Will Quebec Say “Non” to the Niqab?

Will Quebec join its francophone cousins in Europe and ban face-covering veils? According to TVA Nouvelles, that may well be in the cards.

The following translation by C.B. Sashenka originally appeared at Vlad Tepes in a slightly different form:

Secularism: Quebec Wants to Ban the Wearing of the Full Islamic Veil

March 10, 2015 (3:30 pm) Agence France-Presse

[Quebec Premier] Couillard promises a plan of action and a law

The Quebec government will legislate on secularism by the summer to ban the wearing of the full Islamic veil for officials in contact with the population, as well as for citizens in public administration, an unprecedented measure in Canada.

The law on “state neutrality” should remind us of our “fundamental individual rights” that apply in this province, said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard during a recent interview with AFP.

“It will be proposed that both the person providing a public service and receiving it must have their faces exposed for communication, safety and identification purposes.”

The Liberal leader, elected with a large majority last April, notes that this will apply to both public service and municipal government.

This enforcement action will prevent the wearing of the full veil (niqab or burqa) by employees or users of the administration.

“It’s the least the government could do. The expectation of citizens was high to ensure that the state decides on its relations with the religious,” considers Jocelyn Maclure, a philosophy professor at Laval University in Quebec City.

“It’s surprising that this has not yet been done.”

Bill tabled for June

“We aim to table the bill by June,” said Mr. Couillard, a bill that will also include a component to constantly maintain open dialogue with ethnic and religious communities.

Echoing this debate, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday that the niqab is “rooted in an anti-woman culture”, justifying the federal refusal of the full veil for Canadian citizenship ceremonies.

By breaking down the issue of religious symbols in the public sphere to that of the uncovered face, the Quebec government “presents an objective fact that has nothing to do with religion,” says Pierre Martin, a political scientist at the University of Montreal.

“It’s a way to disguise the message in a positive way in order to target a certain religious group,” that is, Muslims.

“If indeed the various religious symbols of state employees will not be targeted, there will be great disappointment within the population,” agrees Mr. Maclure.

An ethics specialist, the philosopher describes keeping the crucifix above the seat of the President of the National Assembly of Quebec as “disappointing” and “not serious”.

“Nobody believes that Quebec is a religious state,” Mr. Couillard justified.

This law follows a decade of controversy over the relationship between the Quebec government and certain minorities. The Prime Minister also intends to impose a “framework of reasonable accommodation”, a principle that allows minorities to obtain waivers and exemptions in the name of their religious customs or orientations.

These measures are consistent with what Mr. Couillard said the night of his election on April 7th 2014. Strictly opposed to Quebec’s secular charter of values that was proposed by the outgoing separatist government, he announced that legislation would be “rapidly” introduced, and would focus on the “uncovered face and the issue of state neutrality.”

The positions of the Parti Québécois (PQ) separatists are much more clear-cut than those of Mr. Couillard’s Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) regarding the issue of identity; and with this reform, the government “wishes to remove this issue from the PQ, an issue that will be appropriated with the election of the PQ’s new leader (in May),” notes Peter Martin.

Poll favorite to become the next Quebec separatist leader, billionaire Pierre-Karl Peladeau has “no comments” on government initiative, his associates told AFP on Monday.

Last fall, Canada experienced two Islamist attacks, in the south of Montreal and in Ottawa; and along with the shootings that bloodied France and Denmark in the last two months, “the PLQ (Quebec Liberal Party) had an obligation to show performance, it’s clear that the Canadian and European events created a sense of urgency,” Mr. Maclure believes.

16 thoughts on “Will Quebec Say “Non” to the Niqab?

  1. “Will Quebec Say “Non” to the Niqab? ”

    Islam and muslims and their shenanigans are Godsend to the so-called failed democracies. These curiosities are best kind of mass distractors. Even islamic bloody and heads rolling are fascinating for westerns. We have not seen these novelties here since 1945.

  2. I certainly hope they do. If nothing else, people need to be able to identify who they’re dealing with.

    This somewhat reminds me of a story I was reading about in Britain where some Muslim hospital workers didn’t want to wash their hands for some incredibly stupid supposed religious reason, and various other stories about Muslim women wanting to have their drivers license and passport photos taken wearing a niqab which obviously defeats the purpose of a photo ID.

