PQ's charter of values

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Brachina

A ban on turbans in areas where hard hats are needed for safety is different from from banning people from jobs over wearing a turban for social reasons and honestly the former will only last until some clever person invents a safety turban.

Unionist

Brachina wrote:

 This is not a situtation that calls for compromise, the bill should be removed, QS' verison is the same, but with only 50% the bigatry of the PQs. If its not okay to treat Muslim Daycare workers this way, its not okay to treat Muslim Police officers this way either, Its still barring people from fairly particating in society and violating thier freedom of expression and religion.

Ok, Brachina, since you're an honourary Quebecer, let's go into it a little more.

Do you have a hard time recalling comments from [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/qu%C3%A9bec/pqs-charter-values#comment-1411936]last month in the same thread[/url]??

Unionist, on September 13, 2013 wrote:

cbc.ca report wrote:
Mulcair made the NDP's presentation to the Bouchard-Taylor Commission, which conducted public hearings in 2007 on the impact of religious accommodation on Quebec's identity and values. The commission was run by sociologist Gérard Bouchard and philosopher Charles Taylor. He says the NDP agree with the recommendations of that report and will stand up against any proposal contrary to it.

The Commission recommended that those who have power of punishment or coercion (judges, police, prison guards, crown prosecutors) could be prohibited from wearing religious signs.

So, Brachina, you are accusing Québec solidaire of "BIGOTRY" for supporting exactly the same position as Thomas Mulcair.

Instead of picking on a small party which is more progressive than anything you are able to vote for, why not then go after Thomas Mulcair? Ask him why he is a "BIGOT" for supporting the Bouchard-Taylor recommendations, namely that judges, cops, screws, and crown prosecutors should leave their religious gear at home while on the job?

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

So, Brachina, you are accusing Québec solidaire of "BIGOTRY" for supporting exactly the same position as Thomas Mulcair.

I suppose there are no issues on which you have disagreed with Mulcair. Him saying yes or no does not determine whether it is right.

 

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

You are comparing Unionist's posts on Mulcair with Brachina's.  Wow that is even a stretch for you.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Unionist wrote:

So, Brachina, you are accusing Québec solidaire of "BIGOTRY" for supporting exactly the same position as Thomas Mulcair.

I suppose there are no issues on which you have disagreed with Mulcair. Him saying yes or no does not determine whether it is right.

 

You really don't get it, do you? I don't agree with QS or Mulcair on this issue. I'm trying to get Brachina to go after his own glorious leader on this Charter issue, rather than a small Québec party. If Brachina says, "I disagree with Mulcair - he is guilty of bigotry" (same charge he levelled against QS) - I will celebrate. But, of course, that will never happen - and so, I remain in morose contemplation of the here and now.

 

6079_Smith_W

I guess I am showing my ignorance here, focusing on the issue, rather than which party we should attack over it.

Obviously we should be going after the head of a federal Canadian party.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I guess I am showing my ignorance here, focusing on the issue, rather than which party we should attack over it.

Obviously we should be going after the head of a federal Canadian party.

There isn't enough space here for you to show your ignorance, so I would never accuse you of that.

Thanks for your profound commentary on the actual issue at hand, however. I realize I am a much more attractive target, but you appear able to rise higher and constantly resist that temptation. Kudos and bravo.

 

6079_Smith_W

Right.

Sorry if what springs to my mind in trying to criticize proposed legislation isn't how it constitutes an attack on the party which proposed it, but rather how it affects people.

And Unionist, how many times have you taken us around the mulberry bush with that outsider trope of yours? It's ignorant, and I called you on it for a reason.

 

 

Unionist

Here's what's ignorant: Condemning the Soviet Union for invading Afghanistan, but not your own country when it does the same thing. Condemning some Muslim country for mistreating women, but being unable/unwilling to see the subordination of women in your own country. Condemning Québec Solidaire for proposing a bill with all of its 2 elected members, but maintaining a hypocritical silence (or denial) when your own NDP (which you actually have some small say over) defends the same position.

So yes. Outsiders should listen, learn, and support. Like men dealing with women's issues. Brachina calls QS's position "bigotry". Thanks for the lecture, ally!

