Racism: Quebec Soccer Federation sticks to turban ban

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cco

I'm actually in favour of a rather militantly secularist society -- but here's the thing. France, Mexico, Turkey, and many other countries that have implemented state secularism in the past targeted the majority religion as much as or more than minorities. Even as a card-carrying QS member, I was willing to give the PQ the benefit of the doubt on its secularism policies, until they started talking about keeping the crucifix up and so forth because of "heritage".

Abolish public funding for all private schools. Tax religious institutions. You can even go so far as revoking parking exceptions for *all* religious holidays. But don't target accomodations for every religion *except* the majority one and then call it "secularism". That's just ugly.

autoworker autoworker's picture

lagatta wrote:

Remember the grave accent if you mean Québec City, if not, it is Quoi faire au Québec.

Mea culpa.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

cco wrote:

I'm actually in favour of a rather militantly secularist society -.

You can practice any religion you want as long as no one knows?

There should be no religious symbols mounted in publicly funded spaces but telling an individual that they can't display the symbols of their religion is a major breach of their human rights. It breaches not only the freedom to openly practice a religion but also the freedom of expression to display their beliefs to others. 

Only allowing the symbols of the oppressive religion, whose behaviour led to the call to secularize society, is not right to say the least. Our society is becoming more and more secular all the time without the need to force people to go against their beliefs. I just can't see telling all Xians they can't display symbols of their religion in public as a doable thing and just attacking the minority religions is discriminatory and racist. Go ahead tell the Xians that we are no longer going to have many of our statutory holidays based on their religious holidays, see how well that goes over.

cco

kropotkin1951 wrote:

You can practice any religion you want as long as no one knows?

No, you can do whatever you want, but you can't expect the government to give you special privileges to do so.

kropotkin1951 wrote:

There should be no religious symbols mounted in publicly funded spaces but telling an individual that they can't display the symbols of their religion is a major breach of their human rights. It breaches not only the freedom to openly practice a religion but also the freedom of expression to display their beliefs to others. 

Only allowing the symbols of the oppressive religion, whose behaviour led to the call to secularize society, is not right to say the least. Our society is becoming more and more secular all the time without the need to force people to go against their beliefs. I just can't see telling all Xians they can't display symbols of their religion in public as a doable thing and just attacking the minority religions is discriminatory and racist. Go ahead tell the Xians that we are no longer going to have many of our statutory holidays based on their religious holidays, see how well that goes over.

I volunteer to be the first to tell the Xians they'll get as much time off for Easter as I do for the birthday of Bertrand Russell. As for the rest, I think we mostly agree.

pookie

NorthReport wrote:

Maybe some of us need to take a deep breath before voicing our opinions. Let's tread carefully here.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/Macpherson+turban+likely+play+wel...

Sounds great. Who, exactly, and why?

lagatta

There is a problem with the major majority religion holidays - they have become secular holidays for most, and are expected as much by Muslims and Jews (I'm thinking of France, where I have stayed for extended periods - when can one say one has "lived" in a place?) My nominally Muslim and Jewish friends in France certainly want the day off, and will do whatever just as the nominally Catholic friends do. Some of the "Catholics" haven't been Catholic in any sense for generations, in France there is a secular equivalent of the Scouts, for example, les Éclaireurs, and a secular equivalent to the practice of being a godfather or godmother.

The Catholic religious right in France does seem to be making a stand, though, nowadays, with the homophobic crap about same-sex marriages. There is still an old Catholic élite, very very nasty people.

As far as the crucifix and prayers before town council meetings, those are an outrage.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I never said reduce the number of holidays in a year only remove them from being tied to Christian religious dates. We could celebrate a holiday on the winter solstice instead and maybe lunar new year.  I am sure others can come up with a replacement for the Easter holiday as well.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

cco wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

You can practice any religion you want as long as no one knows?

No, you can do whatever you want, but you can't expect the government to give you special privileges to do so.

How is the government involved in what someone wears? Why is it a special privilege to wear a turban? BC has had a Sikh temple for over a hundred years. It doesn't seem that the adherents of that faith cause anymore problems in society than any other religious people. What business is it of the government or the soccer federation to tell some Canadians what to wear.

Caissa

The Quebec Soccer Federation says it is maintaining its ban on turbans, patkas and keskis.

The organization issued a statement today saying the controversial ban remains in effect.

The Canadian Soccer Association suspended the provincial body on Monday after it showed no sign of overturning its decision to prohibit Sikh religious headwear on the pitch.

In its statement, the Quebec federation said it will do everything it can to re-establish dialogue with the Canadian Soccer Federation.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/06/12/quebec-soccer-turbans-ban.html

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Go ahead tell the Xians that we are no longer going to have many of our statutory holidays based on their religious holidays, see how well that goes over.

Actually the most famous example of that was perpetrated by the most fundamentalist of Christians - Cromwell's Puritan government, and the Massachussetts colonies.

They banned church weddings too. People did not like it at all.

I'm with cco on school funding; taxation I'm not sure about, and banning of religious attire in some places like institutions, I am even more iffy about, though I can see the argument. But as he says, if it isn't total, and in particular directed at the real problem, what is the point?

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

What is the "real" problem?  This ban on turbans in soccer has nothing to do with school funding it is about racists who think they should be allowed to impose their will on other people.

 

6079_Smith_W

In the case of enforcing secularism, dealing with the "real problem" would include taking on the dominant religion which is interfering with things, rather than leaving it in place and going after minority faiths, which seems to be the case here.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

You still didn't define the real problem.

