THE National Council of Canadian Muslims on Thursday expressed its thanks to MP Garnett Genuis, Conservative Critic of Multiculturalism, for entering an anti-Bill 21 petition on the first day of session on January 27, 2020.
Bill 21, An Act respecting the laicity of the State, is the piece of legislation that prevents Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and others from wearing religious symbols and becoming prosecutors, teachers, or police officers (among other professions) in Quebec.
“Since the day Bill 21 was passed, we have called upon all politicians, of all political parties, to condemn Bill 21”, said Mustafa Farooq, Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims. “Other legislative assemblies, including Manitoba and Ontario, have passed motions to formally condemn Bill 21. Today, we thank MP Genuis for filing the petition calling on the House of Commons to formally condemn Bill 21. The time is now for all elected officials to formally condemn second-class citizenship in the House of Commons”.
The text of the petition states:
We, the undersigned citizens of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:
Whereas the province of Quebec has passed An Act respecting the laicity of the State (“Bill 21”), that restricts the wearing of religious symbols; and;
Whereas our federation is built on a diverse community, where many Canadians wear religious symbols including turbans, hijabs, kippas, crosses and many other symbols; and
Whereas the fundamental right of religious freedom is enshrined in the Canadian constitution; and
Whereas national civil rights groups, including: the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, B’nai Brith Canada, the World Sikh Organization, the Canadian Bar Association, Amnesty International, and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs have condemned the legislation’s infringement on Canadians’ rights; and
Whereas the federal government bears a responsibility to stand up in defence of the Canadian multicultural mosaic;
We the undersigned therefore urge the House of Commons to formally denounce Bill 21.