 

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I want to thank Kropotkin for his posting with the quote from (and link to) the interview with Baltej Dhillon. There is an undercurrent in this thread (and the debate in general) that seems to suggest that while the proposed Secular Charter goes "too far", things would be okay if the recommendation of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission regarding the wearing of religious headgear by judges, prisons guards, police etc. were implemented - an undercurrent that I find really quite disturbing. I like the idea of promoting secularism (as a cranky atheist I really, really like it) - but only insofar as it affects the actions of the state itself, and where the resources of the state are allocated. Regulations governng the appearance of individuals who are acting on behalf of the state (or even just employed by it), to my mind at least, do nothing to promote secularism - in fact I consider them somehow sectarian, enforcing the religious affiliations of the majority (however nominal these affiliations may be) over those of the minorities the regulations ultimately would affect.

Unionist

bagkitty wrote:

There is an undercurrent in this thread (and the debate in general) that seems to suggest that while the proposed Secular Charter goes "too far", things would be okay if the recommendation of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission regarding the wearing of religious headgear by judges, prisons guards, police etc. were implemented - an undercurrent that I find really quite disturbing.

In Québec, it's not an "undercurrent". As I have explained earlier in the thread, every political party agrees with that recommendation. The PQ wants to go further, as does CAQ (they want to include teachers, which Bouchard-Taylor specifically excluded). And that includes the federal NDP - unless they have changed their mind since August. For those who are interested in that question which clearly goes beyond one piece of Québec legislation, I've opened [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/where-does-ndp-stand-on-religi... thread[/url]. Perhaps those closer than me to the inner circle of the federal NDP will be able to shed some light.

Clearly, if the NDP still maintains that position, it can't be only for Québec - right?

Hopefully we can have that discussion in the other thread, while trying to focus here on the struggle for and against the PQ's charter - the struggle being waged by those people who will be affected by it. That doesn't mean, in the slightest, that outsiders shouldn't participate in this discussion as well. All it means is that they should respect the forum's rules - and be prepared not to be too too offended if it turns out they support the same policies in Canada which they condemn in Québec.

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

So yes. Outsiders should listen, learn, and support. Like men dealing with women's issues. Brachina calls QS's position "bigotry". Thanks for the lecture, ally!

It's just a piece of damned legislation, Unionist, and unfortunately all the mea culpas about our region might seem like fine solidarity, but it still doesn't get to this issue. Speaking of which, I gave you a couple, just like you asked. Are we going to repeat this on every page?

I don't see restricting this to the judiciary as any improvement or compromise; I see it as keeping the very worst, because it still shuts people out of the areas of greatest influence, where their perspective is perhaps most needed.

Now I think most people involved in politics are used to the concept of criticizing proposed legislation without making or taking it as a personal attack on the party or the person. I think some of us here get that distinction as well. Do you?

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

Clearly, if the NDP still maintains that position, it can't be only for Québec - right?

Not necessarily. The commission was specific to Quebec, And to say that the party agrees with it, and is prepared to defend it, is not the same thing as saying that it is something that would work in other parts of Canada.

I mean, there are plenty of other examples of this issue in the rest of Canada, but any criticism of his position on this just takes us back to Quebec, as far as I can see.

 

ygtbk
lagatta

A cursory google search calls this character out!

Quoting him:

During the Quiet Revolution, 1960-2000, an elite of urban, middle-class Francophone Québécois constructed a dynamic nationalistic, secular, interventionist, technocratic Quebec state.

A half-truth. "Middle-Class", doesn't mean much of anything, especially when paired with "élite". The Quiet Revolution also saw monumental strikes and a new awakening and radicalisation of the WORKING CLASS. Working class actions for the right to work in French (alongside many other demands) were part of the impetus for the French Language Charter. Another was seeing class and national unity eroded by (European, and mostly Catholic) immigrants opting for English schools.

The so-called Hérouxville affaire was largely manufactured by Le Journal de Montréal. Right-wing and nationalist in a way (though not pro-independence), but certainly not rural. ADQ is a more modern and "Thatcherist" incarnation of a series of rural-based rightwing parties in Québec including L'Union nationale and the Créditistes.

The rest of it is also half-truths, and I see little to do with "race".