    Religious freedom rights don’t extend to cases where those rights infringe on things like the health and safety of others. But no doubt we’ll see a bunch of idiots trying to claim that “social justice” requires that a minority group be allowed to cause measurable problems for others in order to address some sort of historical greviances.

  3. I guess it’s both good news and bad news.

    The issue of the niqab is obviously a public safety issue. Nobody should be allowed in public to hide his face.

    It’s also an assertion of cultural identity. Wrapping a woman in a black bag, as a cultural or religious mandate, is so alien to our culture that we have an obligation to prevent its expression. But, of course, our liberal philosophy emphasizes the right of the individual to dress as he wishes, within the bounds of decency. The wars of culture, including the rethinking of individual rights, are necessitated by the thoughtless admission of immigrants with a completely different cultural background and outlook.

    The thing we ought not to do is look for the support of Muslim women. Muslim women support the vicious misogyny of Islam as ferociously as Muslim men. It is a mistake to look to Muslim women for validation of our enforcement of our culture’s determination that women are humans with equal rights.

  4. earing these face coverings abd other islamic garments are not dictated by Muslim religion. It is purely by choice they wear such garments which have proven to be offensive

  5. It keeps coming back to this. WHY did we let them in to begin with? They would be so much happier in their homelands and we would be so much safer here.

    • Again, it’s because marxist politicians need more “oppressed” people to “help” in order to gain votes and stay in power.

      Once people who owe their livelihood to promising to solve problems start running out of problems, they have to create new ones to stay relevant. It’s the same phenomenon as al Sharpton intentionally trying to create racial conflict. With no racial conflict, Sharpton gets no donations and he’s out of a job.

      You see this phenomenon in every major area of activism.

      • Sometimes someone states an idea which you were about to say it. Diagnosis of the same problem the same way by several people far apart.

  6. Did muslims come to Canada to integrate or to rob a bank? And no, that’s not an attempt at hilarity, because men have indeed used muslim womens’ clothes and the niqab; one wanted muslim escaped from Britain that way.

  7. It is puzzling to know why muslims were invited to Canada and the “democracies” at all. “Irish need not apply” but all of us are tolerant of muslims.

    Muslims over the last 14 centuries have shown that they are clever in murdering, beheading, terrorising, ethnic cleansing, supremacy, imposing their will, gouging, looting, destroying civilizations, empires and artifacts, capable of hate for eternity, taking other people’s possessions, land, jewellery, homes, wives, girls. The Pirate says any thing Haram (disallowed) for other religions, his is allowed (halal) to have.

    Today invasion has extended to the seven known continents.

    And what is strange non-muslim naive, booboiseie are euphorically drunk to see it coming to completion.
    Thanks to “democracies” They are perfectly suitable in applying sycophancy.

  8. Hear, Hear! Murad — you’ve said it in a nut shell. Richard Lionheart would be proud of you.

    Who is Richard today?

  9. Any kind of pushback is good, it shows that people who want to live in a free society are not going to tolerate every assertion under the guise of religion for ever.

  10. I had thought the fact of being masked in Canada was already illegal. Does this mean the Lone Ranger is free to travel about the North American continent as he pleases?

    • For you and (I guess) other older readers, Pigasus: an intellectual is someone who can hear the “William Tell” Overture without thinking of “The Lone Ranger”.

  11. This is misleading. Couillard is a liberal traitor, who is totally against Quebec and Canada.

    When a Quebec judge recently opined that a muslima shouldn’t be allowed to cover up in her courtroom, Couillard went ballistic in public, undermining her authority in the press.

  12. The niqab is a mask. Every mask implies a threat…that goes with a surgical mask, a bandit’s mask, a KKK mask or the niqab. The threat implied is that a woman who refuses the niqab will be harmed! In the West, many women have been murdered by their families because they refused to wear the veil.
    For that reason, we should not allow the Islamic mask AT ALL in Canada under any circumstance because it is a grave risk to women who refuse it!
    The niqab is first introduced as 1) an option, then it becomes 2) a preferred option, 3) normal, 4) regulated, 5) legislated, 6) enforced, and finally it becomes 7) mandatory & a criminal matter. At what stage, should we say ‘no’?
    Since the niqab is such a danger to women who refuse to wear one, it should be banned in the same way as other dangerous objects are banned.
    Women who are accused of becoming ‘too Westernized’ will then be safe from intimidation. How many honour killings must there be before common sense comes to the rescue?”

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