Response to Bill 62 of the Quebec National Assembly
Passed on Wednesday, October 18th, Bill 62 forbids anyone from receiving or giving public service with a face covering - including riding the bus. This law is in keeping with the spirit of earlier proposed (and failed) legislation, namely the "Charter of Values." Both pieces of legislation assume that the "proper" place for religion in a secular state is in the private sphere, and that the province should define and legislate this status. Freedom of religion is already a fundamental right under the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Moreover, Bill 62 is discriminatory. It targets and further marginalizes a minority of Muslim women who wear the niqab. Denying these women social services (and so too their children) is undemocratic and intolerant.
We draw your attention to the 2013 report from the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, authored by Dr. Lynda Clarke "Women in the Niqab Speak." This report offers a valuable opportunity to hear from women in Canada who don the niqab.
To read the report: http://ccmw.com/what-we-do/projects/muslim-women-and-the-niqab/