WATCH: Religion the hot topic at National Assembly
Thursday at the National Assembly was all about what you wear and what you believe in.
The day started with opposition members hopping mad over the front page story of the Journal de Montreal. The story profiled 17-year-old Sondos Lamrhari and her dream of becoming a police officer.
The problem for the C.A.Q. and Parti Quebecois: the girl wears a hijab.
For Premier Philippe Couillard, Lamrhari is an inspiration.
"I would say that she is a brave person, and I congratulate her for that," he said. "And I frankly hope she can fulfill all her dreams in Quebec."
He also invited his opposition party leaders to visit Lamrhari and tell her to her face that they do not want her to be a police officer in the same province where she was born.
The Liberals are calling it discrimination.
"She's not welcome in Quebec - that's the message that the opposition parties are sending to her," said Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee.
"Our position has always been very clear: all religious symbols would be forbidden for any employee of the state, who is in a position of authority, said CAQ MNA Genevieve Guilbault.
The Parti Quebecois used a real world example, the case of a young Muslim woman in Gatineau who reported her father to the police, to back up its outrage.
"Her father was hitting her when she was taking off her hijab," said Agnes Maltais, the PQ's secularism critic.
"What would have happened if the police woman in front of her was a woman wearing a hijab? When you go to the police, you must see an official neutrality in front of you," she added. "Welcome to women, [and] welcome to people from elsewhere - but everybody must play by the same rules."
The religious debate did not end there, it continued during question period when the speaker asked PQ leader Jean-Francois Lisee to remove a PQ pin from his jacket.
Partisan symbols are not allowed in the legislature, but Lisee said if Liberal MNA David Birnbaum was permitted to wear a kippah then political symbols should be allowed as well.
Birnbaum wore the kippah to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day.
"The notion of equating a little Parti Quebecois pin, or it could be a Liberal pin for all I care, with the symbol of 4,000 years of Jewish existence, that's a pretty interesting parallel to make and a pretty troubling one at that" Birnbaum told CJAD 800s Aaron Rand.
For his part Lisee said he was not trying to make a direct parallel between his pin and Birnbaum's kippah. He said he was simply trying to say both are symbols of what people believe in and one should not be held higher than others.
"I think religious symbols, political symbols, union symbols, Greenpeace symbols, these are symbols of conviction and I think there should be equality" he told Rand. "On the principal of equality, of showing your beliefs, I don't see why and how you should have a scale on the beliefs that should be allowed to be shown and those who should not be allowed to be shown."
While Lisee was fighting for his conviction he still maintains Lamrhari would have to give up hers.
"I think that there should be equality in either you permit them (symbols of conviction), and for elected officials you should" he said. "For police officers you shouldn't."