaps and I support them 100%

Post new comment

Please be reminded all comments must be in English, short and to the point - guideline 250 words. Abusive and inappropriate comments will be removed.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

RNW Player

International Justice

From the former Yugoslavia to Rwanda, Cambodia and Lebanon, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports on international justice. We offer background news and reporting on war crimes, human rights abuses and genocide.