Quebec City, Canada, Jun 18, 2019 / 16:01 pm
The Canadian province of Quebec passed a law Sunday prohibiting future government employees "in positions of authority" from expressing their beliefs through religious symbols during office hours.
The law passed June 16, previously known as Bill 21, does not mention any religion in particular, and would include, for example, hijabs for Muslim women and crosses for Christians. It covers covers judges, police officers, teachers, and other public figures, the BBC reports.
"We believe that Bill 21, as it stands now, will fuel fear and intolerance, rather than contributing to social peace. We therefore call on members of the government and all Quebecers to promote important amendments to this project, in order to seek more to welcome than to exclude, to understand that to reject," Quebec's Catholic bishops wrote in a statement issued in French June 14.
Existing employees are exempt from the new legislation. Some critics of the law claimed it particularly targets Muslim women, but Jewish organizations have also spoken out against it.