Published: Thu, October 19, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Quebec moves to ban burqa for third time in seven years

Quebec moves to ban burqa for third time in seven years

Activists have termed it as "Islamophobic and anti-Muslim".

Quebec MP Alexandra Mendès went so far as to say that Ottawa will probably have to get involved, because the legislation contravenes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Coderre said he has no problem with providing services with a visible face, but doesn't agree with the rest.

"By tabling this discriminatory legislation, the Quebec government is advancing a risky political agenda on the backs of minorities, while pandering to bigoted populism instead of practising principled governance", said NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

Gardee states that he has observed a significant rise in anti-Muslim sentiment and islamophobia throughout Canada.

The legislation is expected to pass since the governing Liberals have a majority in the Quebec National Assembly.

Bouazzi said that by passing the legislation, Quebec has affirmed that it can "take away fundamental rights with no real nor urgent reason".

"We are just saying that for reasons linked to communication, identification and safety, public services should be given and received with an open face", Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard told reporters in the province's National Assembly. It's a bill that is respectful of civil rights.

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The Canadian province of Quebec has passed a law banning face coverings which prohibits public workers from wearing the niqab or burqa and bars citizens from wearing a veil when riding public transit or receiving government services.

"We don't know how this is going to be applied and how it will be enforced", said Gardee.

He added that from 2012-2015, there was a 253 percent increase in reported hate crimes against Canadian Muslims.

The law allows for exemptions under certain circumstances, although it did not provide details.

Critics argue, however, that it is unclear how the process for such exemptions would be analysed and implemented, reported Al Jazeera.

"You can not remove fundamental rights if the reasons are not real and urgent and it's impossible to explain that the problem we're trying to solve is either. It's a bill about guidelines and clearly establishes neutrality of the state".

Responding to claims the law will not target religious symbols, as it would also apply to people wearing masks, a Canadian Council of Muslim Women board member said: "For me, neutrality would be everyone believes what they want to".

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