CAIRO – Showing solidarity to the Muslim minority, two renowned Montreal professors have donned hijab in a protest against the proposed ban on religious symbols in the Parti Québécois' secular charter.
"I wear it as a kind of sign of solidarity," Concordia University history professor Nora Jaffary told CBC on Monday, November 25.
Recently, Quebec has been the home of religious debates since the proposal of the controversial Parti Québécois charter which claims protecting state secularism by prohibiting public-sector workers from wearing religious symbols in workplaces such as schools, hospitals and daycares.
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The ban would affect everyone from government workers and doctors to teachers and daycare workers.
Rejecting the charter, Jaffary as well as McGill University political science professor Catherine Lu decided to don veil in protest.
While Jaffary is still wearing the veil to campus, Lu wore the veil for a week in September to stir discussion in her classroom.
The Concordia professor asserted that veil should remain as a free choice for Muslim women in Quebec.
She added that the proposed ban would target a group of minorities in Quebec, singling out Muslim women as a main victim of the charter.
Therefore, Jaffary decided to wear the veil to show her support, calling on more people to don veil to add more weight to the protest.
"If many people are wearing religious signs, it’s impossible to tell who’s wearing them for what reason and so it sort of muddies the waters."
Muslims make around 2.8 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the north American country.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
A survey has showed the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian.
In a recent poll, most for the Quebeckers were found not concerned about religious accommodations.
Though it has the second largest Muslim population in Canada, the east-central province of Quebec is one of the most Islamophobic provinces in the country, where Muslims are facing different kinds of discrimination and racism.
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