Now, as for this Behiels character: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_D._Behiels

Quote from the wiki article:

A student of Ramsay Cook, he is a prominent defender of Pierre Trudeau's conception of federalism: no special status for Quebec and maintenance of linguistic minority rights.

Thus the kind of person who will do anything to thwart a growth of Québec's autonomy and special status...

You need not be a Trudeauvian multiculturalist to be anti-racist.

These articles aren't innnocent, any more than the crap Peggy Curran (probably still nostalgic for anglo precedence) wrote in the Gazette today.

We'll deal with the racists, including the anglo ones - just read the contemptuous, often overtly racist comments in the anglo press and chat boards. The important point is to insist that secularism applies to everyone, including lingering Catholic symbols, and that the STATE is secular; people can dress as they wish. I'm still a bit concerned about judges and prison guards, not because I want to limit their right to express their beliefs, but do to the impact of people being judged and jailed.

 

ygtbk

@ lagatta:

So, the messenger is dead, having been shot multiple times. After all that obfuscation, is Pauline Marois a racist xenophobe or not?

lagatta

She is a bourgeois politician. And will swing left or right to get elected. She also wore a red square and took part in "casseroles" marches.

And I did NOT obfuscate. Just set the record straight about some key Québec historical events, and on where this character is coming from.

But I'm sure your attitude towards Québec falls somewhere in the "racist and xenophobic" spectrum.

Unionist

Lagatta, I deliberately ignored that piece of shit provocative ignorant article, but thanks for setting the record straight. It's quite amazing that centuries after the Conquest, they still feel so "superior" to what this asshole calls "Catholic Francophones". And they still haven't got a shred of a clue to answer the question: "What does Québec want anyway???"

Oh, and ygbtk, new to this conversation, wants to taunt you into proclaiming whether Pauline Marois is a racist or not. How sweet.

 

 

ygtbk

lagatta wrote:

But I'm sure your attitude towards Québec falls somewhere in the "racist and xenophobic" spectrum.

That's the best you can do when I criticize Pauline, who is obviously an odious person? Fuurfu.

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

Lagatta, I deliberately ignored that piece of shit provocative ignorant article, but thanks for setting the record straight. It's quite amazing that centuries after the Conquest, they still feel so "superior" to what this asshole calls "Catholic Francophones". And they still haven't got a shred of a clue to answer the question: "What does Québec want anyway???"

Oh, and ygbtk, new to this conversation, wants to taunt you into proclaiming whether Pauline Marois is a racist or not. How sweet.

She seems to me to be very obviously racist, but you might have a different opinion.

Unionist

Yeah, she's an anti-semite. She wants to ban kippahs from the public service. It's a first step to banning Jews altogether. She deeply hates Jews. I'm not sure why no one is talking about that.

Same with Mulcair. He hates Arabs. He bullied and humiliated Libby Davies when she agreed with some character doing an impromptu interview that the Occupation began in 1948. He didn't give a shit about 750,000 Arabs expelled from their homes and their land.

Mulcair is a racist. Just like Marois hates Jews.

Are we all incredibly happy now?

 

lagatta

Yes, it is trolling. Trolling and taunting.

Anyone attending the Québec solidaire event in Montréal (Cégep Maisonneuve) this coming Sunday?

http://www.quebecsolidaire.net/evenements/rassemblement-souverainiste-po...

Hope the weather is nice: I can cycle on cycle paths every speck of the way from my house to there (like deconfessionalized school boards, another area where we are more advanced than some other places not far from here...).

lagatta

Yes, it is trolling. Trolling and taunting.

Anyone attending the Québec solidaire event in Montréal (Cégep Maisonneuve) this coming Sunday?

http://www.quebecsolidaire.net/evenements/rassemblement-souverainiste-po...

Hope the weather is nice: I can cycle on cycle paths every speck of the way from my house to there (like deconfessionalized school boards, another area where we are more advanced than some other places not far from here...).

Just for the hell of it:

Cute pic of girl in hijab cycling in Indonesia: http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-muslim-girl-riding-bi...

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Clearly, if the NDP still maintains that position, it can't be only for Québec - right?

