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LETTER: City right to aid challenge of discriminatory bill

Kudos to Coun. Dubow for his leadership on Victoria council by presenting a motion to verbally and financially support the legal challenge to Quebec’s Bill 21.

The bill was presented as secularism law. The alleged goal was to promote the separation of church and state – Quebec has had a long-standing battle with the Catholic church’s influence. However, in practice, this bill contributes to Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. (One wonders whether it was pro-secularism or anti-Muslims, Sikhs and Jews.)

This bill has the potential to be a slow creep where “people that don’t look like me” or “don’t believe in what I believe in” are excluded from parts of our society. An example of this is the restriction of Muslim women from wearing hijabs who are or wish to be teachers. As you know, one teacher was recently fired for wearing the hijab despite the protest from the school and parent groups.

Does Ginella Massa’s hijab affect our view of her objectivity as a reporter, anchor and national host on CBC? Is her wearing of a hijab have viewers see her more as a Muslim with a Muslim bias versus a Muslim reporting on the world from a secular perspective? We must error on the side of inclusion. At critical times in the past, we did not stand up for our First Nations, Blacks, Chinese and other minorities. We cannot change the past but we can take a stand on the present. This is one of those “present” moments. Well done Victoria city council.

Toby Snelgrove

Victoria