Scrolling news:

Iraq: US seeks verification of ‘Islamic State’ beheading of journalist James Foley

Japan: Torrential rains unleash deadly landslide killing a dozen people in Hiroshima

Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army demolishes cave housing family near Bethlehem

Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

Palestine: Nine Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli soldiers from West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

Montreal professors don hijab in protest

24th Dec 2013

Montreal professors don Hijab in protest of secular charter
Concordia University history professor Nora Jaffary is wearing the veil to campus to protest against the Parti Québécois’ secular charter. (Photo: Concordia University)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Two non-Muslim professors are wearing the hijab to work to protest against the Parti Québécois’ (PQ) secular charter and its proposed ban on religious symbols for teachers, daycare workers and other public sector employees.

Bill 60, introduced on November 7, includes contentious provisions to ban hijab, kippas and turbans in the workplace for public servants, including daycare workers, doctors and senior bureaucrats.

But the draft legislation contains elements not included in the September outline that would force the dress code on private contractors and publicly subsidized businesses and it severely curtails promised opt-out provisions for cities and educational institutions. It even covers the food that daycares serve, banning the use of halal or kosher foods to advance a “religious precept.”

Concordia University History Professor Nora Jaffary is still wearing the hijab to the campus, while McGill University Political Science Professor Catherine Lu wore the hijab for a week in September to initiate debate in her lecture.

Jaffary says that for many Muslim women in Quebec, wearing the hijab is their own choice, and not something that is forced on them by parents or husbands.

She says the proposed ban would single out Muslim women in Quebec.

Speaking to The Muslim News Jaffary explained why she felt the need to wear the hijab.

“I am a public sector worker. Bill 60 restricts public sector workers from wearing: “objects such as headgear, clothing, jewelry or other adornments which, by their conspicuous nature, overtly indicate a religious affiliation.” I see this as a violation of the rights of freedom of religion and freedom of expression that are protected by both the Canadian (federal) and Québec (provincial) Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I also see it as a violation of academic freedom which is a right upheld in the Collective Agreement of the Union to which I, as a professor at ConcordiaUniversity, belong.”

“I chose a hijab because since the PQ opened discussion of the Charter, Muslim women, in particular, have experienced instances of increased hostility in Québec. I wear it not because I am interested in becoming a Muslim myself, but because I am distressed that women have been the targets of such hostility in this particular political and social climate and I wish to communicate my solidarity with them in particular. ”

“I wear it in the hope of encouraging others to defy the Charter in a similar way: By wearing hijabs, crosses, kippas, turbans, or any other overt indications of religious affiliation because if a sizable portion of the population are wearing such signs, I believe the Charter will become impossible to implement.”

Jaffary says she has received “overwhelmingly positive” response to the media coverage about her decision to support Muslim women’s right to wear the hijab. However, she conceded that “proportionately small number of negative reactions from the non-Muslim community, where some people have charged me with being an anti-feminist but this is not a charge that I feel particularly vulnerable about. I define myself, in my personal, political, and scholarly life as a feminist. I have devoted my intellectual life, for the past two decades, to the study of gender history.”

Professor Catherine Lu told The Muslim News that she, along with her colleague at the University of Montreal, Marie-Joelle Zahar, “thought that wearing conspicuous religious symbols would be one way to get the protest and discussion going.”

She added, “To me, it’s a matter of justice, because I consider the restrictions on religious dress to be a violation of fundamental individual rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion, and to be inherently discriminatory in their application, given that not all religious groups will be equally affected by the restrictions. So I wanted to do something to express my solidarity with the vulnerable minorities that would be subject to discrimination and violations of their fundamental rights.”

One Response to “Montreal professors don hijab in protest”

Vir NarainDecember 26, 2013

Religion is a matter of private belief which must not restricted or interfered with. But public displays of religious affiliations become instruments of divisiveness in a secular and multicultural society. With the increasing scale of migrations, assertions of the right to display religious affiliations are being used for political purposes.

Reply

Leave a Comment

What is 3 + 6 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.


Latest Tweets

The Muslim News

awards

Awards for Excellence

Read more