Quebec woman told to unveil or leave class

Second case in recent months rekindles niqab debate

A niqab-clad Muslim woman was asked to leave a Quebec classroom last March and told she’d be booted out of the government-run French class unless she unveiled. The 25-year-old, referred to only as “Aisha” is a permanent resident from India and has been described by classmates at her suburban Montreal school as a model student. The Immigration Department’s decision that her veil represented a “pedagogical” barrier has “upset the whole class,” according to Mustapha Kachani, the executive director of the Centre d’intégration multi-services de l’Ouest de l’Île. “I’m sure we could have found a solution instead of isolating her and marginalizing her,” he said. “Maybe we would have convinced her to remove her veil.” Aisha, however, has rejected requests to remove the veil, saying it would be akin to “someone asking me to take off my clothes.”

Globe and Mail

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.