Uncover your face if you want to deal with provincial government

New Quebec law: Uncover your face if you want to deal with provincial government


By Jonathan Montpetit, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Muslim women will be forced to uncover their faces if they want services from the Quebec government, according to landmark legislation tabled Wednesday in the province.

In tabling the bill, Quebec delves into sensitive territory where governments in Canada have largely avoided treading: setting hard-and-fast rules for accommodating minorities.

The bill says people obtaining - or delivering - services at places like the health-or auto-insurance boards will need to do so with their faces in plain view.

For me this is a difficult issue. On one hand, I feel the West has gone too far in many of its accomodations to Islam. Moreover, there are times when you must have facial identity, including for effective commincation in the classroom and for drivers licenses and other forms of ID. On the other hand, I find it bizarre that many governments seem to no mind lewd sexual content, but cannot tolerate religious symbols. Thus I have a suspicion that if women’s veils are banned, the wearing of crosses might not be far behind. :shrug:

That’s exactly how I feel.

I’m with you, too…why should we always ‘cave in’ to the Moslems? If they don’t like things here in the West, they should go back to where they came from!

In what context do you mean by ‘lewd sexual conduct’? Do you mean government acceptance of homosexual so-called ‘marriage’, or sexual abuse?

Yes, I find it bizarre that some school districts will allow tachers to discuss a variety of sexual perversions in the classroom, but will come down harshly if the teachers discuss their own religious beliefs. I wish sexual education in the classroom was far more limited, but many see it as license to talk about anything, including many things that go against the teaching of many Christian churches.

I also find it strange that local governments get nervous over religious displays and signs, but never seem to worry about poster promoting R rated movies that I find highly objectionable. It is almost as if they believe that religion is more harmful to the public good than is promoting pre-marital sex, alcohol or even drug use. We live in a very strange world. :shrug:

This is Quebec they’re talking about. This is pretty much par for the course for them, unfortunately. They’re a province full of the French minority in Canada, and somehow they feel the need to make sure that everything Quebecois is promoted far and above anything not Quebecois. Somehow for them that translates into being mostly intolerant against other minorities and especially us Anglophones.

I don’t think so. The decision wasn’t to ban niqaab because it was a religious symbol, but because it hid the identity of the individual. Confirming the identity of a person is a reasonable concern.

I would be very surprised if wearing a cross ever hid the identity of a person.

In many cases ‘where they are from’ is the country they were born in. Not all Muslims by any means are first generation immigrants. Ah for the glory days of the 19th century when ‘go back where they came from’ was the slogan used against the Cathoics emigrating to the Americas. The more things change the more they stay the same it seems.

The “official” reason actually varies from case to case. In France, a similar decision to ban veils, ironically issued on the same day, was attributed by Sarkozy to the claim that the veil infringes on women’s rights.


As I said in the original quote, which you “partially quoted” I realize there are security and practical reasons for not allowing the veil in certain contexts, the examples I used were legal ID and teaching settings, but many of the bans (see France and Turkey) tend to be much broader and yes may incur some religious freedom issues. Although the wearing of veils predates Islam in Muslim culture, many Muslim women now feel a religious compulsion to wear a veil. Thus while I do not feel it should be carte blanche to wear a veil in every context, to the extent it is religious symbol for millions, even a religion I do not practice, I would hesistate to expand any ban wider than absolute necessity. I would think liberals would be hesitant to limit free expression, unless we want to limit some political expressions and not others? :wink:

I can’t help but agree.

There is nothing lewd about a woman’s face. There are reasonable expectations we have in a society that certain parts of our body are covered, and certain parts are not. Just as many may be distracting and uncomfortable to sit in class with a girl wearing a string bikini, so too would many be distracting to have to deal with faceless people

Some Muslimas choose to wear such things. Some don’t. It is not a question of lewdness, religion or modesty. Girls are being no less modest or more lewd when they choose the societal norm for fashions.

It is not an unreasonable expectation in doing a business dealing that we actually see who we are dealing with. That is a norm in our public dealings that is well worth keeping. There are some customs too demeaning in nature for them to be accommodated by us.

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