Not necessarily. The commission was specific to Quebec, And to say that the party agrees with it, and is prepared to defend it, is not the same thing as saying that it is something that would work in other parts of Canada.

I mean, there are plenty of other examples of this issue in the rest of Canada, but any criticism of his position on this just takes us back to Quebec, as far as I can see.

 

Well, in order to defend a double standard between Quebec and other provinces or the federal government, you have to make an argument about differing situations. But I don't quite see how you can do that in this instance.

I can go along with an argument that says "Quebec needs legislation about French on signs, because the French language faces existential challenges that aren't faced by the English language. So we support Bill 101 in Quebec, but don't advocate similar legislation 'protecting' English in Alberta." Even if I don't agree with the argument, it still cannot be dismissed simply on the grounds of inconsistency, English and French not being symmetrical in terms of history and demographics.  

However, the argument for the values-charter, as far as I know, is that the wearing of religious garb by public-servants threatens the principle of state-neutrality in matter of religion. But it seems to me that that thesis would apply as much to civil-servants in Alberta or the federal government as it would to those in Quebec.

By promoting a double-standard in regards to the values charter, Mulcair is essentially saying: "If a Sikh in the SQ wears a turban, it threatens the secular nature of the state. But if a Sikh in the Mounties wears a turban, it doesn't". But I don't see what basis he has for squaring the circle on this.

I am not at this point arguing for or against religious garb on SQ members, or for against it on Mounties. Just that whatever you think about the one issue should pretty much be what you think about the other.

 

Unionist

Thanks for making the point clearly, votd. I just didn't have the patience. Double standards require double the usual time to refute. Wink

 

6079_Smith_W

voice of the damned wrote:

By promoting a double-standard in regards to the values charter, Mulcair is essentially saying: "If a Sikh in the SQ wears a turban, it threatens the secular nature of the state. But if a Sikh in the Mounties wears a turban, it doesn't". But I don't see what basis he has for squaring the circle on this.

I do.

You said it yourself above. There are cultural and social differences between Quebec and other parts of Canada - and I would add that it is not simply linguistic.The religious and anti-religious dimension quite different there than it is elsewhere.

Secondly there is the acknowledgment that the Quebec people can choose their own way of doing things (serious point). Never mind the crass motive of wanting to get votes. If he had come out against it the issue would immediately become a federal politician and a federal party trying to tell Quebec what to do (a slightly more cynical point).

That doesn't mean that I don't think he is wrong. But I don't think it is inconsistent for him to side with there being one way of doing things there, and another elsewhere.

 

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:
If he had come out against it the issue would immediately become a federal politician and a federal party trying to tell Quebec what to do (a slightly more cynical point).

But Mulcair publicly condemned the PQ's draft Charter and pledged to finance court challenges to it - so that toothpaste has left the tube, hasn't it?

I'm hoping we can continue the conversation about the NDP's stand [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/where-does-ndp-stand-on-religi... this other thread[/url], so that we can focus this one more on the Québec political struggle being acted out. But it's up to you folks obviously.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Quebec has a very different history and relationship to the Church and its priests than any other province. No where else did a Church dominate a province and exert almost total control. Even in Ontario the Church of England was always only one of the Protestant denominations and it did not control anyone esxcept some of its members. The Quebec Catholic Church was in an unholy marriage with the Anglo elite and that history has led to a different viewpoint on secularism however that should not be a basis for denying rights to some.  The problem with the debate is that it allows the majority to say they feel threatened by the other without providing any kind of proof that there is anything to fear. It very much reminds me of the fear that same sex mariage will undermine traditional marriages. I just don't understand why someone would think a religious judge or police officer is anymore likely to be biased than an atheist.

IMO this is Islamaphobia not secularism. The Sikhs and others who also display symbols of their religion are merely collateral damage in the new millenia Xian crusade.

voice of the damned

You said it yourself above. There are cultural and social differences between Quebec and other parts of Canada - and I would add that it is not simply linguistic.The religious and anti-religious dimension quite different there than it is elsewhere.

Well, I certainly agree that there are cultural differences between Quebec and other places. But what precise cultural differences do you think would make it neccessary(in Mulcair's mind) to protect secularism via banning religious-garb on cops in Quebec, but not in other provinces? Would a religious cop in Quebec be more likely to impose his faith on the public than a religious mountie would?  

