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Quebec Proposes Ban on Islamic Face Veil

Quebec Proposes Ban on Islamic Face Veil

Quebec Premier Jean Charest has proposed a bill to ban women from donning the niqab, or face veil as pictured above. Those who wear the niqab would be banned from accessing government services.

Bill 94 would require an uncovered face in plain view for the purposes of identification, communication and access to government services. Services cover everything from obtaining a driver’s license to attending university to receiving health care.

“Two words: Uncovered face,” Charest announced, according to the Toronto Star. “The principle is clear.”

Charest continued with, “This is not about making our home less welcoming, but about stressing the values that unite us…An accommodation cannot be granted unless it respects the principle of equality between men and women, and the religious neutrality of the state.”

But Bill 94 does not promote gender equality or any sort of female liberation. It is instead another form of male oppression controlling a woman’s choice.

The niqab may seem oppressive to some. But banning it does no more for women’s liberation than does banning short skirts. If Charest wants to work towards gender equality, then he should focus on getting men and women paid equally for the same work, or lowering the rate of sexual assault in Quebec. Instead he is threatening to cut off services for tax-paying citizens who adhere to a form of dress he disagrees with.

The Toronto Star points out that in contrast, Ontario has made accomodations for women who don the niqab, such as allowing women to go into a separate room with a female staff member to take an identification photo. In other words, the government is able to keep records of everyone and provide services while respecting the woman’s religious beliefs.

The Muslim Council of Montreal estimates there are 25 women in Quebec who use the niqab. In addition, only 10 people or less than 0.00009 per cent of cases of the health board’s Montreal office last year were niqab-wearers who asked for special accomodations. There were 0 cases in Quebec City. So why is it imperative to ban something that is worn by relatively so few people in Quebec?

A group of organizations and individuals have banned together to form the Non/No Bill 94 Coalition.The Coalition Statement proclaims:

The bill is an exaggerated response to a manufactured crisis that will allow the government to deny women services to which they are entitled. A truly democratic society is one in which all individuals have the freedom of religious expression and a right to access public services.

Although touted as a step toward gender equality, Bill 94, if approved, will perpetuate gender inequality by legislating control over women’s bodies and sanctioning discrimination against Muslim women who wear the niqab. Instead of singling out a minuscule percentage of the population, government resources would be better spent implementing poverty reduction and education programs to address real gender inequality in meaningful ways. Barring any woman from social services, employment, health, and education, as well as creating a climate of shame and fear around her is not an effective means to her empowerment. If Premier Charest’s government is truly committed to gender equality it should foster a safe and inclusive society which promotes and protects all women’s personal autonomy. Standing up for women’s rights is admirable. “Rescuing” women is paternalistic and insulting. Further marginalizing Muslim women who wear niqab and denying them access to social services, economic opportunities and civic participation is unacceptable.

Forcing a woman to reveal part of her body is no different from forcing her to be covered. Both the Conservative and Liberal parties have expressed support for Bill 94, which raises the very real possibility that similar legislation will be proposed across Canada. We demand that Bill 94 be withdrawn immediately, as it has no place in a democratic state that values autonomy, liberty and justice.

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333 comments

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11:54PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

( continued) Domestic abuse, but it gives the abuser the freedom to brutalize his partner without worrying that anyone will even notice..
The Burqa successfully isolates abuse victims, cuts them off from any prospective support networks and prevents anyone on the outside from even realizing what is being done to them!!
The Burqa is a disempowering male dominance tool over women, and i am sure you are aware in news reports of the many women who have had acid thrown in their faces, and even been honour killed by fathers, brothers, uncles,husbands, for not adhering to the Islamic dress code for wearing Burqa..
You should factor in all these reasons before you defend the disgusting burqa.. there are many other sane objections if you want me to discuss them here too..as a woman you should CARE about these human rights violations done to other women who are helpless victims!!

11:41PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Mary P.. Muhammad looked upon women as MALE property...don't believe me?? The Sahih Bukhari relates that one inspiration for the Burqa was that one of Muhammads followers was able to RECOGNIZE one of his wives at night. The implication is that the Burqa is meant to prevent such recognition from taking place. Women are not meant to be recognised as individuals. The Burqa also robs women of their individual identity!
In responding to a gang rape of a non muslim girl by a gang of muslims, the Chief Mufti of Australia said," If she was in her room,in her home, in her Hijab, no problem would have occurred." , THUS giving rapists a pass for sexual assault on women who don't dress the way the imam or mufti says they should!
The Quran says the same thing: O prophet,tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks( veils) all over their bodies, that they may thus be distinguished AND NOT MOLESTED" (Quran 33;59)
By muslims own definitions the Quran makes a distinction between those women who CAN be molested and those who cannot! therefore dividing women into "good girls" and "whores". SO Mary P , if we BAN THE BURQA we are protecting women who choose not to wear it from being assaulted because of their perceived immodesty.
Let me just add Mary P. that statistics PROVE that the Burqa covers up ABUSE OF WOMEN!
In Afghanistan 87PERCENT OF WOMEN reported experiencing domestic violence, in Pakistan 90 PERCENT!
Not only does the Burqa cover up

7:17AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Hello Mary P. if you want to believe in a hokus pokus religion, good for you, but I don't and I don' believe I was made from a man because no life comes out of a man's body except for semen. Women are the life givers. Live with it. Your Judeo Christian almighty hokus spokus God needed a woman to create his son..We were given an brain at birth, think with your brain, not with a stupid book written by men to serve men.
It is not God who created man to his own image, but man who created God to his own image and it is not a pretty one..Your God is a bastard who demands the murder of people on one hand, while on the other hand and made a commandment of thy shalt not kill. None of this makes any sense. My only religion is to be nice to my fellow men and women, to be gentle to animals, to respect nature, the womb I actually came from..Get real. You are the one who needs an education and there is a lot of work to do on that subject. You may not live long enough.

