(JNS) A proposal introduced in Quebec last month to ban yarmulkes and other religious clothing has come under fire, with one Jewish mayor of a town in the Canadian province equating it to “ethnic cleansing.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also opposed the measure.
“It’s unthinkable to me that in a free society we would legitimize discrimination against citizens based on their religion,” he said.
Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg has refused to heed calls from Trudeau and other politicians to apologize for labeling Bill 21, which was introduced in response to the issue of Muslim women wearing hijabs in Quebec, as “ethnic cleansing.”
Instead, he doubled down on those remarks. “Since the phrase was ethnic cleansing not with a gun but with a law, a more accurate short description is peaceful ethnic cleansing,” Steinberg told the Montreal Gazette.
“It will lead to fewer of them coming to Quebec and to many already here leaving,” he said. “That will lead to a less-diverse Quebec society. A law that targets minorities and uses the notwithstanding clause to get away with it is odious and should be condemned in the strongest possible language.”