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Quebec Canada: Protesters collect to oppose religious ban, twelve months after Bill 21 became law


Dozens of people gathered out of doors Quebec Premier François Legault's Montreal office on Sunday to sit-in, the opposition to the province's ban on religious symbols that became a law a year ago.

The disagreement section of the law, which is also referred to as Bill 21, bans civil servants in positions of authority from wearing hijab or kippah.

Sunday's occasion become prepared by Justice Femme, a group that has been crucial of the law, calling it discriminatory against Muslim womens who put on a hijab.

"It was very vital to us … to show Premier Legault what these womens are facing each day, and what this bill has opened the door for: all types of discrimination in our society," stated Hanadi Saad, who helped prepare the protest.

Saad said numerous Muslim ladies have been refused working at public and private daycares after saying they would not remove their hijab, even though Bill 21 does not ban daycare people from wearing Hijab and private institutions aren't included at all.


"This women does not want to report this to the authorities because they didn't trust the givernment thats legalizing discrimination", Saad said


Several civil rights groups, a teachers' union, a multi-religion coalition and the English Montreal School Board are challenging the controversial law in court.

On Sunday, a spokesperson for Legault insisted that the secularism regulation is mild and has succeeded in ending the controversy over religions.

Organizers say they felt it became critical to speak out amid the ongoing international conversation about the systemic racism


Idil Issa is the vice-president of Fondation paroles de femmes, a non-profit that pursuits to create inclusive areas for racialized and Indigenous womens.

She says that now is an especially important time to mobilize towards systemic racism.


"Bill 21 is a part of systemic discrimination," Issa stated. "It prevents people who are from religious minorities from attaining certain jobs and positions.

Last week, Legault stated the province is operating to address racism in general — although he has also stated repeatedly that systemic racism isn't always an issue in Quebec.

But Issa says Bill 21 has created a two-tiered system.

"Some people have get right of entry to to full rights, others experience legalized discrimination," she said.

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