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Muslim woman expelled over veil, files complaint.

A MUSLIM WOMAN has filed a human rights complaint after she was expelled from a Quebec college for refusing to remove her face veil.

The Egyptian-born woman, who is a permanent resident of Canada, was enrolled in a government-sponsored French language class for new immigrants in Montreal.


The school, CEGEP St. Laurent, expelled her in November 2009 after she refused to remove her niqab, a veil that covers the face with only a slit for the eyes.

The school argued that the niqab interfered with the language teaching, since part of the class involves proper elocution and seeing how a person pronounces words in French.

School officials said they had tried different ways of accommodating the woman between February and November 2009. She had previously asked that male students in the class not face her, so school officials allowed her to give a presentation at the far end of the classroom with her back turned to the other students.

The order to remove her niqab came after officials from Quebec's immigration ministry visited the class. She was told she could take the class on the internet.

The woman, identified only as Naema, has filed a complaint with Quebec's Human Rights Commission, saying that her freedom of religion was violated.--ENI
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Title Annotation:National and International
Publication:Presbyterian Record
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 1, 2010
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