Concordia’s Student Union (CSU) has denounced Bill 62, deeming the bill unconstitutional stating that the province’s “act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality” is a barrier to education.
Representing over 35,000 undergraduate students, the CSU convened yesterday to to adopt a resolution that explicitly condemns Bill 62.
The resolution refers to the bill as "a legislated barrier and deterrent for Muslim women's right to education” at Concordia University and throughout Quebec, said a press release sent out by the CSU.
"Bill 62 is unacceptable and unconstitutional state-sanctioned discrimination against Muslim women and their families on the basis of gender and religion, amongst other grounds” says the new resolution. The (very real) possibility of Bill 62 prompting more discrimination towards Muslim women in Quebec is also noted in the resolution.
"This is very much like U.S. President Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban," said Omar Riaz, CSU General Coordinator.
"Once the State is allowed to arbitrarily and abusively legislate against the constitutional rights of one minority group, which group will be next?”
Sarah Abou-Bakr, a Muslim student attending Concordia University, also pointed out the inherent hyprocrisy of Bill 62.
"It is ironic that a piece of legislation that is supposed to protect gender equality, among other things, produces the effect of discriminating against women simply because of their choice of faith and clothing," said Abou-Bakr.
By officially opposing Bill 62, the CSU hopes to foster discussion on the topic of targeted discrimination and galvanize other student groups to do the same.
Other student unions and community groups will be called upon by the CSU to “oppose Bill 62 through all legal, political and social means available.”
Together with Concordia’s Legal Information Clinic, Muslim Students' Association, and the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations, the CSU will also be hosting a panel discussion centred on Bill 62. The panel discussion will be held tomorrow (Wednesday, November 1) at 6:30pm in Concordia’s Hall Building.
More information can be found at the Facebook event page here.