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August 24, 2012 / Man in the Mirror

CAIR-CAN: CAIR-CAN Denounces PQ Proposal to Ban Hijab from Government

(Ottawa, Canada – August 15, 2012) – A national Muslim civil rights advocacy organization today condemned a proposal by Parti Québécois (PQ) leader Pauline Marois to ban the Muslim headscarf and other religious-based attire in provincial government offices if the PQ forms government after upcoming September elections. 

The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) decried the remarks made Tuesday by Madame Marois at a campaign stop in Trois Riviere that, under a PQ government, Muslim women who wear the hijab would be barred from participating in the Quebec civil service. The PQ says other “overt religious symbols” would likewise be banned, while the Catholic crucifix would remain in Quebec’s National Assembly.

SEE: The Gazette: Crucifix stays but hijabs go under PQ government, Marois says 

“Many Muslim women regard the hijab as an important and mandatory practice in their faith. The proposed exclusion of a targeted minority of women from the Quebec civil service under a PQ government undermines religious freedom and the democratic values of both Quebec and Canada. The PQ is once again using populist rhetoric and parochial ideas to advance their electoral strategy” said CAIR-CAN Human Rights Officer Julia Williams.

“It is ironic that PQ candidate Djemila Benhabib has stated that ‘women’s rights aren’t negotiable’ and yet she and her party support a move that would curb the rights of certain women to serve the people of Quebec and violate the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms,” said Williams. 

“CAIR-CAN calls on the Parti Québécois to immediately retract this proposed policy that would deny Muslim women who wear the headscarf their democratic right to participate in government.”

CAIR-CAN is a national, non-profit, grassroots organization striving to be a leading voice that enriches Canadian society through Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.


Julia Williams, CAIR-CAN Human Rights Officer, 613-254-9704
Ihsaan Gardee, CAIR-CAN Executive Director, 613-853-4111


One Comment

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  1. vitamin / Sep 11 2012 9:11 pm

    Not what I was expecting but superb anyway! Well done!

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