Quebec judge once again suspends application of province’s religious neutrality law

By Giuseppe Valiante
The Canadian Press | June 28, 2018

Quebec’s law banning people from covering their faces when receiving or giving a public service cannot enter into force until it goes through judicial review because of the irreparable harm it will cause Muslim women, a judge ruled Thursday.

It is the second time since December a Quebec judge has suspended the controversial section of the province’s religious neutrality law, which is being challenged in court by a national Muslim group and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Khalid Elgazzar, vice-chair of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said the ruling by Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc-Andre Blanchard was “very strongly worded.”

“It points out that (at first glance) the law violates the freedoms guaranteed by the Quebec and Canadian charters. In essence, it’s confirmation (the law) is a bad solution to a made-up problem,” Elgazzar said.

Section 10 of Quebec’s law on religious neutrality, passed in October 2017, forces everyone to show their faces when receiving or giving a public service.

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