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Woman insists on wearing Niqab in class kicked out of CEGEP

A woman wearing a Niqab in class  was asked to leave her school for refusing to take it off.
A woman wearing a Niqab in class was asked to leave her school for refusing to take it off.

A Egyptian woman who insisted on wearing a Niqab to class has been asked to leave her school.

She was enrolled in a language class for new immigrants at the CÉGEP St-Laurent.

The school says it tried to accommodate her for months. They allowed her to do oral tests in a separate room and to present an oral exam with her back turned to the class. 

The situation grew more tense and confrontational in class when she insisted male students move because they could see her when the class was moved their desks into a u-shape.

The school went so far as getting Quebec's Immigration Department involved. Quebec's minister of immigration eventually authorized a letter sent to her by the department stating she must remove her Niqab or leave the school. She was offered to take the course on line.

The woman has brought her case to the Quebec's Human Rights Commission. She claims by asking her to remove the Niqab, the school is violating her rights to freedom of religion.

The Niqab covers the woman's entire body, exposing only her eyes.

 Officials at the school said they did everything they could, including giving her privileges not available to other students. They also say teachers need to see students' mouths and faces in a language class.

The woman's expulsion is sure to reignite the debate in  this province over reasonable accommodation.

In an interview with RDI this afternoon, the CEGEP's director Paul-Emile Bourque  said this is not the first time the school has had to deal with this kind of situation, and in every other case things have been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

"What this woman was asking for is not reasonable", said human rights lawyer Julius Grey." A kippa, a turban, a kirpan, these are all reasonable accommodations. But there is an educational reason to seeing a student's mouth."



  • Crazy 5 years ago

    About time we say NO to crazy nutcases such as this. There's nothing wrong with that and nothing in this to make an uproar out of. They did the right thing for today. Tommorrow's another day.

  • Mike m 5 years ago

    I'm tired of accommodating Muslims. They come to this county and expect "this and that"..I wouldn't go to Saudi Arabia and expect everyone to go to Church On Sunday or say prayers before a meal...moderate Muslims need to step up and regulate this crap...if they don’t, and just sit passively then they are just as bad. If you don’t like Canada, leave.

  • Hotdam 5 years ago

    When will this country stand-up and make a clear statement that enough is enough and these people WILL have to leave behind them these supposedly religious practices if they REALLY want to immigrate to our country. Don't call this racicism for this mentality it's only disturbing the way of living I have been accustomed to and I DO NOT intend to replace it by anything else. In this country you are free because our ancestors have provided us with this freedom and it is for us to preserve it. These people are nevertheless free too. Free to stay if they are willing to live OUR lifestyle or free to LEAVE if the won't. NO in between.

  • John 5 years ago

    So if she wears a hijab and its not allowed what about the Girl's and boy's in cegep that they put more than 10 piercing in the face ??? the government should control it also

  • ResponseTo Hotdam 5 years ago

    This land is our land Hotdam, this land is God's land, as for our ancestors don't forget whom both the french and English killed to Establish this Democracy. Don't use the argument to get out of the land ( Canada ) Hotdam, the world has changed and it is not like the past and if you don't want people like her in your land in the first place don't let her come or don't kick her out of school after the second semester of studies, she should have been kicked out the first day otherwise wise up haters.

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