Quebec Prayer Ban Sparks Muslim Protests: Lavrov

Islamic organizations in Canada have asked the courts to declare unconstitutional a Quebec ordinance that bans religious activities in schools.

Six groups, including the Muslim Association of Canada, the Canadian Muslim Forum and four local organizations, filed a complaint this week with the Supreme Court of Quebec, asking it to strike down the ordinance banning all forms of worship in public schools, and presents this decision as constitutionally invalid and unenforceable.

The plaintiffs sought a ruling on the interpretation of the state’s principles of secularism and religious neutrality, so that these principles are not used to prohibit prayer or other religious practices in public places.

The groups argued that the order was discriminatory and violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that secularism and the state’s obligation of religious neutrality should not be interpreted to favor one religion over to another.

The order by Quebec Education Minister Bernard Drainville banning prayers in schools, vocational training centers or adult education centers was issued on April 19, 2023, after reports that two Canadian schools would have allowed students to gather inside the school for prayer.

Last month, a Canadian Senate committee report said Islamophobia is deeply rooted in Canadian society and veiled women are the most vulnerable group. According to this report, far-right and anti-Muslim groups are on the rise, as well as hate crimes. The report is due to be published in full, in July 2023.

In 2017, Muslim and civil rights groups challenged Quebec’s ban on the burqa and headscarf for civil servants or people working in public services, saying the bans violated the religious rights of people. women and Muslims.

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