The Quebecois Party´S Rule On Religious Attire In The Workplace

1230 words - 5 pages

The Quebecois party plans to enforce restrictions on government workers from wearing attire that expresses religious identity while at work. These cultural symbols are deemed as being “overt and conspicuous,” laying out the new rules that affects a range of individuals. “Everyone from judges to teachers,” now must “doff their hijabs, kippas, niqabs, turbans, and outsize crucifixes.” Child care centers are also restricted from serving “kosher or halal foods.” The only way government employees can wear anything that covers their face is by reason of weather conditions only. The minister of the party, Bernard Drainville claims that in the Charter of Quebec Values, it mentions that the bill is necessary in order to “recognize and affirm some of the fundamental values that define us as Quebecers.” However, this issue has caused a severe division between perceptions of those in favor and those who oppose it, due to the span of opinions on the moral and ethical effects that will result from it. Similar to dividedness of the issue, Quebec is also quite separate ethnically having the diversity concentrated in Montreal and more uniform (white) demographic in the outskirts of the province. White Francophone individuals comprise the majority of those in favor and essentially supports Le Parti Quebecois’s objective of gaining independence from Canada. The ban has targeted many “religious minorities—in particular, veiled Muslim women, mostly in and around Montreal.”
The most apparent human right issue is the freedom of expression, whether it is of cultural and/or religious affiliation, through the physical display of their identity. The ban is illegalizing government employees from wearing this physical specimen of religious identity, being that it differs from the societal and cultural norm of Quebec. Since Muslims are the cultural minority, the majority of supporters are white individuals who share many similarities in cultural values. These values clash with the small portion of Muslims, who are an ethnically different group that practices a different faith. The freedom of expression is a significant human right, because if we are not allowed to express ourselves through whatever means we want, people are forced to suppress who they are and combat a more rigid, less open-minded way of life. It is similar to living in a world where you would be denied the right to free speech. Everyone would need to oblige to the one uniform ideology, an ideology formulated by the most powerful political figures. If not, you could not survive. Yes, this is a much more extreme example; nevertheless, it showcases the seriousness of this violation to the natural freedoms of individuals. The reality of the ban is that it would cause society to become more narrow-minded and less tolerant for people different from themselves. Muslim women who want to wear their veils are no longer being allowed to, being that Le Parti, the most powerful political figure of Quebec wants to be...

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