Six Canadian Muslim groups are asking a court in Quebec to declare unconstitutional a provincial edict that bans religious activity in the province’s public schools.
In a lawsuit filed this week, the groups asked Quebec Superior Court to “declare constitutionally invalid, inapplicable, inoperative or to annul the governmental order to prohibit all forms of prayer” in schools.
The groups, which include the Muslim Association of Canada and the Canadian Muslim Forum, also asked the court to rule that the principles of state secularism and religious neutrality cannot “be used to order bans on prayers or other religious practices in public places.”
In April, Quebec Education Minister, Bernard Drainville, issued a directive formally prohibiting any practice of religious activity in schools, vocational training centres and adult education centres.
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In a 22-page document submitted to the court, the Muslim groups argue the decree violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
“This is about violating the fundamental rights of minors and adults in terms of their freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, but also individuals’ right of association.” (Montreal Gazette)
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