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Montreal professors don hijab to protest secular charter

Two non-Muslim professors are wearing the hijab to work to protest the secular charter and its proposed ban on religious symbols for teachers, daycare workers and other public sector employees.

Non-muslim women show their solidarity in the face of proposed ban on religious symbols

Concordia University history professor Nora Jaffary isn't Muslim, but she's wearing the hijab to protest a bill that would see teachers banned from wearing the veil. (Shari Okeke/CBC)

Two non-Muslim professors are wearing the hijab to work to protest against the Parti Québécois' secular charter and its proposed ban on religious symbols for teachers, daycare workers and other public sector employees. 

CBC Daybreak host Mike Finnerty spoke with Concordia University history professor Nora Jaffary and McGill University political science professor Catherine Lu about their decision to wear the veil. 

Jaffary is still wearing the veil to campus, while Lu wore the veil for a week in September to stir discussion in her classroom.

Jaffary says that for many Muslim women in Quebec, wearing the veil is their own choice, and not something that is forced on them by parents or husbands.

She says the proposed ban would target a group of minorities in Quebec — Muslim women — and single them out.

So she said she decided to wear the veil to show her support.

"I wear it as a kind of sign of solidarity," she said.

Jaffary says if more people joined their protest, they could have a major impact on the proposed legislation.

"If many people are wearing religious signs, it’s impossible to tell who’s wearing them for what reason and so it sort of muddies the waters."

Click on the audio here to hear the full interview. 

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