As Canadians, we're lucky to live in a country where multiculturalism and diversity are embraced. But, regardless of how tolerant a society is, topics of race and religion can tend to be an issue for some people. Particularly regarding political figures like Jagmeet Singh, religion is a constant subject of discussion, especially now that he's the leader of the NDP. 

Singh has had to deal with great scrutiny and, frankly, discrimination in regards to his turban, with some voters even questioning whether or not Canada is ready for a Prime Minister with a turban.

A quick Google search throws up numerous articles published by several mainstream media outlets in which the subject of Singh's turban seems to be a main focus of discussion.

The perpetual debate even led to Singh sharing with CBC what he wants the public to know about his turban, discussing what it represents, the reasons behind his colour choice, and so on. Singh was surely more than happy to educate on his religion.

Despite his willingness to educate others, he faces great resistance in some areas of the country. Quebec seems to be his biggest target, given that Bill 21 bans teachers, police, and others in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols such as Sikh turbans, according to the Globe and Mail

Singh tackled this head-on with a commercial in which the NDP leader targets the controversial bill raised a lot of attention. The ad garnered mix reactions. Two commercials were released, one in English and the other in French, and some viewers insisted Singh removed his turban only to appease to the Quebec public.

Although his video raised questions about its intentions, Singh stated it was meant to "show an openness to Quebec." 

What's clear is that the xenophobia is still prominent. Earlier this month, Singh's brother, MPP Gurratan Singh, fought back against racist remarks by the National Citizens Alliance founder Stephen Gravey, pointing out that he is not Muslim.

The issue of racial discrimination has been recently catapulted to the forefront by the scandal involving the Justin Trudeau Brownface picture.

However, due to his status as the first-ever racialized candidate for Canadian PM, according to the National Observer, Singh has had to deal with it all.

 


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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