Source: The Washington Post
Nora Loreto is a Canadian freelance writer and author of “From Demonized to Organized: Building the New Union Movement.”
Fatima Ahmad was attacked in mid-May on a street in Montreal. A man hit Ahmad, 22, and pulled on her niqab. She told Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News that she chased the attacker to confront him: “I don’t want this to happen again to any woman, and if I just let it go, he may gain more courage.”
The same week in Quebec City, Bill 21 was discussed in the National Assembly of Quebec. Bill 21 would ban certain public-sector workers — including teachers, judges, Crown prosecutors, police and prison guards — in Quebec from wearing religious symbols such as niqabs, hijabs and turbans. While the bill doesn’t target Muslim women explicitly, the impact of the legislation would likely be borne by them the most. The bill is expected to pass before the end of the current session on Friday.
Surveys show that Bill 21 is buoyed by anti-Islam sentiment. The problem is that it’s also a popular piece of legislation, according to polls, and the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) relies on polls to guide its policy priorities.