Canada

Muslim women visit Quebec town to address contentious code

A group of Muslim women visited a rural Quebec town Sunday to try to dispel myths about the Islamic faith after it adopted a controversial code of norms aimed at immigrants.

A group of Muslim women visited a rural Quebec town Sunday to try to dispel myths about the Islamic faith afterHérouxville adopted a controversial code of norms aimed at immigrants.

About 14 women from the Canadian Islamic Congressmet with approximately 50 residentstotell them about their faith. On Jan. 25, Hérouxville's town counciladopted a codeof societal norms that would-be immigrant newcomers would have to followif they choose to settle in theMauricie town outside ofTrois-Rivières.

Among the norms, a man cannot stone a woman to death and faces are not to be covered except at Halloween.Children are not allowed to carry weapons to school, including the traditional Sikh kirpan, which is a ceremonial dagger.

"We came here to confirm and affirm that we are Quebecers too," said May Haider, one of the Muslim women from the Montreal area.

She said that following the gathering, thedelegation of women met with town councillors includingAndré Drouin, who spearheaded the code of norms, for a two-hour meeting in which they helped draft a revised code of norms that wouldn't offend minorities.

Drouin said the council may modify the code somewhat. The council plans todiscuss the norms at the next town meeting andmake changes if warranted.

The Canadian Islamic Congress still hasn't decided whetherto lodge a formal complaint with Quebec's Human Rights Commission.

With files from the Canadian Press

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