Never mind the crass motive of wanting to get votes. If he had come out against it the issue would immediately become a federal politician and a federal party trying to tell Quebec what to do (a slightly more cynical point).

My own view on that is if the NDP had most of the seats in Alberta, and Redford proposed something identical to Bouchard-Taylor, Mulcair would find some reason to say he supports that in Alberta, while simulaneously saying it's not needed anywhere else.

lagatta

I'd call it more an unholy alliance (sorry) among Islamophobes and people, especially feminists who've been through the ringer, who have little use for any manifestations of organized religion. Read Jeanette Bertrand's statement (not that I agree with her) - I don't think it stems from Islamophobia and certainly not any Xian crusade.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

But Mulcair publicly condemned the PQ's draft Charter and pledged to finance court challenges to it - so that toothpaste has left the tube, hasn't it?

You are right there. And I expect you know more about the fineries than I do, but supporting something in principle is one thing. Quite another when it is actually revealed as legislations, with all the wanted posters . And of course - who is proposing it, and why.

And yes, sorry for mixing it up, and I am aware of the other thread, but I did think VOTD's point, and my answer both spoke to the situation in Quebec.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

lagatta wrote:

I'd call it more an unholy alliance (sorry) among Islamophobes and people, especially feminists who've been through the ringer, who have little use for any manifestations of organized religion. Read Jeanette Bertrand's statement (not that I agree with her) - I don't think it stems from Islamophobia and certainly not any Xian crusade.

You are there so I defer to your thoughts to a large extent. I was thinking more of the Islamaphobe part of the alliance not the progressive part which I admit I have a hard time understanding. Having been through the Catholic ringer myself I can understand not trusting the clergy and church hierarchy however I think that is diferent than not trusting the individual police officer or judge who has deeply held religious beliefs.

To me the three main faiths are all regressive however it is the institutional control that I think needs to be attacked to make a society secular not the expressions of faith by an individual member of any faith.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Having been through the Catholic ringer myself I can understand not trusting the clergy and church hierarchy however I think that is diferent than not trusting the individual police officer or judge who has deeply held religious beliefs.

That's not what lagatta is talking about. These feminists who are supporting the PQ's charter look at women covered up in the street and they see women who are the victims of a patriarchal culture. Oh by the way - that's exactly what they are. It ain't no fashion statement. And individuals don't wake up one day saying, "Hey, I think I'll cover my hair/face/body from now on when I go out in public!!"

So, the "solution" they propose is to condescend, and patronize, and "help" these poor women to be free - and the PQ's Charter says, "Ok, this is your lucky day - either shed your veil, or lose your job!! No no, please, don't thank me!!!"

In addition to that, there's also a serious Islamophobic stream (sometimes but not always embodied in the same people) which doesn't like Québec's "face" being changed through "Islamicisation". That's the pure xenophobic part, and the PQ is deliberately, consciously, pandering to that for its electoralist purposes.

It's a tough rope to walk for many. I think Québec Solidaire has struck the right balance. But like it or not, this judges and cops business (which, I repeat, I don't agree with) seems to have won a virtually unopposed consensus here - which is one reason why I opened that other thread to discuss the NDP's position. Oh, and likewise for not covering your face (niqab, burka) when providing or receiving a public service. There is no opposition to that anywhere to be found.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Having been through the Catholic ringer myself I can understand not trusting the clergy and church hierarchy however I think that is diferent than not trusting the individual police officer or judge who has deeply held religious beliefs.

That's not what lagatta is talking about. These feminists who are supporting the PQ's charter look at women covered up in the street and they see women who are the victims of a patriarchal culture. Oh by the way - that's exactly what they are. It ain't no fashion statement. And individuals don't wake up one day saying, "Hey, I think I'll cover my hair/face/body from now on when I go out in public!!"

...

But like it or not, this judges and cops business (which, I repeat, I don't agree with) seems to have won a virtually unopposed consensus here - which is one reason why I opened that other thread to discuss the NDP's position.

