Joke's On You, Quebec, Your Discriminatory Niqab Ban Will Only Hurt Your Economy

Joke's On You, Quebec, Your Discriminatory Niqab Ban Will Only Hurt Your Economy

Tell me, Quebec, is this the "religious neutrality" you had hoped to achieve?
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When my friend first told me she was relocating to Canada after her wedding, we both were excited because unlike the States, where our neighbors elected a president who fails to condemn a domestic terrorist attack on a mosque, Canada's prime minister has not only condemned the mosque attack that occurred in his nation, but he also assured Muslim Canadians that authorities "will work hard to find those responsible." Canada had become our ideal land of the free and home of the brave... Then, Quebec had to go and ban the niqab (Islamic face veil).

Honestly, what is it with people and their need to control what women can and cannot wear? On one end of the spectrum, societies around the world tell women to stop dressing like they're "asking for it," and then they leap onto the next extreme and tell women it's unacceptable to be fully clothed at the beach. And you, Quebec? You're now on my where-not-to-travel bucket list, right under France.

Quebec's bill 62 was actually passed in October, and while it only bars face coverings when the person is receiving a public service, the term "public service" can be broken down to all cases of government service and jobs, thus forcing bureaucrats, teachers, police officers, doctors, health center workers, dentists and even bus drivers from covering their faces. It even shockingly includes the average person out and about on any form of public transport and may extend to students and other areas besides the working field. This is the "religious neutrality" Quebec enforces. I'm sorry, but who in Quebec is even covering his or her face besides the mere three percent of Muslim women whose career paths and job opportunities have been thrown to the wolves?

It's already so incredibly hard for Muslims to score a job interview once HR spots a Muslim name among the pile of resumes, and even if you make it past that stage, some interviewers choose to prioritize maintaining the "company image" to appeal to their mass audience and source of income: the white mass of Quebecers — 76 percent of who back this controversial niqab ban. Overqualified Muslims like taxi driver Karim, who was continually rejected by companies despite obtaining a master's in management at Quebec's Laval University, is just another member of the 17 percent of unemployed Muslims struggling to make ends meet in Quebec. And for Muslim niqabi women, we know it's already going to get worse — all in the name of appealing to the discriminatory public.

Quebec's niqab ban clearly restricts veiled Muslim women from using public services or ever hoping to pursue (let alone obtain) a public service job. This ban will not only banish niqabi women from public transport and from using basic public services like attending school or going to a hospital, but it will also weaken Quebec's economy by a great deal. Quebec's economy just recently began to recover with a record low six percent unemployment rate since May 2017, but there's no guarantee the number won't abruptly rise now with the passing of the niqab ban.

So, while I understand why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defers to fact that Canada's "federal government has an obligation to accept the fact that the provinces have a right to pass their own legislation," I cannot understand why the people of Quebec fail to comprehend that it is they who will suffer the most, economically and socially. It is Quebecers who ward off overqualified, well-educated, practicing Muslim women from being able to give back to their own community. It is the Quebecers who force niqabis to avoid public transport and from using most public services that show little to no regard for their religious right to practice.

Tell me, Quebec, is this the "religious neutrality" you had hoped to achieve?

Cover Image Credit: Instagram / Andini

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'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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7 Types Of People You're Bound To Get Stuck With In A Group Project, Mostly Unfortunately

Who is in your group can often determine how the project is going to go.

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There are many different methods that teachers can use to get students to understand the material. Group work is often painful for a wide spectrum of personality types, as it means that students must work together and collaborate to create something that everyone can be proud of.

Who is in your group can often determine how the project is going to go, so here are seven types of people who could be in your group project:

1. The Leader

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The rubric is handed over and this person cannot wait to get started. Everyone wants this person in their group because they know that this person isn't going to let the group get a bad grade, and they will be really good at organizing and working hard.

2. The Shy One

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The words "group project" makes this person want to run away hide immediately. They'll do their part, but it's going to take a LOT of encouragement to get this person to give their opinion.

3. The Slacker

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The kid that hands in their slides the night before. The kid that needs constant reminders that the project is due in x amount of days. The kid that thinks someone else will end up doing the work for them because they just truly don't care. Yeah, you probably know them all too well.

4. The Clown

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This is the person that maybe isn't taking the project so seriously, but they do love the idea of getting to make the whole group laugh. They love attention so they're going to give silly suggestions and get the group off topic. They aren't always helpful, but they can be fun.

5. The Best Friends

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If you happen to get stuck in a group where two of the group members are "BFF's," you'll know it right away. The names will be read and the giggling will start. These two are gonna talk to each other the entire time, and not give any input, but on the bright side, they will probably go to Starbucks together and get their work done on time!

6. The One Who's "Too Cool"

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This person is far too cool for school, let alone this group project. They want everyone to know that they think this project is lame and that they don't care about grades. The perfect addition to any team! Right?!

7. The No Show

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This person's name is called on the first day, but they aren't there. "We'll just assign them a part to do when they get back" you'll say. "They'll show up when we have to present" you'll say. Oh silly, productive student, this person is not showing up.

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