François Legault Says Malala Can Only Teach In Quebec If She Removes Her Religious Symbols & People Are Furious
This weekend, the CAQ government and their Education Minister, Jean-François Roberge, were in some hot water after the latter tweeted a photo of himself with activist Malala Yousafzai.
Critics were quick to point out the hypocrisy of the photo because recently, the province implemented a controversial secularism law that forbids teachers, police officers, and the like from wearing visible religious symbols. Malala Yousafzai is a famous activist for female education in the Middle East and the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history.
Today, Quebec Premier François Legault was asked about the photo and whether Malala, a reputed activist and academic, would be forced to remove her religious symbols if she wanted to teach in Quebec. He responded with an answer that's perhaps to be expected from a government leader who signed a secularism law.
Legault was hard-pressed to answer the question from Radio-Canada's Sebastien Bovet this afternoon after assembly. You can see the full video below.
"She can teach in Quebec if she accepts to remove a religious sign." @SebBovetSRC presses François Legault on the M… https://t.co/BJgUYCNPKG— CBC Montreal (@CBC Montreal) 1562610296.0
Legault responded to the inquiry about Malala by repeating the mandate of his controversial new law. He says that people in authority must "show a clear separation of State and religion" if they want to teach in Quebec.
Belle rencontre avec @Malala Yousafzai, récipiendaire du prix Nobel de la Paix, pour discuter d’accès à l’éducation… https://t.co/12lnUAwFDo— Jean-F. Roberge (@Jean-F. Roberge) 1562325672.0
When questioned about whether Malala's incredible qualifications would play into forcing her to remove her religious symbols, Legault responded by saying that people wearing religious symbols can be "good people and have good values" but the law is clear and that it's what people want.
According to reactions on social media, however, it seems that Legault might be a little off about the opinions of the people of Quebec. Early reactions show that people aren't so keen on the idea of Malala being forced to remove her headscarf if she chose to teach in Quebec.
@dmxtechno @jfrobergeQc @Malala @UNESCO Tell me what Quebec is doing to help the Muslim community in any way. When… https://t.co/OAKU8ASk1V— YAC (@YAC) 1562501284.0
@EvanLSolomon @markcritch This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the squirrely rationales Legault and his… https://t.co/LN494urFES— Susie Wileman (@Susie Wileman) 1562592046.0
Some people are even calling out Legault for being a racist and noticed that he referred to Quebec as a "country."
@CBCMontreal @SebBovetSRC Racist premiere. Can't say it any other way. This man is disgusting. I'm ashamed to have… https://t.co/1gzU5pNfT4— 514 (@514) 1562610946.0
@CBCMontreal @SebBovetSRC So Quebec is not the only Country eh!? What bubble is he living in?— Ron Glive (Go Habs Go) (@Ron Glive (Go Habs Go)) 1562610725.0
@CBCMontreal @CBCNews @SebBovetSRC I am amused with his reference to Quebec as a country while accepting billions o… https://t.co/qWUtsSrAG1— Dani King (@Dani King) 1562613052.0
This on-going debate shows that this secularism law will continue to hound Legault and his CAQ government throughout the end of his term.
Whether or not Malala would ever teach in Quebec, it seems that she would have the public's support.
Legault's hardline on the new secularism law shows that he is committed to the continuing promotion of this law.