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Quebec Bans Wearing Religious Clothing in Public Sector Jobs
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=33791"><span class="small">teleSUR</span></a>   
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 08:30

Excerpt: "Canada's Quebec province has voted on Sunday a law to ban employees working in some public sectors from wearing religious symbols or garments at work. This legislation provoked disapproval among civil liberties organizations and Muslim groups."

Women protest Quebec's new Bill 21 in Montreal. (photo: Reuters)
Women protest Quebec's new Bill 21 in Montreal. (photo: Reuters)


Quebec Bans Wearing Religious Clothing in Public Sector Jobs

By teleSUR

19 June 19


Quebec has just passed a law that bans civil servants from wearing religious garments at work prompting an outcry among civil groups.

anada’s Quebec province has voted on Sunday a law to ban employees working in some public sectors from wearing religious symbols or garments at work. This legislation provoked disapproval among civil liberties organizations and Muslim groups.

For about 10 years now the predominantly French-speaking province has been discussing the issues of secularism and the new legislation, Bill 21, was approved by 73 to 35.

Public workers in positions of authority including teachers, judges, and police officers, will be prevented from wearing garments as the turban or the hijab during work hours.

Local media reported that for school teachers, only those hired after March 28 will not be allowed to wear their religious symbols. For those hired before March 28, the law will not apply but if they wish to be promoted, they will need to get rid of any religious sign.

Quebec's immigration minister Simon Jolin-Barrette said Monday that "it is legitimate for the Quebec nation to decide in which form secularism applies in its territory and in its institutions". The decision of the province's center-right Coalition Avenir Quebec government is in conflict with Canada's President Justin Trudeau’s position as he promotes religious freedom.

“Our position is clear: it’s not up to politicians to tell people what to wear or not to wear,” said Simon Ross, a spokesman for Canada’s minister of Canadian heritage and multiculturalism.

Civil liberties and Muslim groups vowed Monday to challenge the law, arguing it triggered the "politics of fear," adding that “Canada is already a secular state and that is reflected in our institutions. This new law undermines fundamental rights and individual freedoms because it forces some people to choose between their religion and their job. We will monitor the implementation of the law.” 

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+2 # elizabethblock 2019-06-19 10:27
I hesitate to recommend action that involves taking risks that won't affect me, but .....
An old friend said that the best way to fight a bad law wasn't to protest it, but to disobey it. I would hope to see lots of people wearing hijabs, turbans, yarmulkes, and for that matter crosses around their necks - whether or not they are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or not.
 
 
-1 # laborequalswealth 2019-06-19 12:07
Bravo. I'm sick of these so-call "religious" people pushing their sicko version of reality on the rest of us. Religion has become the most destructive social force on earth.
 
 
+2 # Moxa 2019-06-19 15:14
Well, I'm against having one group of people pushing their religion on the rest of us too. However, I'm not sure that wearing certain articles of clothing required by one's religious beliefs is in any way pushing one's religion on anyone else.

This reminds me of the arguments that any legislation that protects the rights of gay people is pushing homosexuality on our children. No, it is allowing people to be who they are.

This legislation, on the contrary, demonstrates the blindness of a majority culture to the rights and sensibilities of minorities. Ask any black person if they think white people understand the discrimination they live under.

And it shows how blind we are to how mainstream Christianity is used as a force of repression and violence in this country. That is where the line should be drawn--when you use your religion to oppress others; not simply in wearing clothes that are part of your religious culture.

The suppression of self-expression embodied in this law is much more offensive to liberty than anything the mere wearing of traditional religious garb could be. The intolerance here is not of the wearers of the clothing, but in the culture of the lawmakers.
 
 
+5 # engelbach 2019-06-19 14:11
You can't legislate religion out of existence. You need to enlighten people, one generation at a time.

While the Quebec government has the right to enforce a dress code — I'm sure public employees cannot wear Mickey Mouse ears or a bunny tail to work — religious garb and symbols are not in and of themselves offensive or in poor taste.

This is a stupid law that will generate a backlash rather than achieve its intended goal.