Quebec’s face-veil ban, formally known as Bill 62, is officially being challenged in Quebec Superior Court.
Filed on Tuesday, the legal challenge argues that Bill 62 infringes upon religious freedom rights outlined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights.
As a reminder, Bill 62 demands that individuals remove face-covering apparel like a niqab, or even sunglasses, when accessing government services or taking public transit.
Two groups filed the motion, the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, calling for a judicial review of the “religious neutrality” law, reports CBC.
While a formal review of Bill 62 can take a long time, the motion is asking Superior Court judges to suspend the law.
A lawyer working on the case says the court could “stop the application of the law” by next week, according to CBC.
Two Muslim women provided written statements in court, presenting how Bill 62 has negatively affected their lives.
One woman noted how, since Bill 62 was passed, she has received an increasing number of Islamophobic insults while in public.
Another woman described how her family is fearful for her safety when she wears her niqab outside of the house.
One of the main argument of the motion, bolstered by the affidavits provided by the two women, is that Bill 62 fosters Islamophobia and justifies racist remarks and actions.
Another key point is that Bill 62 infringes on the right to religious expression.
Despite these complaints, the Quebec government isn’t taking any action to modify or remove Bill 62.
Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée, who was instrumental in the creation and passing of Bill 62, has said that the bill doesn’t conflict with any rights and is needed for security/identification reasons.
Vallée said she is prepared to debate the legitimacy of Bill 62 in court, reports The Gazette.