The Canadian province is barring public workers from wearing the niqab or burqa and obliging citizens to unveil while using public transit or government services

The Canadian province of Quebec has passed a sweeping ban on face coverings – barring public workers from wearing the niqab or burqa and obliging citizens to unveil when riding public transit or receiving government services – ushering in a law believed to be the first of its kind in North America.

The legislation was adopted on Wednesday, capping off two years of work by the province’s Liberal government to address the issue of state neutrality. The resulting law has been slammed by critics who say it deliberately targets Muslim women and will fuel the province’s simmering debate on identity, religion and tolerance.

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