The Centre Justice et Foi takes a position on Bill 21 on religious symbols

Centre Justice et Foi logoMarch 29, 2019 — As promised at the time of being elected, François Legault's government has just introduced a bill on the secular nature of the state, which essentially prohibits the wearing of religious symbols by state agents in a position of authority – police officers, special constables, bodyguards, prosecutors, judges, prison guards – but also by teachers and public school administrators. 

As an actor deeply committed to social justice, against racism and Islamophobia and promoting fully democratic secularism, the Centre justice et foi (CJF) would like to denounce this bill that violates the rights and freedoms of citizens belonging to religious and racialized minorities. Not only does this bill once again stigmatize Muslim women wearing the hijab, but also sets dangerous precedents that contribute to the weakening of Quebec's social fabric and common citizenship. 

The crystallization of Bill 21 around the wearing of religious symbols does not in any way clarify the issue of secularism in Quebec. It cannot replace a collective, calm and thorough conversation on this subject or a rigorous and impartial analysis of the State's institutional practices in order to truly conform to the principle of religious neutrality. This bill is therefore far from allowing Quebec to "turn the page" on this issue, as Mr. Legault claims. The CJF, therefore, exhorts the government to withdraw this bill, which is detrimental to the coexistence and building of a democratic, shared and supportive citizenship.

In the statement it has just published, the Centre justice et foi pleads in favour of withdrawing this bill, which is based on a distorted vision of secularism and is blind to the inequalities in the Legault government's treatment of religions. Bill 21 deliberately chooses to discriminate against some more than others and, in addition, to make women, particularly Muslim women, carry more of the consequences of this decision. In this respect, it is part of a logic of systemic racism which it is important to understand and denounce. 

The ban on religious symbols promoted by the CAQ is therefore not "neutral": it tends to favour Christians and discriminate against followers of other religious traditions, for whom the wearing of religious clothing and symbols is sometimes mandatory, if not preferred. It thus contributes to discrimination in the employment of religious minorities and racialised people who already face numerous injustices. 

The CJF invites Quebecers to reconnect with the generous intuitions and intentions at the root of the Quebec collective project and with an open identity, capable of continually redefining itself in order to build a unique and plural state, capable of "dreaming in colour" and of implementing its audacities and social projects including all its citizens, regardless of their origins or their religious and spiritual convictions. 





Recent News

May 16, 2019 — This past Saturday, May 11, the Jesuit Province of Canada celebrated the priestly ordination of Adam Douglas Hincks, SJ (Canada) and Edward Dawson Penton, SJ (Canada) and 5 diaconal ordinations at Saint Paul's Basilica in Toronto.

May 16, 2019 — Here is a brief summary of news and events that have happened or will happen in the next few days.

Father Gilles Morissette died in the evening of May 12, 2019, at the infirmary of Richelieu. He was in his 80th year and in religious life for 56 years. He devoted much of his time to spiritually accompanying people "who have been placed on his way".

May 16, 2019 — The magazines Relations and Au cœur du monde have just launched their new editions. These have us travlling to various places leading us to view the world in a critical and contemplative manner.

May 16, 2019 — From May 1 to 3, dozens of Directors of Apostolates gathered at the Villa St. Martin retreat centre in Montreal. They began to reflect about that very same question: how to start appropriating the UAP in our local Canadian contexts.

May 16, 2019 — The Jesuit Curia in Rome has just published a set of resources entitled: “Praying with the Preferences”, which provides seven documents to enable the reader not only to pray but to enter more deeply into the journey of renewal and conversion offered by the UAP.

April 23, 2019 — In honor of Earth Day this week, JRS/USA and the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology are answering your questions about climate and displacement.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Relations Mai 2019

Canadian Jesuits

Jesuit (Winter 2019)



Ignatian Centre
The Ignatian Centre is a Jesuit ministry run by laity dedicated to bringing the Spiritual E...