December 3: Day of Action Against Bill 94

In case you haven't heard enough about Bill 94 from my two posts this week, I wanted to let you know that today, December 3, is a day of action against the bill.  Below are some suggested actions from the Non/No Bill 94 Coalition: Speak up! Write, email, phone, fax Quebec Premier Jean Charest, along with Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities Yolande James, Minister of Justice Kathleen Weil, and Minister of Culture, Communications & the Status of Women Christine St-Pierre to voice … [Read more...]

Revealing Democracy: A Conference on Bill 94 (Part II)

(See Part 1 here.)I didn’t make it to the Friday panels because of schoolwork, but I was able to catch the talks on Saturday (November 20).  The first panel was called “The Theoretical and Analytical Challenges of Identity Politics,” with speakers Monique Deveaux, Cécile Laborde, and Beverley Baines; the second panel was entitled “’Managing’ Religious and Ethnocultural Diversity: Looking Beyond Existing Models,” and included Sirma Bilge, Sedef Arat-Koç, and François Rocher.  Because many of t … [Read more...]

Revealing Democracy: A Conference on Bill 94 (Part I)

Quebec’s Bill 94, which would deny access to public services to women who wear niqab, is back in parliamentary hearings and, by all accounts, likely to pass.  This past weekend, an international conference entitled "Revealing Democracy: Bill 94 and the challenges of religious pluralism and ethnocultural diversity in Quebec" was held at Concordia University in Montreal.  Its focus was on looking critically at the social and political contexts in which the bill has come to be.  Among other topics, … [Read more...]

Niqabs, Media, and Taking Action

Today is the Day of Action on Quebec's Bill 94, which I wrote about last week.In honor of this, I wanted to share a video of a community dialogue on the bill, which took place in Toronto in early May.  It was a really impressive event, with a very engaging panel and over 150 people in attendance.  The video is pretty long, but well worth the watch for anyone interested in learning more about various personal, social, and legal perspectives on the bill's implications:NO to Quebec Provincial … [Read more...]

Action Alert: Quebec’s Bill 94

The provincial legislature of Quebec, Canada, is currently considering a bill that would refuse key social services to anyone wearing a face covering if made into law.  Political discussions around this bill have made it clear that the law specifically targets women who wear niqab, a face veil worn by some Muslim women.As Muslim women and feminists who come from a variety of countries, ethnic backgrounds, political views and religious understandings, we at Muslimah Media Watch are disturbed by … [Read more...]

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: the Niqab Debate and Ableism

The Quebec niqab thing keeps going and going (ugh), and I'm still avoiding talking about media coverage of the issue head-on, mostly because I think I'll explode if I think more about the absurdity of it all, and I've written on niqab so much already that there's not a lot else to say.  This post at Racialicious is a pretty good overview of the issue, and of some of the media and activism that has come out in response.  (Also, avoiding the media discussion isn't the same as ignoring the issue.  S … [Read more...]

Niqab by Numbers: Quantifying the Overreactions

I am so, so sick of talking about the niqab.  So I'm not really going to, despite the fact that the Canadian province of Quebec recently introduced a bill that, if made law, would force everyone to show their face when dealing with provincial government bodies.  If anyone else has intelligent insight on recent Quebec-related media coverage, please share.  I, for one, can't think of anything new that I haven't said a million times already.  You'd think the politicians would get as tired of this as … [Read more...]


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