Unreasonable Denial of Freedom

A few days ago I went to visit an ophthalmologist. In order to save everyone from the spread of virus infections, they have a policy of providing their staff and patients with masks. Their staff at the counter, as well as on the floor, were wearing masks covering their noses, mouths and a significant portion of their faces.  Hardly any patient was wearing a mask. Their appearance reminded me of the controversy in Quebec about women covering their faces, with only their eyes uncovered.  I could hardly see any difference between the women behind the masks and the woman with a veil whose picture I saw in the newspapers. In either case, their facial features were mostly covered.

The Quebec government has introduced a bill which will force face-covering women to remove their cover if they want to be served by a government employee. The excuse they have used is that the covered face hampers communication and that it is disrespectful to the employees serving the woman. If communication is truly the issue, then the first ban should be on the mask because niqaab (the face cover) is a loose cloth hung over one’s face, as compared to the mask which covers the nose and mouth snugly, and thus, can hamper the communication more than a niqaab can. As for the disrespect, should I feel offended by the mask wearing women on the counter because they are implying that I am carrying viruses while, in fact, I am quite clean and healthy?

The point is that the excuses behind the proposed legislation are baseless and lame. The proposed legislation is, in reality, depriving people of their rights just because their views and practices are different from the majority.  The Canadian and Quebec human rights codes were enacted to protect minorities precisely from this kind of prejudicial railroading.

The proposed legislation is absolutely not a reasonable accommodation, but an unreasonable denial of freedom to a small helpless minority in violation of their fundamental human rights.

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0 #1 2010-04-30 10:29
Absolutely true. This is not a matter of religion but a matter of right and no one can deprive any individual of this basic human right and freedom. You should wear what you like NOT what others think is good for you. This proposed bill is the violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedom.

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