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Quebec's New "Religious Neutrality" Law Will Prohibit People From Wearing Sunglasses On The Bus

Critics say this is about targeting Muslim women who wear a veil.

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Under Quebec's new "religious neutrality" law, people will not be able to wear anything covering their faces on public transit — not even sunglasses.

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The Liberal government first proposed Bill 62 in 2015. It bans face coverings for people giving or receiving public services. While it initially only covered provincial services, recent amendments have expanded the scope of the law to include all levels of government, including public transit bodies.

Critics have said the bill targets Muslim women who wear a niqab or burqa, but Quebec's justice minister has denied that it discriminates against any religious minorities. According to the Journal de Quebec, Stéphanie Vallée said the bill would ban all face coverings, including hoods, bandanas, and sunglasses.

The National Assembly passed the controversial bill on Wednesday with a vote of 66-51, with the Liberal government using its majority to push it through. Opposition parties voted against the bill because it did not go far enough for them.

People are saying the new law will turn Quebec into a laughingstock.

Will Quebec Liberals be blamed for anti-sunglasses #Bill62 making province object of ridicule by anglos? #polqc #qcpoli #quebecmocking

"This is what Islamophobia looks like."

In case you were still wondering, this is what Islamophobia looks like.

Although the language of the bill is very general, few people actually believe that a person wearing a winter scarf will be treated the same as a Muslim woman with a niqab.

3. Say face coverings all you want, this targets niqabis.


"Just bought wine at the [liquor store] with sunglasses on, and was served with a smile," this person tweeted. "Obviously, I, a white man, am not the target of #bill62."

Just bought wine at the SAQ with sunglasses on, and was served with a smile. Obviously, I, a white man, am not the target of #bill62.

Others wondered why there wasn't more opposition to the bill in the National Assembly.

Is there ANYONE in the #assnat that voted against #bill62 because it's fucking racist, and not because "it doesn't go far enough"?

It's unclear how well any of this is going to work.

@perreaux I work in a library, if the lady come to the counter I can't serve her but if she use the self-checkout there is no problem ?

Montreal bus drivers are also pretty confused about how Bill 62 will work, and they really don't want to be in charge of deciding who gets a ride and who doesn't.

Muslim women are speaking out against the bill.

I am Muslim, I will never wear the niqab, I am against this bill 🤦🏻‍♀️🙄 #Bill62 #qcpoli #racism

The National Council of Canadian Muslims called the new law "ugly identity politics" timed to increase divisions before next year's provincial election.

And others are pledging to stand in solidarity with those affected.

To all my sisters affected by #bill62, know that we stand with you & will fight this appalling law together. You sh…

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

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