December 2017 Church & State - December 2017

Around The World: New Quebec Law Bans Face Veils

  AU admin

A new law in the Canadian province of Quebec could ban Muslim women who wear veils from receiving public services, a move many activists are calling a violation of religious freedom.

The province’s legislature passed the sweeping law, known as Bill 62, in late October, voting 65-51. Among other things, it denies veiled Muslim women from receiving or giving public services, including riding public transporta­tion. The law affects all provincial and mun­icipal employ­ees, which include members of the medical profession, teachers and public transit workers. Under the law, anyone who wants to give or receive public services must do so with their faces uncovered.

Natasha Bakht, a law professor at the University of Otta­wa, said the law will likely be challenged in Canadian courts.

“I think it goes without saying … many groups will be impassioned by this,” Bakht told the Canadian Press.

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