Quebec Plan Proposes Banning Kippot on Public Workers

Bill Was Leaked, Government Offers No Comment

By JTA

Published August 25, 2013.
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A plan by Quebec’s government to ban “religious symbols,” including yarmulkes or kippot, among public sector workers has elicited worry from religious minorities in the Canadian province.

The bill would seek to ban public employees from wearing large Christian crosses or religious headwear such as that worn by Sikhs, Muslims and Jews while at work.

Richard Marceau, a former politician who now advises the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, wrote a column for Huffington Post criticizing the proposal.

“How could one believe that a kippah-wearing Jewish librarian is… trying to impose his religion on society?” Marceau wrote.

The details of the proposed law were leaked to Journal de Montrèal last week, but the Parti Quebecois, which heads the provincial government, has refused to confirm them or answer questions related to the issue.

Federal Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney offered tepid criticism of the proposal, saying it was important to wait until a bill was made public.

Justin Trudeau, leader of the federal Liberal Party, was more critical.

“I have enormous concerns for the limits that would be imposed on people, on their religion and on their freedom of expression,” he said.


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