Kirpans II

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Caissa
Kirpans II

Quebec's governing Liberals voted in favour of an opposition motion to ban ceremonial daggers from the provincial legislature.

The Parti Québécois tabled its motion Wednesday - requesting the government prevent Sikhs from carrying their ceremonial daggers into the national assembly building - and the legislature voted unanimously in favour.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2011/02/09/pq-kirpan-measure.html#ixzz1DYfYqQfJ

WilderMore

It is official then. Quebec has a government that is racist to its core. Sad.

Maysie Maysie's picture

No, this thread will not be a Quebec-bashing thread. Stop it now.

Caissa

My interest Maysie is in the difference between views of a secular society vs. a multicultural society. I think herein lies the element of interest.

Maysie Maysie's picture

I meant Wilder's post, Caissa, not you.

Caissa, can you please find and post the link to the other thread on the discussion of the kirpan? Since you called this part 2? Thanks.

Caissa

As requested by Maysie. Another first for Caissa linking to a previous thread.

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/central-canada/kirpans-not-allowed-national-assembly

 

Slumberjack

I lean toward the notion that if we're to start excluding the various trappings of religion from public spaces, it is the dominant society that must set the example by looking to its own superstitions. The 'do as I say' approach in this instance does indeed have racist underpinnings at its core. It wasn't so long ago that the issue of Turbans in Legions, and atop Mountie and Military heads, etc, were the issue of the day in this country, never mind the fact that both organizations have had paid chaplains on staff with all the trimmings and regalia with which to maintain those particular superstitions for many generations.

Maysie Maysie's picture

And yeah, what Slumberjack said.

The larger issue for me is, if folks from non-Christian backgrounds are welcome to live in Canada and to participate in all the various functions of society, then that includes people who aren't white and Christian.

This move is, of course, bullshit racism.

As for the issue in the OP, how many sitting MPs does this effect?

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Yeah, that's what I thought.

WilderMore

Maysie wrote:

As for the issue in the OP, how many sitting MPs does this effect?

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.

.

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Considering the fact that there are no Members of Parliament in the Quebec National Assembly, your reasoning is suspect.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Okay Wilder, calm down.

Is the provincial legislature the same building as the national assembly? That's how the article reads.

But really, how many elected officials will this effect? What's the Sikh population in Quebec? Why is this such a big deal? 

Unionist

This is a "big deal" because of the smug self-satisfied anti-Québec MSM who created this phoney issue in the first place, made it a "big deal", and you should have seen CBC News Network today quoting Navdip Bains and saying, "well, it's not a security issue in the Supreme Court, or on Parliament Hill", so what's the problem with these Quebeckers anyway?? Why can't they figure out that Trudeau-era "multiculturalism" is the hallmark of a "tolerant" society?

They neglected, of course, to mention that Sikhs who don't check their kirpans at the door don't get to fly.

Sikhs are no more idiots than Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, atheists, or Ba'hai. Everyone makes minor accommodations for important purposes. That's why a ruling of this nature affects no one - literally no one.

But, by stirring the pot (the way the media did, and then some opportunists in the PQ did), it has a marvellous effect of stirring up xenophobia (and phoney counter-xenophobia) where there was none. Congratulations, all concerned!

Progressive folks should have a serious thought, by the way, as to whether they consider that smug Trudeau-ist "multiculturalism", which was concocted precisely to dilute the reality of Québec and Aboriginal strivings for self-determination, really ought to trump the rights of the nation.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Unionist I've never been on board with your "hatred of all religions and their symbols" piece. Not sure that we should go there, as it's a drift for this thread.

But you're right, the MSM in the ROC does like to play up the Quebec-bashing around these issues, and while the secular society (whatever that means) versus multicultural society (ditto) debate may be interesting , starting it this way isn't going to get that kind of discussion as Caissa states is his intention.

I want to close this as I feel it's not going to lead anywhere but the same roads that we've been down before. Or maybe it's because I have less than a week left as moderator. 

Or I can just let you all battle it out.

Slumberjack

I'd vote for a close.

Caissa

I'm not sure closing this thread would be helpful. It's an issue in the media. Quebec has been having a legitimate debate about the nature of its society since at least 1960.  These sorts of debates take place worldwide. The issue of whether one subscribes to multi-culturalism or secularism would effect one's worldview. Depending on one's outlook one could argue that this decision was racist or completely legitimate with various shades of grey in between. As an Anglo-Canadian brought up in that milieu and having studeied some French Canadian history specifically around the Ntational Question, I strive to understand the debate in Quebec. Discussing it without the pejoratives and ad hominems would really help me.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Caissa wrote:
 Discussing it without the pejoratives and ad hominems would really help me.

Not just you.

There is little to no history of that happening here. I'll let this thread go for now, but it's not going to go well and I already feel a headache coming on.

Caissa

Can you see a way in which a polite, meaningful and educational discussion could take place of the issues on this Maysie?