Those two things are not the same.  I don't see this ban as any kind of attack on patriarchal culture since it will primarily affect men from patriarchal religions since they would be over represented among the police and judges precisely because our whole culture both secular and religious is patriarchical.

I believe in individual freedom of religion not the states right to discriminate on the basis of religion. You will never convince a true believer to abandon their faith. As my Catholic mother used to say religion is all about faith and if you don't have it you can never understand religious beliefs. A priest took away my faith and that is the only thing good I can say about that paedophile.

As for the hijab and other head coverings I believe that the number of believers in that kind of gear decreases generation by generation. 

lagatta

I don't "agree" with the judges and cops thing either; I'm just unsure exactly what I think, because I'm approaching it first and foremost from the viewpoint of the accused. What I'd fear most in the judge's seat is an old-school rightwing Catholic (though I've passed the age to be in need of an abortion). It is relatively rare that lay Catholic men wear large crosses or crucifixes (I had an old upstairs neighbour that did, but he was a Béret blanc type, and already a pensioner - dead at least 25 years ago). Usually, there again, it is more often women who wear crosses - a type of sentimental jewellery, of course, but also a kind of sign that one is upright and chaste (or faithfully married).

Yes, I agree that the headscarf is fundamentally a patriarchal symbol, even when chosen - and despite the fact that many Maghrebi girls and young women make it very much a fashion statement. Not long ago, Christian women in Southern Europe also wore headscarves to indicate that they were respectable women (or hats if they were from a higher social class), and of course the wigs and snoods Hassidic women wear are a remnant of a wider Judaic practice - though it took many forms, and devout Sephardic women wear scarves and snoods, not wigs - think those are a legacy of pogroms.

In Calabria and Sicily, 20 or 25 years ago, I remember older ladies in large black scarves in the heat.

But it is indeed very paternalistic - or maternalistic - to claim to liberate another woman from something that is to a large extent internalized and not just imposed by husband or father.

I think that, as usual, it is more people who have little comment with people from Muslim lands - or other "exotic" places, who fear them and might even despise them. I like the presence of people nearby. from the Maghreb, Middle East, South Asia, West African countries etc. Of course there are shitheads among them but that is a general rule among all human groups... In general, I find their presence very positive.

But yes, as Unionist said, the hijab is what shocks feminists and bigots alike, for different reasons.

6079_Smith_W

lagatta wrote:

Yes, I agree that the headscarf is fundamentally a patriarchal symbol, even when chosen - and despite the fact that many Maghrebi girls and young women make it very much a fashion statement. Not long ago, Christian women in Southern Europe also wore headscarves to indicate that they were respectable women (or hats if they were from a higher social class), and of course the wigs and snoods Hassidic women wear are a remnant of a wider Judaic practice - though it took many forms, and devout Sephardic women wear scarves and snoods, not wigs - think those are a legacy of pogroms.

Not just there. You see it here among hutterites, and others (some in sects, some not) who observe older clothing. And we aren't even talking about clothes that go the the wrists and ankles.

Without denying that its origin is as a patriarchal symbol, I'd add that it is a good deal besides, and not just in the modern fashion sense. The same patriacchal argument could be made of makeup, or any clothing which draws attention to one's body. It's just with those latter cases the trump card of personal choice is a bit more obvious to those of us with western sensibility. Why are we suspicious of the one, and not the other?

I'll be honest; I find a full niqab challenging, truly foreign, and I cannot imagine that anyone would choose to wear one.

As for the hijab, I think nothing of it when I see women wearing them, except that I am always conscious that there are those who hate it, so I always smile and be friendly. I see them as people who are not all that different from me.

After all, to look at a person not wearing those clothes, you wouldn't be able to pick out the religious fanatic, or the terrorized and oppressed, because they look just like us, and are therefore invisible.

(edit)

come to think of it, this reminds me of the first time I saw a hippie activist friend of mine geared up for battle in a powersuit and fresh short haircut. That was back in the day when people were still fooled by those costumes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unionist

Unsurprising and inevitable:

[url=http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/proposals-in-charter-of-values-would-violate-...ébec Human Rights Commission says PQ Charter of Values would violate Québec's own Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms[/url]

Quote:

"The government's proposals are cause for serious concern. They represent a clear break with the text of the Charter," wrote Human Rights Commission president Jacques Fremont in a statement.

