Quebec bans face covering in public services, raising worries among Muslims

Source: The Globe and Mail

BY Ingrid Peritz

Quebec has adopted a law that will force people to show their faces when taking the bus or borrowing a book from the library, pushing ahead with legislation that is being criticized for targeting Muslim Canadian women.

Bill 62, which the Justice Minister described as a North American first, requires one’s face to be uncovered when giving or receiving public services. The law marks the outcome of a contentious, decade-long debate about the place of religious minorities in Quebec.

Details of how the law would apply have yet to be worked out, but critics are concerned it will empower civil servants such as front-line hospital workers to refuse service to a woman in a niqab or burka.

The Justice Minister, Stéphanie Vallée, confirmed that the law would apply to anyone taking a city bus. “To take public transit, you have to have your face uncovered. All through the ride,” Ms. Vallée said on Wednesday.

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8 replies

  1. My advice to Women who live in Quebec do not feel worry, if you obey the existing authority you follow Allahs law.
    Allah say in Al Quran: you have to follow the existing authority because Allah point him as a ruler.

    Also wearing hijab is not a obligatory it is a suggestion to women who live in desert. So do not feel sinful if you do not wear Hijab. The true Islamic teaching do not make people difficulty. That is why we calll is a religion of peace.

  2. Islam teaches one to love their country and obey the law but my concern is not the Muslim women but those who will gain the power to refuse service. Where will this take us? Is this merely the beginning of something bigger? Will this bill be extended to excluded Muslim women altogether from Quebec one day?

  3. Depand on Muslims react to, if you try to show a bad behaviour, it will get worse and worse, just obey the law faithfully, respect and love every one even your enemy and pray for them. That is Allah command us to do right?

  4. I believe Allah protect their believers . I feel this law is going to apply every one as in winter time no one can cover their faces right???? If you have any allergies you can’t cover your face??? Or is it only for Muslim women??? As a hateful act towards your Canadian citizens????

  5. It’s depend on everyone, who wants to cover or not, some time they have helth issue ,did they put the label on their face, or hold a banner. Please don’t attached with the Muslim relegation.

  6. There is nothing in religious law that says that faces must be covered, it’s an old tradition to protect women from the elements, but mainly from predatory men (and their are too many of those in the world, behaving in barbaric manner). Now that women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive cars, perhaps the next step will be to allow them to not cover their faces. That will be progress. But of course, orthodox mullahs run that country, and they are mostly keen to retain old traditions. But the world has moved on, and is constantly moving. That is how humans evolve.

    • ladies in Saudi Arabia do NOT have to cover the face. More-over inside the Holy Mosque of Makkah covering the face (during Hajj and Umrah) is not even permitted.

  7. Jeremy Browne, the Lib Dem MP, assumes that the veil is an oppressive and submissive mode of dress (report, September 16). I have encountered many ladies who wear the veil and each one of them adopted it freely. The vast majority of them see it as a source of empowerment. Most women who wear the veil are quite comfortable with removing it at a hospital, in court or with a doctor. Islam exempts women from wearing the veil whenever necessity requires them to remove it.

    According to a Muslim Pakistani lady, born and educated in Britain, “I will not give up my religious beliefs and one of these is the covering of my head, body and sometimes face. Some girls might be oppressed and they should speak out. But I will not have politicians impose their beliefs on me; I have the right to dress the way I choose”.

    Islam says you should respect and follow the law of the country you are living in, and as a British Muslim myself can understand what you are feeling when you see a veiled woman, it is a alienating kind of feeling.

    In my opinion if you wanted to ban it, you should have long ago. I personally don’t support it, but it is NOT my choice to what someone decides to wear. My clear opinion is that it is for Muslim women to decide for themselves what they wish to wear, and why they wish to wear what they want to wear. It is not for government to ban what is inherently valuable to a Muslim women at the behest of people whose only quality, is hatred for minorities.

    I simply believe that the government do not tell people what they can, and cannot wear. If a Muslim woman believes in God and it is her want to symbolise her faith by wearing a veil, then so be it. A Muslim women does not wear a veil because she needs to keep her face warm, she wears it because it has symbolic meaning within her faith. It is her choice. And it is her choice that banning the veil will remove. If her right to wear a symbol of her faith is removed, she is no longer equal before the law, and that is what the tsunami of prejudice following this article has really been about all along.

    Many Muslim women do not wear any headdress at all. Many wear a headscarf, many wear a veil, many wear a full covering. The difference between these displays, is the difference between the various approaches that different Muslim women have in interpreting the Qur’an and what the Qur’an contains. The Qur’an is a weighty tomb and deals with the concept and word of God. Each and every individual has their own approach to the meaning of what the Qur’an contains.

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