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by Mary Soderstrom

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Hidjab Files: Banned Sign Is Also High Fashion

The current Quebec government just released its plan for a "Charter of Quebc Values."  Chief among them is the "neutrality" of the state when it comes to religion.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?  But the way this neutrality will play out involves forbidding all government employees from wearing any "religious sign".   Small cruxifices or Stars of David on a chain will be all right, but the Jewish kippa, the Sikh turban, and the Muslim hidjab will be banned.  Hospital and day care workers as well as  teachers are covered by the ban.

What absolute nonsense!   Besides being hardly likely to survive a constitutional test, it raises a hornet's nest of issues.  Anyone who's visited a hospital or day care centre in Montreal lately has noticed the many competent, well-intergrated Muslim women working there who where the hidjab.  They should not be penalized for their beliefs, particularly since the head scarf is as much cultural as it is religious.

If you don't belief that last assertion, take a look at just what Muslim fashion is.  Rather nice, and certainly no more un-Canadian than a sari or African kanga.    And here's a link to some high fashion from Tehran.  Plus a YouTube video that isn't quite as edgey.

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