Quebec passes controversial face veil ban in public sector

Quebec lawmakers pursue ‘burqa ban’ for 3rd time in 10yrs

Quebec lawmakers pursue ‘burqa ban’ for 3rd time in 10yrs

Quebec has passed a sweeping ban on face coverings - barring public workers and citizens from wearing the niqab or burqa, when seeking government services or riding public transit.

The National Assembly of Quebec voted for Bill 62, a "Religious Neutrality" Bill that prohibits people from wearing "conspicuous" religious symbols, including veils worn by Muslim women, Kippahs, brimless caps worn by Jews, large crosses and religious symbol pendants.

Premier Philippe Couillard of Quebec, said: "We are just saying that for reasons linked to communication, identification and safety, public services should be given and received with an open face".

As a new Quebec law that will force Muslim women to uncover their faces before they can ride the bus is being denounced by human rights groups and politicians, a handful of Canadian women are posting pointed selfies to show their own condemnation.

"You speak to me, I should see your face, and you should see mine", he said.

"As long as the service is being rendered, the face should be uncovered", said Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée.

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"The state is not neutral when it requires a woman to reveal any part of her body against her conscience as a condition to receiving a public service to which she is entitled", added Eve Torres, NCCM Public Affairs Coordinator.

"I think it is important to acknowledge that the Muslim community is facing a very significant amount of hate and Islamophobia, and it is up to all of us to stand in solidarity with the community", he said.

It's estimated that between 50 and 100 women in Quebec wear a burka or niqab that covers their face. It "boils down to ugly identity politics" before the 2018 provincial election, the councl's executive director Ihsaan Gardee said. Civil rights advocates said the law discriminates against religious minorities.

"I go to mall with my friends, I go out, I go to the library, so it will just make me stay home", Zayneb Binruchd, a 21-year-old Montrealer who wears a niqab told CBC News.

Bill 62 aims to "foster adherence to religious neutrality" and is a first ever ban on face veils on the North American continent.

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