Canada, a simple question by a Jewish man regarding a new controversial law in Quebec turned into a verbal and physical attack.
The background to the incident is not yet clear, but according to information posted on the internet, the incident occurred on Sunday at a coffee shop in Montreal.
The Jewish man reportedly asked two Muslim women how they felt about a proposed law which would ban conspicuous religious clothing and symbols in the province of Quebec.
The man then reportedly started filming the two women, when they began to be hostile to him, cursing him, making anti-Jewish remarks and physically attacking him.
The proposed law in question, recently presented by Quebec’s separatist government, would ban wearing any religious symbols in governmental offices, agencies and institutions. These include the Kippah, hijab, turban, cross and the Star of David.
The initiative, named the Charter of Quebec Values, will be included in a bill that will be brought to a vote in the National Assembly.
The charter will prohibit the wearing of “overt and conspicuous religious symbols” by state personnel, including in ministries and organizations; state personnel such as judges, prosecutors, police officers, and correctional agents; daycare and private subsidized daycare personnel; school board personnel; public health network and social services personnel; and municipal personnel.
Institutions such as universities, public health and social services institutions and municipalities could adopt a resolution allowing its personnel to wear such religious symbols. This authorization would only be valid for a period of up to five years and would then have to be renewed.
In addition, the charter proposes that state services be provided and received with faces uncovered.
Jewish and Muslim groups alike in Quebec have denounced the initiative. B’nai Brith Canada said it was unconstitutional and “breaches fundamental freedoms enshrined in both the Canadian and Quebec Charter of Rights.”
The organization said it “finds it completely unacceptable that the government is choosing to ignore the fundamental rights and freedoms of minorities in Quebec.”