Nine months after mosque killings, Quebec Muslims still waiting for promised change

By Graeme Hamilton
National Post | October 20, 2017

MONTREAL — After a gunman killed six worshippers inside a Quebec City mosque in January, the outpouring of support for the Muslim community was immediate. The attack would be “a turning point” in the strained relationship between Quebec and its Muslim minority, Premier Philippe Couillard promised.

“Let us think about Quebecers of the Muslim faith, our fellow citizens,” Couillard said at a vigil the night after the attack. “It must be said again: We are all Quebecers. The whole world is watching us.”

But the ensuing nine months have seriously undercut Couillard’s message of inclusiveness, and Muslim leaders are left wondering when the promised change will come.

On Wednesday, the Liberal majority passed into law Bill 62, which singles out the small number of Muslim women who wear face-covering niqabs or burkas and bans them from receiving government services, right down to a bus ride or a library card.

“Rather than facilitating inclusion, this legislation excludes citizens from the public sphere, it reinforces the marginalization of Canadian Muslims, and it risks emboldening those seeking to sow division and hatred between Canadians,” Eve Torres of the National Council of Canadian Muslims said in reaction.

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