Hijab-wearing woman should be allowed to testify, Harper spokesman says

Quebec Judge Eliana Marengo’s refusal to hear case of woman wearing headscarf sparks widespread debate

CBC News | February 27, 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn’t agree with a Quebec Court judge’s controversial decision to refuse to hear a woman’s case because she was wearing a hijab, a spokesman says.

“If someone is not covering their face, we believe they should be allowed to testify,” Harper spokesman Stephen Lecce said in a one-line statement.

The comment comes following a CBC News report Thursday that Judge Eliana Marengo told a woman in a Montreal courtroom she would not hear her case until she removed her hijab.

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The National Council of Canadian Muslims, meanwhile, called on the Court of Quebec and the Attorney-General of Quebec to reaffirm the right of all Canadians to exercise their religious freedom in a courtroom.

“The judge’s refusal to hear this woman’s case because she wore a headscarf is contrary to the established constitutional rights of Canadians,” Ihsaan Gardee, the group’s executive director, said in a statement…