CANADA: Angry fallout from photo of two Muslim daycare workers threatens future of daycare center

And rightly so!

CBC  One photo changed everything for the owners of a Verdun daycare. Sam (Palestine Arab Muslim) and Julie (Canadian born Muslim), whose names have been changed to protect their identities, say their business and livelihood are in jeopardy after a photo of two of the daycare’s educators, clad in niqabs, were circulated online.

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The parents of one child who attended the daycare have since decided to take their business elsewhere because they feel uneasy about the possibility of the daycare being a target. (How about being afraid of what the Muslim workers are going to fill their kid’s head with?)

You never know what’s going to happen, and as a parent, when you send your child somewhere, one of the main things you’re looking for is safety, and we had that,” says Julie. “But now everyone is concerned.”

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Sam, her husband, says he thinks their concerns are justified. The location of the daycare has now been disclosed, and it opens them up to the possibility of racially anti-Muslim motivated attacks. “Even if it’s the slightest concern for them… As a parent, they [my children] are the most beloved things in my life, and I imagine it’s the same for the parents,” Sam says. “They wouldn’t want to risk it.”

Now Sam and Julie are concerned other parents will follow suit and take their children out of the daycare. The day after the photo of six preschool-aged children and two educators in niqabs was circulated online, Sam and Julie’s daycare was visited by government inspectors.

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They fear the Parti Québécois government may try to make an example of them to promote the application of its secular charter. Julie says she wouldn’t be surprised if they rewrote the charter to include private daycares as a result.

The couple says that the controversy surrounding them has made them feel like pariahs. (Good) Julie says that, although she’s a born-and-bred Quebecer, she no longer feels welcome here. (Even better)

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In a related story from France: Nursery school has right to ban employee from wearing burka, says French court