Muslim teacher loses job for wearing headscarf in Canada’s Quebec

Muslim teacher loses job for wearing headscarf in Canada's Quebec

Dec 13, 2021: A headscarf-wearing Muslim teacher in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec was removed from her position over refusal to take of the head covering, citing a controversial provincial law.

Fatimeh Anwari, a Grade 3 teacher at Chelsea Elementary School in Quebec, was offered a permanent job after working as a substitute teacher on the Western Quebec School Board for several months, CBC reported, adding that she had started working in a full time position in the fall.

Just a month later, the school principal reportedly told Anwari that she had to move to a position outside the classroom because of the scarf on her head.

“Really, in that second, it was just a shock. It was very difficult to deal with,” Anwari told CBC.

Quebec’s Bill 21 bans most civil servants, including nurses, teachers and police officers, from wearing religious symbols such as turbans, headscarves, crosses and kippahs while on the job.

Critics of the Bill argue that the law is a thinly-veiled attack centered on Muslim women who wear the headgear and it forces people to choose between their religion and their job.

Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, introduced by the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, guarantees equal rights for all Canadian citizens and allows them to challenge it as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

According to the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), Muslims living in Canada have been facing anti-Muslim sentiment since the 9/11 attacks on the United States across the border two decades ago. The tragic evolution has resulted in horrific attacks on Muslims. In 2017, a man visited a mosque in Quebec City and shot dead six worshipers and injured 19 others.

Earlier this year, a man in Ontario, London, spurred by hate, rammed a truck over a Pakistani origin Muslim family, killing four and leaving the lone survivor, a 9-year-old boy, an orphan.

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