19557918_sIn a fascinating but disturbing story, The New York Times reports today that as part of “a so-called Charter of Quebec Values,” Quebec’s governing Parti Québécois “plans to forbid government employees to wear ‘overt and conspicuous’ religious symbols while on the job. Everyone from judges to teachers would have to doff their hijabs, kippas, niqabs, turbans and outsized crucifixes. Day care centers would be forbidden from serving kosher or halal foods. Government workers would only be allowed to cover their faces for weather-related — not religious — reasons.”

The Times states that the aim of this ban “is to remove Quebec from Canada. By targeting Quebec’s religious minorities — in particular, veiled Muslim women, mostly in and around Montreal — the party is rallying its overwhelmingly white Francophone base. The bill has already stirred anti-immigrant resentment: several women’s shelters have reported an uptick in harassment of Muslim women.”

Recommended reading.