I don't want to contribute to making your last moderating week an unenjoyable one.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I don't think anyone on babble who tries to bring anti-oppression analysis would argue that "Trudeau" (a.k.a ROC) multiculturalism is also "racist to its core." What I don't understand is how that prevents us from pointing out that a specific law specifically targetting tradition Sikhs is highly problematic. The MSM didn't make it into a "big deal," as Unionist points out, because the MSM didn't decide Quebec's national assembly needed a motion opposing them. Is there, for example, a motion specifically opposing the Scottish ceremonial dagger, Sgian Dubh? People are in Scottish ceremonial dress in the NA quite frequently (although I imagine no one brings their dagger). Surely that's equal cause to make a law just to make sure...

It's not "anti-Quebec" to point out that Quebec's valiant attempt to build an alternative to Canada's racist multicultural model also happens to affirm hegemonic white supremacy at the expense of marginalized ethnicities and religions.

gadar

The racist angle to this story is most distressing. It is being used for immigrant bashing. Check the comment section of any msm site. All sikhs are not immigrants. There are sikhs who were born in this country and their parents were born here yet the most common comment is that immigrants are trying to change canada. Vast number of people still believe that if you are not white you are not canadian. Kirpan is just being used as an excuse to fan the flames of bigotry just as niqab was. It was pointed out that they have steak knives in the kitchen but they are ok because the 'canadians' use them. So whats next,you can not have a beard longer than three inches and so on. But at the end people will still look different because of different skin colours . Whats the demand going to be then.There are going to people even then who will demand that anybody who doesnt look like them should not have any rights as they are not 'canadian'. And yet a lot of people think that canada is not a conservative country. 

Whats most interesting to me is that there is widespread support for gay rights, yet when it comes to religious rights the very same people are against them. The difference in most cases is the colour of the skin. The religious rights are percieved to be immigrant issues while gay rights is a 'canadian' issue. And the definition of an immigrant seems to be "anybody who is not white". The xenophobic face of the society shows again. Its sad to see that most bigoted and ignorant comments are the most popular.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

gadar wrote:

Whats most interesting to me is that there is widespread support for gay rights, yet when it comes to religious rights the very same people are against them. The difference in most cases is the colour of the skin. The religious rights are percieved to be immigrant issues while gay rights is a 'canadian' issue. And the definition of an immigrant seems to be "anybody who is not white". The xenophobic face of the society shows again. Its sad to see that most bigoted and ignorant comments are the most popular.

You are painting with a very, very wide brush there gadar. I really think you have to bring more to this than your assertion that "religious rights are perceived to be immigrant issues" while gay rights is a 'canadian' issue". I would appreciate it if you would provide some concrete examples to support your position. Conflict between the LGBT communities (and those allied with us) and defenders of so-called "religious rights" has, in my experience, been one characterized by the latter attempting to maintain privilege to deny equal rights in the secular arena to the former. Given that the majority of instances where this conflict takes place has been between the dominant majority (primarily of European descent and over-whelmingly self identifying itself as "Christian") and the LGBT communities (which, by the very nature of the LGBT communities themselves, necessarily cuts across all racial/ethnic, religious, class, immigrant/native born and other divides within the society) I find your paragraph to be problematic at best.

 

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

It's not "anti-Quebec" to point out that Quebec's valiant attempt to build an alternative to Canada's racist multicultural model also happens to affirm hegemonic white supremacy at the expense of marginalized ethnicities and religions.

You're correct. What is "anti-Québec" is to suggest that how our model is built is anyone's business except Quebeckers. Outsiders may have opinions, but in my view, those are on a par with settlers tut-tutting how Kahnewake determines its residency rules. In both cases, extreme caution would be advised, and context should be respected.

Otherwise, we will have progressive Manitobans (random example) launching attacks against Québec for its French language charter and its single official language. Isn't our language policy and law "racist" and "anti-immigrant" too, seen from the viewpoint of some non-Quebeckers?

Please take note that this motion received the unanimous support of all parties and members. Is Amir Khadir of Québec solidaire an anti-immigrant racist? Does he need to defend himself against that charge, in addition to the charge that he is "anti-semitic" for participating in the PAJU-led boycott against the sale of Israeli products in his own riding?

Having said that, we should recall the larger context. Québec solidaire's principal objection to the face-veil proposal (can't be worn when providing or receiving government services, except where accommodation can be made) is that it doesn't go nearly far enough and must not single out a particular symbol or group.

Secularism, protection of the French language and Québec culture, imposition (if necessary) of gender equality - these are hugely important values and aims to the nation of Québec. Others may disagree, or see things differently, but they should be careful in trying to simply juxtapose their own values upon others.

 

 

milo204

seems to me the major issue here with the kirpan is not it's significance as a religious symbol, but the fact it is a knife and is therefore defined as a weapon?

i still think the easiest way to solve this debate is (what some sikhs have proposed) to carry a kirpan that cannot be confused with a knife.  Then it can be worn at all times (on planes or other places where knives are not allowed) and still meet the religious requirement.

i think the point of the scottish daggers is relevant, perhaps someone with more knowledge on this could say, but if that cultural symbol isn't allowed why would they allow others?  did the scottish people remove their daggers without complaint and that's why it never came to be debated or talked about?

milo204

also, would the ruling about the religious right to smoke pot have any significance here?  that an obvious precedent that says certain laws trump religious rights....

gadar

I see 2 groups of people both minorities. The flag bearers of the groups have different colours of skin. The charter rights of one group are widely accepted by the society but the charter rights of the other group are not. And both the groups are not homogenous as far as skin color goes. When the subject of the rights of one group comes up the ususal and most popular comments are along the lines of 'they should go back to where they came from' or 'in canada do as canadians do' inspite of the fact that the members of the this group are born in canada and didnt come from anywhere and are as much canadians as anybody else.

