This week the Quebec National Assembly passed Bill 62, legislation introduced by the Liberal government that bans public workers and anyone receiving public services from wearing the niqab or any other face covering.
Stated reasons for the successful passing of this bill include that Quebec is a secular society and that our safety as citizens are at risk if individuals cover their faces in public. I see no merit in either of these.
This law affects Muslim women more than anyone else. Women who choose to wear the veil or scarf as an expression of their faith. This is a women's issue. This is an issue of discrimination. One woman who chooses to wear the niquab who was interviewed on CBC said that she would rather stay home than be singled out as a threat to her fellow Quebecers. This is oppression.
This is not the kind of law that a civilized and inclusive society should be passing.
We as the United Church of Canada are known and applauded around the world for standing up for justice and supporting the oppressed. This action on the part of the Quebec government is a call to action for each of us speak love in the face of injustice. This is the call of our God, who we worship as the God of all creation. Not select parts of creation. Not just some people but all people. We cannot pick and choose who is welcome in God's family. Jesus made a point of going out of his way to welcome the stranger, the women, the children, the sick, the outcast. We cannot say we are his followers and not act like he did.
Here are some ways you can become involved:
What will you do?