Conservatives highlight cultural identity issues ahead of French debate

Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press | CTV News
October 2, 2015

OTTAWA – Campaigning Conservatives continued to press the hot buttons Friday, highlighting what they call « barbaric cultural practices » and Muslim facial coverings amid evidence the tight, three-way election race may be starting to break loose.

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The heated campaign debate over « values » and religious accommodation appears to have spurred more than just anti-Islamic rhetoric in Quebec.

A pair of teens tore the headscarf from a pregnant woman in Montreal this week, causing her to fall on the ground. The incident prompted the Quebec national assembly to pass a unanimous motion Thursday condemning hate speech and violence against all Quebecers.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims said Friday the assault on the Montreal woman should be investigated as a hate crime.

The attack is just the latest this year across the country and « comes at a time when inflammatory rhetoric targeting Muslims has been heightened by a federal election campaign in which Muslim women who wear the niqab have been vilified by politicians, » Ihsaan Gardee, the council’s executive director, said in a statement….

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