7:14AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Hello Mary P. if you want to believe in a hokus pokus religion, good for you, but I don't and I don' believe I was made from a man because no life comes out of a man's body except for semen. Women are the life givers. Live with it. Your Judeo Christian almighty hokus spokus God needed a woman to create his son..We were given an brain at birth, think with your brain, not with a stupid book written by men to serve men.
It is not God who created man to his own image, but man who created God to his own image and it is not a pretty one..Your God is a bastard who demands the murder of people on one hand, while on the other hand and made a commandment of thy shalt not kill. None of this makes any sense. My only religion is to be nice to my fellow men and women, to be gentle to animals, to respect nature, the womb I actually came from..Get real. You are the one who needs an education and there is a lot of work to do on that subject. You may not live long enough.

6:59AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

As an Atheist, I respect the right of people to practice their religion freely, but that does not mean that a guest country should change the way they conduct business to accommodate guests and their religious practices..Do you want to pay for separate swimming pools, separate public schools, etc etc because these women are not allowed to be taken care of male doctors, male teachers, male anything? You have got to be kidding me.
What is next? Ask the French, the Dutch, Belgians, how life has become unbearable.
As a woman, I find it an affront that just like nuns at one time, one cannot see an inch of hair, because it is offensive to men..Helloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Then why are women, just like men, born with hair?
Religion has gone too far. I also agree that women should have equal pay for equal work, that more should be done to avoid sexual assault and harassment. I have had to deal with that all my life, since I was a little girl. We have a paternalistic society, where men still dominate, but it is up to us women to demand the our birth rights..We were all born free and it is up to us to band together and demand that things change or else.
If a man gropes me I grope back where it hurts ..Women should get off the stupid and mind numbing TV sets and demand change.
Organized religion was created by men, to subdue women and it is up to us women to band together and fight back to have our proper place in the society.

11:58PM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

all i know my family came here in 1760 maybe earlier? and in times of trouble i have had personally fight to get any rights in my own country.you all agreed when you came to canada to respect our laws and not to dismantle it slowly.when i look into a persons eyes i want to see there face to.and all you men who hide behind the birque should watch whos watching you.

2:38PM PDT on Jun 11, 2010

Blah, blah, blah; you are sooo res0pected and wonderful and lifted up oh woman.
Now here's yer tent . Nice eh?

7:11AM PDT on Jun 9, 2010

nne C as for discrimination against women here is one Proof from the Quran( as I have to log off now):-

The Quran places the importance of kindness to parents(MOTHERS(WOMEN) AND FATHERS) as second only to worshipping God Almighty:

"Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, And that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, Say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, But address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, Lower to them the wing of humility, and say: 'My Lord! bestow on them Your Mercy as they Cherished me in childhood' " (17:23-24).

The Quran in several other places puts special emphasis on the MOTHER'S (WOMEN) great role in giving birth and nursing:

"And We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents: In travail upon travail did his mother bear him and in two years was his weaning. Show gratitude to Me and to your parents" (31:14).
The very special place of mothers in Islam has been eloquently described by Prophet Muhammad:
"A man asked the Prophet: 'Whom should I honor most?' The Prophet replied: 'Your MOTHER (WOMAN)'. 'And who comes next?' asked the man. The Prophet replied: 'Your MOTHER (WOMAN)'. 'And who comes next?' asked the man. The Prophet replied: 'Your MOTHER(WOMAN)!'. 'And who comes next?' asked the man The Prophet replied: 'Your father'" (Bukhari and Muslim)
I will find more if you are still NOT Satisfied. Plse note its IGNORANT Men who disrespect women NOT ISLAM.

6:47AM PDT on Jun 9, 2010

Anne C - Crazy Individuals are Present in ALL RELIGIONS - Its is WRONG to BLAME a RELIGION for the Ignorant Evil Acts of People. The People who disobeys the commands of GOD are the ones that should be taken to task.

Are ALL CHRISTIANS and JEWS forllowing CORRECTLY their BOOKS??? Definitely NOT. But we CANNOT BLAME judaism and christianity for the DISOBEDIENCE of ITS FOLLOWERS can WE !!! anyway take care GOD BLESS.

6:39AM PDT on Jun 9, 2010

Anne C -" believes in death for apostates( those who leave islam) "

If the above happens then IT IS UNISLAMIC and carried out by IGNORANT EVIL MEN as the QURAN CLEARLY States :-

1) «There is no compulsion in religion, for the truth has been made manifest from the false» (2:255)
Which means there is no place for the use of compulsion in religion, no one must be obliged to accept the religion of Islam.

2) «And call to the way of your Lord ) with the judgment and beautiful admonitions, and dispute with them with that which is beautiful...» (16:125)
Which means Invite people to the path of your LORD. With what?. With beautiful admonitions and advice
With those who dispute with us, we must also dispute, beautifully. This verse has introduced clearly the way for Islam to be embraced.

3) «The truth is from your Lord) so whoever has the will so he must reject...» (18:29)

Means Whoever wants to believe will believe, and whoever wants to be a non-believer will be a non–believer. So this verse has also stated that faith and rejection can only be chosen by oneself, they CANNOT be FORCED upon one by others. So Islam does not say that others must be forced into Islam; if they become Muslims, well and good, and if they do not, then too well and good, the choice is theirs. Islam says that whoever wants to believe will believe, and whoever does not want to, will not.

Crazy individuals are present in ALL RELIGIONS- Its WR

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