MONTREAL – Lawmakers in Quebec passed a religious neutrality bill Wednesday that requires citizens to uncover their faces during state services, a bill that many say targets Muslim women.
The bill ultimately bans any face coverings for people giving or receiving a service from the state and it also offers authorities guidelines on how they should go about making accommodations based on religious beliefs.
The fear is that the bill specifically targets Muslim women. Under the law, Muslim women in the providence would have to remove their face scarfs when taking the bus or borrowing a book from the library, The Globe and Mail reported.
The Canadian newspaper quoted Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee confirming this.
“To take public transit, you have to have your face uncovered. All through the ride,” she said.
The two main opposition parties in Quebec actually opposed the bill arguing it doesn’t actually go far enough to restrict noticeable symbols of all religions in the public sphere.