As a schoolteacher in Quebec, she would be subject to a proposed ban on public employees wearing religious symbols on the job. But the Muslim woman says she is not taking off her headscarf.
She says she’s thinking largely of her ninth-graders.
“What message does that send to my students?” Naqvi asked. “We’re supposed to teach them to stand up for their beliefs.”
The prohibition, introduced by Quebec’s new center-right government and expected to take effect in June, would apply to a range of public employees and religious practices. Police officers, prosecutors and teachers hold positions of authority in their communities, provincial Premier François Legault says, and shouldn’t be wearing symbols that might promote their faith while they serve the public.
But the reality is that not many police officers or prosecutors here wear Jewish skullcaps or turbans. The ban would likely fall most heavily on the province’s hijab-wearing teachers — of which there are believed to be hundreds. Which means that the latest battle in Quebec’s long-running culture wars is being fought in front of children.