The Human Rights Commission said that the PQ proposal is a blatantly discriminatory act that would not hold up to any court challenge without resorting to the notwithstanding clause.

It also found the proposed Charter of Quebec Values is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of state neutrality.

In its statement the Commission says it is wrong to assume that someone wearing a religious symbol is not acting in a fair and unprejudiced manner, and it is wrong to assume that wearing a symbol means someone is attempting to convert others to their religion.

It goes on to say the PQ proposals to ban religious symbols in the workplace would violate the right to freedom of religion, and would infringe on freedom of expression and access to employment.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

That is great news and confirms me in my beliefs about this proposed law.

lagatta

I do wish CTV news hadn't chosen to illustrate it with a photo of a woman in extreme niqab. That is very rare in Montréal - I've only seen it nearby in Parc-Extension, and by how the husbands were dressed it seems to be only in families arriving from some parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan (where men as well as women were wearing so-called "traditional dress"). And extremely unusual even in that neighbourhood. Never in my immediate vicinity - the Maghrebi ladies are just wearing headscarves, and often extremely chic ones.

I say that because a fully covered person can inspire fear, even among people without a xenophobic bone in their body. And nuns all in black, though there faces were exposed, could be scary when I was little.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I can tell you that the thought of Sister Claudia and her big black strap still instills fear in my heart. I only had to put up with her for a year and a half but my younger brother was subjected to her tyranny for 8 years and I truly believe it left permanent scars on his psyche.  

My wife just read this and commented that he is still terrified of the name and he is 56 years old.

6079_Smith_W

to be clear lagatta, I wasn't meaning to imply that you were xenophobic, and that I was not. And yes, as I said, there are aspects of it that I find challenging, and I absolutely recognize the oppresive aspect of it.

I hope I didn't come off that way.

I am just saying that I am more aware (as I am sure you are too) that the greater threat is that which is against these people. Also,  not knowing what is inside a person's head, I can't prejudge what those clothes mean other than that they are a choice which is perfectly normal in their culture, as it is in some other countries.

Again, people wear mascara for all sorts of reasons, including the simple reason that they like it.

And say what you will about veils, they don't hobble the wearer and destroy joints like some of our fashionable heels do. So which is more oppressive?

 

 

 

 

cco

I imagine if you were to ask my wife that question, who has never been assaulted, spat on in the street, or called a whore for not wearing heels, she would have an answer for you. Parts of it would likely be unprintable, though.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And say what you will about veils, they don't hobble the wearer and destroy joints like some of our fashionable heels do. So which is more oppressive?

Both are oppressive, inasmuch as they're connected with the inequality and subjugation and commodification of women. But if you're doing the "which is more oppressive" thing, I'll have to just underline what cco said.

In neither case is the answer to blame the woman and victimize her further, which is why this shitty "charter" must be stopped. But for those who proclaim that covering themselves in public is an expression of women's bodily autonomy? Sure.

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

But if you're doing the "which is more oppressive" thing, I'll have to just underline what cco said.

Nope. Because I don't think either case is any of our business.

I said upthread exactly what I was doing, and it has to do with the observer, not the wearer. I simply ask why we are more likely in this culture to not even notice the one, and even if we do, to recognize it as a matter of free choice, and not make any of the assumptions we do about the other.

I mean I know why, and it is a natural response. But I think it is important to be aware that it is a cultural bias.

 

Summer

pookie wrote:
Unionist wrote:

You missed my point entirely, pookie - which was not at all to argue in favour of restrictions on what cops, judges, prison guards may wear (I do not argue in favour of that) - but rather, that people from elsewhere (in this case, not from the nation of Québec) criticize things they know very little about (such as all the other aspects of QS's bill, the ones which don't deal with wearing religious symbols at all) - and that they tolerate, and in fact are blissfully ignorant of, restrictions on freedom of conscience that exist under their very noses, while finding it all too simple to condemn such infringements elsewhere.

. I just find your constant distinctions based on being "from elsewhere" tiresome. I grew up in Quebec ok? Went to school there. Worked there. If there are people really blissfully ignorant that religious freedom and conscience is limited, for good reasons and bad, everywhere in Canada - well, I don't see too many of them on this thread. No one is required to focus on them, or that, on a thread dealing with a singular Quebec law. Nor are they required to give "attaboys" to other parts of the alternative proposal.

