From CTV News: Hundreds of community members gathered in Chelsea, Quebec Tuesday in support of local Grade 3 teacher Fatemeh Anvari, who was recently removed from a classroom for wearing a hijab under the government’s discriminatory Bill 21, CTV News reported.

  • The bill suppresses the right of many public employees, including teachers, to wear religious symbols at work.

Back in April, Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc-André Blanchard upheld most aspects of the discriminatory law, but in his decision noted the law violates the basic rights of religious minorities in Quebec.

  • Blanchard wrote: "The evidence undoubtedly shows that the effects of Law 21 will be felt negatively above all by Muslim women."

However, the Quebec government preemptively invoked the notwithstanding clause, which prevented those who filed legal challenges against the discriminatory law from appealing to charter rights that protect religious freedom, freedom of expression or gender equality.

  • David Harris, an organizer of Tuesday’s protest, told CTV: “We just wanted to make sure that the Quebec government knows that they can’t get away with this in our community. We see this as a Bill that clearly goes too far in the name of secularism.”

Organizers told CTV they hope their protest will help fuel wider condemnation of the law ahead of next year's provincial election in Quebec.

Read CTV News’ full story here.

This is a members-only story

Support non-profit, reader-funded journalism. Become a member to get access.

Become a member Already have an account? Sign in