Hijab No Threat to Quebec, Report Says

May 20, 2008

Author: Jeff Heinrich

Source: National Post/CanWest News Service


The Muslim head scarf is no real threat to Quebec values and most women in the province wear it by choice, not out of coercion, concludes a commission on the integration of immigrants after a year of study costing $5-million.

In the final draft of their report -- which was submitted to the provincial government yesterday and is expected to be made public at a news conference on Thursday -- scholars Gerard Bouchard and Charles Taylor say Quebec society will have a lot to lose if it restricts the wearing of the Muslim head scarf strictly to the home and outdoors.

Saying the province's 130,000 Muslims, especially Arab Muslim immigrants, are "along with blacks, the group that is the most touched by different forms of discrimination" in Quebec, Mr. Bouchard and Mr. Taylor plead for an end to bickering over the hijab.