Hear hear!  

I understand that the PQ has brought this up as a wedge issue but if Babblers want to discuss the larger issues of freedom of religion/freedom from religion, we should be able to.  This Charter of Values is easy to condemn because the discrimination is so blatant.  If another province tried something similar, I would expect Babblers from all provinces to comdemn it as well. 

 

 

cco

Smith, you seem to go back and forth on whether we should consider veiling as a religious obligation deserving of special consideration from government and society at large (and therefore also imbued with a much stronger element of pressure) or merely a fashion statement to be considered no different than heels.

You can call it "cultural bias" to see the two as different, but if the proposed charter banned women from wearing high heels at government offices, I highly doubt there'd be this much of an uproar.

I'm betting Aqsa Parvez would've seen the difference, too.

Unionist

Summer wrote:

 

I understand that the PQ has brought this up as a wedge issue but if Babblers want to discuss the larger issues of freedom of religion/freedom from religion, we should be able to.  This Charter of Values is easy to condemn because the discrimination is so blatant.  If another province tried something similar, I would expect Babblers from all provinces to comdemn it as well. 

 

 

Québec is a nation. It is not just another "province". The House of Commons unanimously pretended to understand that point when they passed that motion. The NDP pretends to understand that point when they passed the Sherbrooke Declaration. Too bad you don't. Provinces, yeah sure.

 

Unionist

cco wrote:

You can call it "cultural bias" to see the two as different, but if the proposed charter banned women from wearing high heels at government offices, I highly doubt there'd be this much of an uproar.

I'm betting Aqsa Parvez would've seen the difference, too.

Bravo. Exactly.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Wearing high heels is not protected by either the Quebec or Canadian Charter.  Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are covered by both.  The reason why the Quebec Human Rights Commission is so definiitive is because under our Canadian Human Rights laws a ban like this would have to have a Bona fide occupational requirement for its implication.  Irrational fear of the other is not a BFOR nor is I want to save these people from themselves.  Its not like a Judge has to wear a hardhat.

Quebec may be a "nation" however the only point that unanimity in the H of C proves is that it was deliberately left vague so everyone could fill the word up with their own meaning.

 

6079_Smith_W

cco wrote:

Smith, you seem to go back and forth on whether we should consider veiling as a religious obligation deserving of special consideration from government and society at large (and therefore also imbued with a much stronger element of pressure) or merely a fashion statement to be considered no different than heels.

You can call it "cultural bias" to see the two as different, but if the proposed charter banned women from wearing high heels at government offices, I highly doubt there'd be this much of an uproar.

I'm betting Aqsa Parvez would've seen the difference, too.

Actually, no I haven't.

I think I have been pretty clear, here, and elsewhere, that for some people that garb is part of one's identity, and inseparable from the body. I also expect there are a fair number of people who choose to wear it because it feels natural.

If someone  took a job and was expected to wear clothes which were immodest , and felt embarrassing, technically that person would be able to comply, but why should anyone be forced to? So even in cases where there isn't a stict religious proscription it seems in spirit wrong to me. Wrong because it is a violation,. and because I don't see the justification.

 Thing is, these proposed laws aren't at their core about the welfare or edification of the people who wear those clothes. It is about those who observe them - specifically in connection with the state, whether it be sitting on the bench, or cleaning a toilet.

The question has been raised about bias and trust on the part of people wearing those clothes. I am just saying it begs the question of how  we can claim to know what goes on in someone else's head, and why we leap to those judgments more when it comes to things which are unfamiliar than things which we are used to.

So yes, I am talking about different aspects, but I am also talking about two completely different things - the perspective of the wearer, and the perspective of the observer.  I hope it is clear why I raised the issue of makeup and shoes; no, I don't think anyone has a right to demand to wear them.

(edit)

As an aside to some of the comments upthread, I bet there are more than a few people quiver with fear every time they see a police or military uniform, or judge's robes.

I don't think we'll be getting rid of those because of their inherent bias anytime soon, though.

 

 

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