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Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW)'s Statement on Bill 21 Decision CCMW
21
Apr
2021

Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW)'s Statement on Bill 21 Decision

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The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) is disappointed by the Quebec Superior Court’s decision to uphold much of An Act respecting the laicity of the State (Bill 21).

A judge ruled today that the province's secularism law is largely legal, even as he acknowledged it violates the rights of Muslim women and has cruel and dehumanizing consequences for those who wear religious symbols.

In his 242-page decision, Justice Marc-André Blanchard ruled that part of the law violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The judge struck down clauses pertaining to English-language school boards and a ban on members of the provincial legislature wearing face coverings but concluded that the law "does not violate the Canadian constitutional architecture."

An Act respecting the laicity of the State (Bill 21) bans the wearing of religious symbols for state workers deemed to be in a position of authority, like teachers, judges and police officers. The law unfairly persecutes minorities in Quebec, and especially harms Muslim women who wear hijab.

Today’s decision gives a green light to continued religious discrimination and must be appealed.

While we are pleased that the Quebec Superior Court has struck key provisions of An Act respecting the laicity of the State (Bill 21), we must continue the legal battle to see this discriminatory law struck in its entirety.

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Read 486 times Last modified on Wed, 21 Apr 2021 11:31
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The story of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) begins in 1982 when a group of dynamic and devoted Muslim women from across the country congregated in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Led by the late founder of CCMW, Dr. Lila Fahlman, these women sought to mobilize their passion for social justice and faith in order to enrich their communities and work towards the common good of Canadian society.

This inaugural meeting led to the establishment of CCMW, a not-for-profit organization that works to provide equity, equality and empowerment for all Canadian Muslim women. For the past 30 years, its proud and accomplished roster of members have achieved and continue to achieve great milestones for Muslim women and Canada’s multicultural landscape. As a highly diverse organization, CCMW is firmly committed to the overarching vision of improving the status of Muslim women to remain true to their Islamic heritage and Canadian identity.