New Quebec Law and Niqab

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News from Wed, March 24, 2010. By Jonathan Montpetit, The Canadian Press:

MONTREAL – Muslim women will be forced to uncover their faces if they want services from the Quebec government, according to landmark legislation tabled Wednesday in the province.

In tabling the bill, Quebec delves into sensitive territory where governments in Canada have largely avoided treading: setting hard-and-fast rules for accommodating minorities.

The bill says people obtaining – or delivering – services at places like the health-or auto-insurance boards will need to do so with their faces in plain view.

Face-coverings won’t be tolerated if they hinder communication or visual identification.

A Muslim group argues that Quebec’s political oxygen is being unnecessarily sucked up by debate over a microscopic number of cases.

Of the more than 118,000 visitors to the health board’s Montreal office in 2008-09 only 10 people – or less than 0.00009 per cent of cases – involved niqab-wearers who asked for special dispensation.

There were zero such cases among the 28,000 visitors to the Quebec City service centre over the same time period.

The Muslim Council of Montreal says there may be only around 25 Muslims in Quebec who actually wear face-coverings.

Via Yahoo News. Click for full article.

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