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. 

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. 

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.


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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. 

Some people are even calling out Legault for being a racist and noticed that he referred to Quebec as a "country." 

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.

 

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