The Atlantic

The Long Arm of Marine Le Pen

Quebec is flirting with French-style secularism—and courting its risks.
Source: Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters

The Quebec mosque shooting, in which six Muslims were killed on January 29, occurred in the context of a bitter debate over religion that has roiled the Canadian province for years. That debate reemerged one week after the attack, when some politicians in the provincial legislature renewed their push for a law that would bar public servants from wearing religious symbols like the hijab. Critics, however, say the discourse around such legislation fuels the Islamophobia that found extreme expression in the mosque shooting.

“It’s important to be open to welcoming newcomers, but we must limit the wearing of religious symbols so we can better live together,” said François Legault, the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec party.

This statement followed another declaration on similar issues an ocean away, this one by the leader of France’s far-right National

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