What a Hijab-Wearing Muslim Québecoise Has to Say to Pauline Marois

Huff Post: by Fariha Naqvi-Mohamad.

When will we stop pretending this proposed charter of values is anything more than a bigoted attempt to stifle self expression and freedom of attire? If the nineteen earrings and purplish blue hair of my neighbour are an allowable form of self expression than why not a piece of fabric atop my head?

Dear Mme. Marois,

I have a bone to pick with you. You may not know me, but I know you. I write to you as a hijab wearing Muslim Québecoise. I write to you woman to woman.

You see, I’m writing to you about my Quebec. My Quebec, in which I was born and raised. The home my parents chose for themselves some 40 odd years ago when they migrated from Germany. The only home I have known my entire life with the exception of the five or so years I lived in Ontario. The home I yearned for and missed like a good cheese curd misses warm fries.

You see, I grew up in the middle upper class, primarily anglophone community of West Island Montreal. I was one of a handful of coloured children in my highschool of almost 500. I studied hard, worked part time jobs, and continued my post secondary education in this beautiful province.

I played street hockey as a child, watched the local baseball games, and went ice skating in the winters. Like most other kids my age, before the Internet, I’d bike to the local dep (dépanneur) and buy candy with my friends. You see, growing up in my Québec, the colour of my skin or the way I dressed didn’t matter much. It never made headlines or the 6 o’clock news.

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Categories: Americas, Canada, Hijab

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