Is Canada next for a religious freedom crackdown?
A plan by the Canadian state of Quebec to prohibit people in positions of authority wearing religious symbols at work has received widespread condemnation, even from liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The ban on the display of religious symbols recommended by the new Quebec administration will apply to all judges, prosecutors, police officers and teachers
Trudeau condemned the plan, stating “The [Canadian] Charter of Rights and Freedoms is there to protect our rights and freedoms.”
He argued that the state should not “tell a woman what she can or cannot wear.”
The proposed changes have echoes with controversies in Britain including the notorious case of Egyptian born Christian, Nadia Eweida, who was sent home by her employer British Airways for wearing a cross in 2006.
A long legal battle ensued, with Nadia losing several court hearings before taking the challenge to the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in her favour in 2013.
Observers of religious freedom are asking whether the Quebec administration’s plans are another sign of a spreading culture in the west of the intolerance towards people of religious faith?