Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 17 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Rasso of Grafrath
home iconNews
line break icon

Quebec moves to ban the wearing of religious symbols by public workers

CANADA; HEAD SCARF

Bruce Reeve|Wikipedia|CC BY-SA 2.0

Zelda Caldwell - published on 03/29/19 - updated on 03/29/19

The “secularism bill” would apply to Muslim headscarves, Catholic crosses and Jewish skullcaps, among other religious garb.

The Quebec government has introduced a bill that would ban the wearing of religious symbols by public workers.

The so-called “secularism bill,” proposed by Quebec premier Francois Legault’s government, would prohibit all outward expressions of religion, including Muslim hijabs, Jewish kippahs, Sikh turbans and Catholic crucifixes.

The stated purpose of the bill, which is entitled “An act respecting the laicity of the state” would be to “affirm religious neutrality in a manner that ‘ensures a balance between the collective rights of the Quebec nation and human rights and freedoms,” reported CBC News.

A grandfather clause would allow current teachers who already wear religious symbols to continue to do so.

According to the CBC report, Premier Legault said he agreed to the teachers’ exemption and a proposal to remove a crucifix that hangs in the National Assembly’s main chamber in order to secure enough votes for the bill’s passage.

Advocates for both Muslim and Jewish communities have both expressed concern that the bill would limit religious freedom.

“Every young person who aspires to a be a judge, a teacher or a police officer and wears a head scarf will think that they have no future in this province and it will push Muslims away from Quebec,” said Shahad Salman, a lawyer who wears a head scarf, told the New York Times.

Harvey Levine, the Quebec regional director of B’nai Brith, told the Times of Israel that the bill is “at odds” with Canadian values.

“We are very concerned with the new Quebec government’s statements regarding a ban on religious symbols displayed by government officials and displayed in public institutions,” said Levine.

“We call on the [Quebec government] to avoid the slippery slope of diminishing fundamental rights and work instead to secure religious liberties for all Quebecers,” he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his opposition to the legislation on Thursday.

“It’s unthinkable to me that in a free society we would legitimize discrimination against citizens based on their religion,” he said.

Tags:
CanadaReligious Freedom
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ascension AND ASSUMPTION
Philip Kosloski
Ascension vs. assumption: What is the difference?
2
SAINT MATTHIAS
Philip Kosloski
Why Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as an apostle
3
BENOIT JOSEPH LABRE
Larry Peterson
Benedict XVI called him “one of the most unusual saintsR...
4
KNEELING
Philip Kosloski
How to pray the Divine Praises
5
Philip Kosloski
What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
6
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
7
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.