Bill 62 being challenged in court
CTV News | November 7, 2017
A legal challenge to Quebec’s legislation banning face coverings has been filed.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association are challenging Bill 62 as a violation of the constitution.
The Muslim woman challenging the lawsuit, Marie-Michelle Lacoste, argues that the law which is supposed to provide a level playing field for religious neutrality, actually creates a difficult burden for those who wish to abide by the tenets of their religion.
Her lawyers are asking for the courts to block Section 10 of the law regarding religious neutrality, saying that the requirement to uncover her face to receive public services such as healthcare or public transit almost exclusively affects the few dozen Muslim women in Quebec who wear a veil over their faces.
The groups say as a result, the law which supposedly enforces religious neutrality actually forces women with religious beliefs to violate those beliefs.
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Ihsaan Gardee of the NCCM said the law is clearly aimed at Muslim women.
“Our legal challenge targets the heart of what this law really is: a discriminatory, unconstitutional and unnecessary piece of legislation that excludes and stigmatizes an already marginalized and vulnerable minority of women and, by extension, the larger Quebec Muslim community,” he said. “Muslim women who wear the niqab as part of their religious beliefs have a constitutional right to do so, and its’ not up to you or me or the government to pass judgment on what is appropriate religious practice.”
“We believe Quebecers don’t support discrimination and prejudice, which is what Bill 62 codifies into law,” he added.