Quebec’s secularism charter heads to lawmakers
Recently in the province of Quebec City, Canada, the Charter of Quebec Values was introduced to the public making the area completely secular. Even more recently, the charter was rebranded as “Charter Affirming the Values of Secularism and the Religious Neutrality of the State, As Well As the Equality of Men and Women, and the Framing of Accommodation Requests”, the sole reason simply being that “Bernard Drainville, the governing Parti Quebecois minister responsible for the proposal, said the mouthful of a name was selected by government lawyers, adding they like long names that encompass the major details in the title.” This measure would ban all overt and conspicuous headgear worn by public sector employees, including hijabs, yarmulkes and Sikh turbans. This ban also includes wearing large crucifixes and other obvious religious wear. This will affect people all over the province who openly displayed their religious perspectives. This will likely become an extremely controversial situation between the people of Quebec City and their governing party, the reason being that before this charter, the people were free to openly practice and somewhat display their beliefs, and now, are being regulated on what they are and aren’t allowed to wear. Though the drafters of the bill feel that this charter is required to achieve religious neutrality, it is not likely that the people of Quebec City will stand for such religious oppression. Some may be tolerable of the charter, like those who can just tuck in their necklaces or put away their rings, but what about those who wear garments such as headdresses and celebrative wear to express their strength and belief, or even a monk who is only to wear his robe. To set any regulation on religious “display” is to oppress religion itself. It is impossible to ban the "visual expression" of religion without inadvertantly discriminating against certain religious perspectives...
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