The separatist government in Quebec is betting on the popular support in a proposal that would prohibit any public employees from wearing skullcaps, headscarves and other symbols that are religious. However, at the same time, it has divided the movement that has been advocating its independence from the rest of Canada.
The proposal, which the ruling party Quebecois unveiled on Tuesday, deals with the controversial issue of rights for minorities in a region of Canada, a country that has prided itself for being a tapestry for immigrants, instead of the melting pot style of the U.S.
The proposal would ban doctors, teachers and others that work for the government from wearing any visible religious symbols, which includes larges crosses and headscarves, in an attempt to cement in this French-speaking province, a secular society.
The proposal however needs the support of a minimum of one party more to be put into law. If that were to happen, it certainly would then face strong legal challenges.
The idea of this proposal in Quebec banning the use of religious symbols by government workers has resonated with many people residing in Quebec. However, it has also caused a rift and divide, amongst those in the separatist party.
Lebanese Christian Maria Mourani, a member of Parliament from the Bloc Quebecois was expelled, by its federal counterpart, from its caucus when she expressed her reservations about supporting such a proposal.
On Friday, she resigned from the party. She told reporters her family decided on Canada instead of France to immigrate to, since it did not have tensions over someone’s identity that was present in France.
France has banned the use of religious symbols in its schools since 2004. It banned the use of Islamic veils that cover the entire face in public during 2011.