Brief to the National Assembly of Quebec on Bill 94

The CCMW has stated that the face coverings (face veil or niqab), though not a religious requirement in Islam, is worn by some individual women who have decided that the face covering is an expression of their faith. We are concerned that those women who want to wear the face covering will become further isolated and marginalized if they are refused services. Their active role as parents may also be restricted and this will harm their children.

This does not bode well for integration and participation for women and their children. We acknowledge that it is reasonable to expect an individual to show the face for identification, health, safety and security purposes when accessing services. This can be accomplished by a well thought-out accommodation policy. There is no need for legislation or regulation. Therefore, CCMW does not support Bill 94 – An Act to establish guidelines governing accommodation requests within the Administration and certain institutions, introduced by the Quebec government in March 2010.

We are concerned that State interference in this issue may open the possibility of further restrictions and that these restrictions will be based on racism and prejudice against one group of citizens, that is, Muslims.