I see only one explanation of the different treatment. I hope I am wrong.

Freedom 55

Catchfire wrote:

It's not "anti-Quebec" to point out that Quebec's valiant attempt to build an alternative to Canada's racist multicultural model also happens to affirm hegemonic white supremacy at the expense of marginalized ethnicities and religions.

 

No, it's not; but it's liable to get you smeared as anti-Québec on this board - even by mods.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Did you mean Psalm 7 AND Psalm 28?  Psalm 7 itself doesn't HAVE 28 lines.

bouchecl

Ken Burch wrote:

Did you mean Psalm 7 AND Psalm 28?  Psalm 7 itself doesn't HAVE 28 lines.

Sorry. It's Psalms 72:8 : "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth./

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Thanks for your perspective, bouchecl. Lurk less and post more! Your post is illuminating, although I don't believe that the PLQ and PQ share your nuanced perspective, or have the best interests of Quebecers in mind. I also don't believe that this law which isolates the Kirpan best expresses your sentiments.

bouchecl

Hello,

Getting out of lurking again to react to this thread and the previous one. Once again, Quebec secularism and Canadian multiculturalism collided this week in our National Assembly and various Canadian commentators were quick to condemn our so-called heavy-handedness, and adding for good measure the usual accusations of bigotry, xenophobia and racism. Nothing we haven't heard before.

Bottom line is, the four gentlemen from the Toronto office of the World Sikh Organization knew full well the sargeant-at-arms and his staff would ask them to check their knives at the door. Contrary to another delegation from the same outfit who came and abided by the rules last year, they declined on the basis of "Canadian multiculturalism". The members of the National Assembly correctly gave their "full support" to the security staff behavior reaffirming the neutrality of the State (read the motion and the full debate here).

Which brings me to a second point. Last night, Radio-Canada's current affairs program Enquête introduced Quebec to the likes of Vancouver's Faytene Kryskow, who's roaming freely in the halls of power while lobbying MPs to pass bills such as C-510 and implementing pro-sionist policies at the highest levels of the State. Needless to say, her attempts at using the Canadian government to prepare for the end of days on the basis of a deceitful interpretation of Psalms 72:8 were met with horror and outrage in our nation's secular society.

Faith and freedom of religion is fine, but excesses by virtue of Trudeau's multiculturalism pose a clear and present danger to weak firewall between church and state in Canada. I do hope you realize that.

Now, back to lurking. Thanks for reading.

[EDIT: misplaced colon in the chapter and verse]

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

bouchecl wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Did you mean Psalm 7 AND Psalm 28?  Psalm 7 itself doesn't HAVE 28 lines.

Sorry. It's Psalms 72:8 : "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth./

 

 

Thanks for the clarification.

Caissa

In a related theme:

CBC wrote:

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says a private members bill that would force people to show their faces when they vote is "reasonable."

A Quebec Conservative backbencher, Steven Blaney, rekindled the debate over veiled voters on Friday with the tabling of a bill that critics decry as an attempt to divide the electorate.

Kenney came out in support of the proposed legislation during an interview Sunday on CTV's Question Period

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2011/02/14/kenney-voting.html#ixzz1DxUHfkhR

Dodger718

When I was going to school in New York and voted in a Canadian election by mail-in ballot, I didn't have to show my face.

I'm sure there are tens of thousands of Canadian citizens who work or study abroad or who spend their winters someplace warm who also vote via mail and do so without having to show their face.

Doug

milo204 wrote:

i still think the easiest way to solve this debate is (what some sikhs have proposed) to carry a kirpan that cannot be confused with a knife.  Then it can be worn at all times (on planes or other places where knives are not allowed) and still meet the religious requirement.

 

As I understand there isn't consensus among Sikhs about this. Some think that a nonfunctional symbolic kirpan is sufficient while others insist on the real thing since they're supposed to be able to defend someone else with it at need. So that doesn't get rid of the problem.

Quote:

i think the point of the scottish daggers is relevant, perhaps someone with more knowledge on this could say, but if that cultural symbol isn't allowed why would they allow others?  did the scottish people remove their daggers without complaint and that's why it never came to be debated or talked about?

 

It's not really relevant because it's not a religious obligation to possess or wear a sgian dubh. It isn't a comparable thing.

 

Unionist

What's this thread doing in Ontario?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Sorry fir the concern,

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

We shall absorb your paltry nation yet, Unionist. But for now, I shall acquiesce to your request.

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

We shall absorb your paltry nation yet, Unionist. But for now, I shall acquiesce to your request.

Some paltry. Some absorb!!

 

Caissa

Resistance is futile.