They came to the metro station in scarves and face masks, protesting Quebec's new law requiring people to show their faces before gaining access to public services.

Warda Niali was among them, wearing her niqab and jilbab. The Quebec-born woman, who converted to Islam 14 years ago, rarely takes the bus alone for fear that she will "lose my nerves" under a barrage of hateful comments. Now, with the new law, it could get worse.

"Me, I don't want to live my life in monochrome," Ms. Niali, 33, told the crowd on Sunday in French. All she wanted, she said, was to be a part of the rich Quebecois culture, which she described with the Canadian symbol of multiculturalism — a mosaic.

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