Thursday, August 23, 2012

Secular constitution would exclude religious believers

Religious freedom expert says the Parti Quebecois's proposed Charter of Secularism would violate the Charter

Iain Benson
The B.C. Catholic has a story by CCN's Deborah Gyapong about a constitutional lawyer's concern that the proposed Charter of Secularism would stifle religious involvement in Quebec politics:
“Religions in Quebec have rights, and one of these rights is not to be forced out of the public sphere by the beliefs of atheism and agnosticism dominating the public,” said constitutional lawyer and international religious freedom expert Iain Benson in an email interview. 
Benson said he was “startled” by PQ Leader Pauline Marois’s proposed Charter of Secularism that would prohibit government employees from wearing religious symbols such as hijabs, kirpans (ceremonial daggers required by baptized Sikhs), turbans, and kippahs (or yarmulkes, the skullcaps worn by Jewish men). The Charter of Secularism, which seems to be a work in progress, would allow the wearing of an unobtrusive crucifix. 
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

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