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When the Quebec Liberal
government passed Bill 62, a "religious neutrality" legislation, on October
18th of this year, I was dumbfounded. The law does not allow people to cover
their faces when using public services. What followed were countless discussions
among family and friends about the Bill and we all came to the same conclusion:
the law deliberately targets Muslim women and in particular those who wear the
niqab and the burka. Subsequently, polls showed that 70% of Quebecers were in
favour of the law and 68% of Canadians would like to see such a ban in their
own provinces. This is not the
While all of this was occurring, I frequently had my colleague and friend, Nadia Naqvi, on my mind. Only days before the law passed, Nadia had presented a workshop at our Delegates Weekend entitled "We Survived... You Must Thrive: Life as a Muslim Teacher and Mother". She spoke from the heart and revealed her struggles as a student, as a teacher and as a mother in the education system.
I've had the pleasure of working alongside Nadia for many years. She always speaks her mind, and she is a powerful independent woman. She is also a wonderful teacher; her students love her. Today, when I see Nadia, I do not see her hijab; instead I see that strong passionate woman that I have come to know and admire.
I asked Nadia if she would share one of her stories with us. Here is a short story that Nadia wrote entitled "I want to go Home".
Friday, December 1st, a