"Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
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10-09-2013, 02:51 PM
"Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
Recently, the Parti Quebecois, a Quebec separatist party, has created a "secular" charter they want to implement for Quebec. Part of the charter is to "limit the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols" (CBC).

In theory it sounds like a decent law - no "pray to Jesus" t-shirts and stuff. Except this is what it really is:

Not allowed:
[Image: sm-not-allowed_zps6f7c2f80.jpg]

Allowed:
[Image: sm-allowed_zps69cb844c.jpg]

Notice anything?

It forbids religious headwear, like that worn by Sikh men, Muslim women, and Jewish men. Stuff that people of those faiths actually wear. For Christians? It forbids gaudy Christian crosses, as worn by NOBODY. Maybe a Roman cardinal?

What it allows is exactly what Christians already wear - small cross necklaces, rings, earrings... and tries to make it look fair by showing an example of what looks like a crescent earring for Muslims. Except, that's nothing like the religious headwear or the cross. The crescent is associated with Islam, but it isn't a religious symbol in the same way. It's like forbidding the wearing of crosses and allowing people to wear fish necklaces. Hardly equivalent symbols.

The law applies to "judges, police, prosecutors, public daycare workers, teachers, school employees, hospital workers and municipal personnel" (CBC). If you are a practicing Muslim woman and you feel compelled to wear the hijab, or a Sikh man who wears a turban, or a Jewish man who wears a kippa, you are prevented from working in the previously mentioned jobs.

To genuinely religious people, their headwear is not something taken lightly. In practice what the law does is force people to make a decision between their faith or their career.

From Marois' previous statements (Marois is the head of the PQ), it can be seen what her real motivations are. She blamed violence in England on multiculturalism (ie. Muslims), said "women who wore hijabs and who worked in daycares could be in a position to incite children to practise religion" (CBC). From that and a million other gems, it seems to me her actions are directed at Muslims. The conservative Jews and Sikhs are just sacrificed for appearances because they don't count for much, vote-wise.

I've known about Marois and her pro-Catholic, anti-minority, anti-non-white-immigrant attitude for some time, but it seems to be getting worse. It seems like she's using "secularism" as a means to promote what would be considered a far right agenda (socially), if put in other terms.

The PQ and BQ (Bloc Quebecois, federal counterpart to PQ) have been promoting an exclusive, nationalist agenda that I think is dangerous. Partly because of a misguided sense of being threatened by the English-speaking and immigrant minorities, much in the way of Fox News, partly, I think, to distract Quebec from important economic issues, but mostly to drive a wedge between Quebec and the federal government. Support for separation has been historically around 49 for - 51 against, or thereabouts. It has fallen in recent years and, because separatism is what the parties draw strength from, they are trying to garner support by promoting a strong sense of identity and independence among Quebecers. They do that partly by challenging the federal government.

Unfortunately for everyone who isn't a nationalist French-speaking Catholic, Quebec is at risk of becoming an unwelcoming place. I've been seeing a real push by separatist parties over the past few years to stay relevant and powerful. Partly spurred on by the overwhelming defeat of the BQ by the NDP in the last federal election, perhaps. Whatever the cause, the nationalist movement has been getting worse. They're distracting people by focusing on non-issues and scapegoating for political points.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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10-09-2013, 03:32 PM
RE: "Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
For those curious as to the degree of hypocrisy and discrimination here:
note what symbol is stuck above the throne in the Assemblée Nationale

(hint: it's not secular)

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11-09-2013, 10:36 AM
RE: "Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
(10-09-2013 02:51 PM)Elesjei Wrote:  The law applies to "judges, police, prosecutors, public daycare workers, teachers, school employees, hospital workers and municipal personnel" (CBC). If you are a practicing Muslim woman and you feel compelled to wear the hijab, or a Sikh man who wears a turban, or a Jewish man who wears a kippa, you are prevented from working in the previously mentioned jobs.

Interestingly however, as far a I know elected officials will be exempt from this new law.

(10-09-2013 02:51 PM)Elesjei Wrote:  Unfortunately for everyone who isn't a nationalist French-speaking Catholic, Quebec is at risk of becoming an unwelcoming place. I've been seeing a real push by separatist parties over the past few years to stay relevant and powerful. Partly spurred on by the overwhelming defeat of the BQ by the NDP in the last federal election, perhaps. Whatever the cause, the nationalist movement has been getting worse. They're distracting people by focusing on non-issues and scapegoating for political points.

It's also possible that this maybe yet another tactic to get non-french Canadians to move out of Quebec, to try and increase the possibility that the next vote on separation (whenever it comes) will succeed.

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11-09-2013, 10:45 AM
RE: "Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
(11-09-2013 10:36 AM)unsapien Wrote:  It's also possible that this maybe yet another tactic to get non-french Canadians to move out of Quebec, to try and increase the possibility that the next vote on separation (whenever it comes) will succeed.

Well, it was only money and the ethnic vote that lost them the last one.

Weeping

Though at that point Parizeau knew his career was over regardless, so it's not like he cared what he said.

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11-09-2013, 12:18 PM
RE: "Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
unsapien Wrote:Interestingly however, as far a I know elected officials will be exempt from this new law.

Well, the NSDAP Parti Quebecois wouldn't want to offend the people they care about.

cjlr Wrote:For those curious as to the degree of hypocrisy and discrimination here:
note what symbol is stuck above the throne in the Assemblée Nationale

Yeah, according to the PQ, it is about "preserving our heritage".

Quebec is in many ways a liberal, left-leaning place. But when it comes to religion and "our unique culture" there is a strong right-wing nationalist streak.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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11-09-2013, 02:07 PM
RE: "Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
It's biased and they're not losing their heritage - those who were there first already LOST their heritage. Who? The Native Americans!

Fucking idiots. Dodgy

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11-09-2013, 02:50 PM
RE: "Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
Fucking nationalism, sectarianism, xenophobia, culture war, ...

I lived in Montreal under martial law because French extremists were kidnapping, murdering, and bombing. Fucking FLQ.

They've tried terrorism, they've imposed language laws, now this crap.

Their culture will survive or not based on its value. They only engender anger and disdain with this crap.

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11-09-2013, 03:19 PM
RE: "Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
What burns me the most about this whole thing is how most of the media talks about how this has anything to do with secularism. It isn't this isn't a secular law, it's a discriminatory law.

Secularism is about having laws/goverments that do not take religious/cultural views into account for or against. It's about treating everyone the same, without discrimination.

There was a case in Ontario a few years back when a Sikh man went to the human rights commission because he wanted to be able to wear his turbin and drive a motorcycle. The law says you have to wear a helmet, that means everybody. That's not a discriminatory law thats a secular law, if they had made an exception for the Sikhs then the law would have become discriminatory.

A secular law/government doesn't care why you are wearing what you are wearing, but if it interfers with your ability to do your job then you can't wear it, if it doesn't, then fine wear it.

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14-09-2013, 08:29 PM
RE: "Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
I'm all in favour of the idea of a "secular society" for obvious reasons, but banning the expression of personal religious expression is going too far. It's also a poor idea if secularism is the actual goal, as it gives both the moral high ground and a patina of outlaw cool to religion.

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14-09-2013, 08:38 PM
RE: "Secularism" as a front for religion-motivated laws in Quebec
And I thought Canada was a good place...

Now where can I go when the new government makes everything go tits up here...

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