Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
In March, 103 MNAs in Quebec voted in favor of a motion to remove the crucifix, which has hung above the Speaker’s chair since 1936. There were no abstentions.
The vote came the same day as the Coalition Avenir Quebec tabled its controversial religious symbols bill, which will ban public sector employees in positions of authority from wearing religious garb such as a hijab or kippah.
This week in June, however, the law against hijab and kippah went into effect.
Civil liberties and Muslim groups on Monday vowed to challenge the new law in the Canadian province of Quebec that bans some public sector employees from wearing religious symbols during work hours, arguing it triggered the “politics of fear.”
Critics said the long-expected Bill 21 that was passed by the predominately French-speaking province’s legislature on Sunday mainly targeted Muslim women who wear hijabs.
“We will be filing a challenge to the law,” said Mustafa Farooq, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims. “I think Bill 21 is a law that will do irreparable harm to communities in Quebec.”
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.
Going back to the Match motion, the crucifix will be removed once the religious symbols bill is passed into law.
Legault said the crucifix removal motion was meant as a signal to Quebecers that he is willing to compromise.
“What we want is to show all Quebecers that we are also ready to make compromises on the grandfather clause, on the crucifix in order to get as much support as possible,” said Legault. “My goal is to really unite Quebecers.”
Legault said last October it would not remove it, calling it an important part of Quebec’s heritage. Critics have said its presence undermines the government’s position that religious symbols worn by employees are inconsistent with a secular state.
The City of Montreal announced the crucifix that hangs in city hall would be removed during upcoming renovations and would not be re-hung after they’re completed.
But, until it actually comes down it is a symbol of hypocrisy and Islamophobia and not of neighborly love in Christianity.
Mother Mary is always with a Hijab in artist’s imagination. How can any open minded Christian be against Hijab? pic.twitter.com/DZuOrGGPFR
— Zia H Shah (@ZiahShah1) December 16, 2015