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Muslim, civil rights groups challenge Quebec veil ban

MONTREAL: Muslim and civil rights groups on Tuesday challenged a Quebec ban on officials or anyone receiving public services from covering their faces, arguing it infringes on women’s and Muslim religious rights.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and the National Council of Canadian Muslims asked the Quebec Superior Court to rule on the constitutionality of the law passed last month.

They also asked for a stay of its implementation.

Marie-Michelle Lacoste, who converted to Islam and wears a niqab, was also listed as a plaintiff in court documents.

Ihsaan Gardee of the National Council of Canadian Muslims told a press conference the law is “discriminatory, unconstitutional and unnecessary.”

It “excludes and stigmatizes an already marginalized vulnerable minority of women and by extension, the larger Quebec Muslim community,” he said.

“Our governments simply have no place dictating to a woman what she can and cannot wear,” echoed the CCLA’s Cara Faith Zwibel.



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