The Liberal government in Quebec has come under intense fire from media outlets for its passage of Bill 62 which bans government employees, from the provincial to the municipal level, from wearing a face-covering on the job and also bans face-coverings for anyone receiving government services.
An editorial in The Globe and Mail is an example of the heat the ban has generated.
The editorial said the law passed by the Quebec National Assembly is a direct attack on religious freedom; it targets the small number of Muslim women who wear a face covering and promises to expose them to discrimination, public humiliation and abuse.
“The law goes way past accommodation and veers into intimidation,” the editorial said. “This is disturbing and wrong. If we believe in religious freedom, this is a law no Canadian government should ever adopt and no person living in Canada should have to endure.”
It said the law’s wording appears to mean that a woman wearing a veil will be asked to remove it before she can board a municipal bus, or while she is in line at a government office, or in a school, or waiting in a hospital emergency room.
Other media outlets seemed to agree with The Globe, a Point of View piece from Postmedia News saying that many Canadians are troubled by the face covering, itself included, but “Provided a woman is wearing the veil of her own free will, her wardrobe choice is not the state’s business.”
Quebec is not alone in making it the state’s business.
There are full or partial bans in many countries. France and Belgium were the first to do so but since then full or partial bans have been put in place in The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Chad, Cameroon, Switzerland, Congo-Brazzaville and part of Niger. Germany is getting there.
In 2011, Canada’s government banned Muslim women from wearing the niqab or burka during citizenship ceremonies but the Supreme Court reversed the ban because it was found to restrict freedom of religion, a core Canadian value.
So now it is my turn.
I have no problem with the ban.
I am all for religious freedom but I also accept that there can be reasonable limits. We don’t accept Sharia law in this country and we don’t accept clitoral circumcision of females.
In regard to Postmedia’s comment about a woman wearing the veil of her own free will, how would we ever know? After all, I think we know that the practice wasn’t started by women; it was started by men.
It has become obvious to me through my years in this world that most of the stupid stuff has men’s fingerprints all over it.
Do you really think a woman would have suggested that they have their clitoris cut out or that they should be paid less than men for doing the same job?
Actually I don’t think the Quebec law goes far enough, just as I didn’t think the law struck down by the Supreme Court went far enough. I am for a full ban, the faces of all people, either residing in this country or visiting, being uncovered at all times.
We should have nothing to hide.
The religious aspect aside, I see a safety problem in women driving while wearing the niqab. Peering out of those shallow slits, their field of vision will be cut down extensively.
In some provinces, motorists are not allowed to have tinted windows. I gather this is so law enforcement can see in.
If people are not allowed to hide behind tinted glass, why should they be able to hide behind what amounts to a mask?
WHEN THE SOO Greyhounds defeated the Guelph Storm 7-4 last Sunday, all three game stars were given to the Greyhounds.
I thought that was the work of homers at its worst by those who make the selections.
First star Hayden Verbeek, second star Tim Gettinger and third star Boris Katchouk all played well enough to deserve stars.
But there should have been room in the mix for a Guelph player because the score really didn’t indicate how close the game really was.
The Storm gave the Hounds a run. You never would have known it was their third game in three days.
The Greyhounds were losing 4-3 going into the third but scored two quick goals to go up 5-4. They got another during a five-minute power play and an empty netter.
The shots were 47-37 in favour of the Greyhounds but the five-minute penalty assessed Guelph accounted for several of that difference.
It was an exciting game, one that could have gone either way.
We look bad as a community – like homers – when the Greyhounds are awarded all three stars in a game like that.