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Quebec Judge Temporarily Suspends ‘Niqab Ban’

The province's ban came into effect this fall and prohibited anyone from covering their face while accessing or providing basic public services.

A Quebec judge on Friday temporarily suspended part of the province’s new religious neutrality law that prohibits anyone who covers their face from accessing or providing basic public services such as health care, public transit, and social assistance.

Earlier this month, civil rights groups and women who wear the niqab, filed a constitutional challenge against Bill 62 that was passed by the French-speaking province this fall. They argued the burqa ban — the first of its kind in North America — violated religious freedoms and promoted Islamophobia and intolerance.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Babak Barin ruled that the face-covering portion of the law must be put on hold until the government creates specific guidelines on how the face-covering restrictions would be implemented.

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