Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quebec’s proposed religious symbol ban restricts freedom

MONTREAL, QC August 21, 2013 (CCRL) – The Quebec government’s plan to introduce a “Charter of Quebec Values” was announced last year, but some details of its implications for religious freedom were leaked to the press this week. Reportedly, the proposed legislation would ban most religious symbols from public institutions, and public employees would not be permitted to wear religious items such as hijabs, kippas, turbans and “ostentatious crucifixes.”

The ban would extend to all the province’s public services, such as daycares, schools, hospitals and government offices.

Despite the ban, the crucifix in Quebec’s National Assembly and the cross at the top of Mount Royal would remain, since according to the government they are symbols of Quebec’s “heritage”

In a society that guarantees religious freedom, it is difficult to see how such a sweeping ban could withstand a constitutional challenge.  (more...)

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