Quebec Muslim groups sue government over prayer room ban in schools

Quebec Muslim groups are taking the provincial government to court over its recently enacted prayer room ban in public schools.

The groups filed a motion this week in Superior Court seeking a judicial review of the ban as well as a judgment to have it declared unconstitutional.

They say the changes announced on April 19 violate the right to freedom of religion and of association, and discriminate against Muslims.

Education Minister Bernard Drainville ordered the ban after reports of at least two Montreal-area schools permitting students to gather on school property for prayer.

Drainville said the concept of prayer rooms runs counter to Quebec’s policy of official secularism.

The plaintiffs, which include several Muslim groups from the Montreal area, say the decision to go before the courts was a last resort and came after extensive consultation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2023. 

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