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NCCM: Bill 21 Hearings Are Little More Than ‘Political Theatre’


Hearings may give illusion of democracy, but religious groups affected by the Bill aren’t fooled.

(Montreal - May 7, 2019) Today, as hearings commence in Quebec for Bill 21, the Quebec branch of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) participated in a press conference earlier this morning alongside a number of organizations representing religious minorities. The groups gathered to express their staunch opposition to the lack of consultation with religious communities most seriously affected by the discriminatory Bill 21.

“The CAQ government is willing to pass a discriminatory law that robs religious minorities of their basic rights and freedoms – and they want to do so without ever hearing from us,” says Bochra Manai, NCCM Quebec Spokesperson.

The Coalition Inclusion Quebec was one of the only organizations opposing the bill to be invited to the hearings. The blatant lack of representation of religious minority groups in the hearings makes it clear that these consultations are political theatre that are meant to give the illusion of democracy to Quebecers.

“Premier Francois Legault is willing to push this bill through using the notwithstanding clause to stamp out democracy and silence religious minorities,” says Mustafa Farooq, NCCM’s Executive Director. “This should sound the alarm for anyone who values democracy and the fair and equal treatment of minorities in our great country.”

“Make no mistake: if this law passes, religious minority groups such as Muslims, Jews, and Sikhs will become second-class citizens. They will wake up every day to a different set of opportunities than everyone else in Quebec. This sort of discrimination has no place in the progressive, inclusive province that Quebecers have worked so hard to forge,” adds Manai.

Bill 21 will prohibit those who wear religious clothing such as the hijab, kippah and turban as a practice of their faith from working in a number of public sector jobs including as teachers, police officers and judges.

NCCM representatives are available for comment today, and throughout the duration of the hearings.

The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization that is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.


Bochra Manai, Quebec Spokesperson, (438) 932-7197, or

Sarah Abou-Bakr, Quebec Spokesperson, 1-866-524-0004 Ext 236, or