6079_Smith_W

As I see it, the real problem is people trying to enforce their values on others (including expecting public funding). So if we're talking about religious interference in the secular realm, cco correctly pointed out that it doesn't make much sense to make an exception for the dominant religion.

Sorry if that wasn't clear.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Since this thread is about banning Sikh youth from playing organized soccer that problem is absolutely not related to anything about this story.  Unless of course you mean that the QFS of soccer getting public funding is the real problem.

6079_Smith_W

Technically, I agree with you, and I said so upthread that this is an issue of safety and personal freedom. But the issue of culture and religion is hardly in the background on this; for that matter the question of jurisdiction is also front and centre now.

So as far as challenging how some people rationalize this bad decision, I think it is fair comment.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

There is no religious interference in the secular realm in this story. There is however racist interference in the religious expression of these young people and the claim that it is about safety on the pitch is bogus. 

The best thing that could happen would be for the people who vote in the QSF board to demand that they step down and have a new board elected that is inclusive in its perspective not narrow and racist. Racism ebbs when it becomes unacceptable behaviour.  The board needs to be told by soccer parents that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

There is no religious interference in the secular realm in this story.

I didn't say that there was, kropotkin.

But the backstory of those who pick and choose which religions and cultures they want to make invisible is very much a part of this story.

But really, my comment was in response to what cco said upthread and I see it as fair comment in pointing out the double standard both on the part of the provincial government, and many in the public.

 

lagatta

Here is Québec solidaire's take on this issue: http://www.quebecsolidaire.net/soccer-et-turban-peut-on-laisser-les-enfa...

I knew that this was our general line, but I'm not the most assiduous of members of the party, so I didn't want to speak for our spokespersons.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I am not a French speaker but the translation program I used seems to say that the QS thinks the kids should play this summer because a proper debate has not been held and that a debate should take place first before they are banned.

Is that a correct reading of its position?

autoworker autoworker's picture

Is this a case of multiculturalism vs interculturalism, or one of plurality vs insularity?

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I am not a French speaker but the translation program I used seems to say that the QS thinks the kids should play this summer because a proper debate has not been held and that a debate should take place first before they are banned.

Is that a correct reading of its position?

It's a correct reading of the way you appear to read things concerning Québec. Other than that, no - it's just a gross misunderstanding on your part. Sorry it's in French only. That's the way we do stuff here.

Thanks for your presumption, though, based on not understanding the statement, that QS must be xenophobic. Really, thank you.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Thanks for the translation Unionist. I have never disagreed with Quebec's language policy so I actually know that is how things are done in your province.

Given your rude response I must have totally misunderstood.  So what is the QS's policy on secularism?  Are they in support of it or do they just want to talk about it and have no platform one way or the other? 

We don't have any rules about how people may practice their religion.  However I belong to the largest category in BC under religion at 36% - No Religious Affiliation. Of course if you add up the various Xian faiths they are over 50%. I guess I just can't wrap my head around the idea that I should be telling my neighbours what religious symbols they can display.

janfromthebruce

I thought this was a great opinion on the soccer situation.

Beyond the politics, however, this issue touches me as a parent. After many years of seeing children sidelined or frustrated by the more or less arbitrary application of rules by adults, or sometimes by some adults’ obsession with competition or victory at all cost, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the basic rules we should never neglect in sport is the simplest of all:

Let the children play.

Heard that also clearly stated by the Official Opposition leader.

Forget the politics and let the children play

I disagree with the Quebec federation’s decision to ban the turban, but the torrent of visceral reactions that this decision has unleashed — often directed indiscriminately at Quebec society as a whole — is also unacceptable.

I consider this issue from three perspectives.

You can go read what it says in these categories but I did post some.

1. Sport

2. Politics

Meanwhile, those who use this turban ban as political ammunition against Quebec’s social or cultural values ignore one basic fact. Just a few short years ago, the exact same ban was in effect in other Canadian provinces, but no one accused them of the same sins back then.

3. Play

Beyond the politics, however, this issue touches me as a parent. After many years of seeing children sidelined or frustrated by the more or less arbitrary application of rules by adults, or sometimes by some adults’ obsession with competition or victory at all cost, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the basic rules we should never neglect in sport is the simplest of all:

Let the children play.

Author of this opinion piece: Pierre Martin is a professor of political science at the Université de Montréal.

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:

I thought this was a great opinion on the soccer situation.

I wholeheartedly agree. And thanks so much for finding and posting this article!

 

Unionist

In response to kropotkin's kind request, I've done this translation - as literally as I can - but others may want to do some improvements or corrections:

Québec solidaire wrote:

Québec solidaire deplores the fact that 200 young Quebeckers of the Sikh faith are being forced to choose between playing soccer and the traditions instilled by their parents, as a result of the prohibition of the turban, patkas, and keski as decreed by the Québec Soccer Federation (QSF).

"They're asking young people to make a very difficult choice. In effect, adults who haven't yet conducted the debates on secularism which we've long awaited, are taking children hostage with respect to decisions which need to be made on a whole host of issues relating to secularism. Summer is upon us, let all the children play!", said Françoise David, MNA for Gouin.

Mme David considers that the Charest government had allowed the debate on religious accommodation to drag on. She notes that the report of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission was issued more than 5 years ago, and that the preceding government didn't have the political will to initiate a collective discussion on the commission's recommendations.

"Every case which comes up gets blown out of proportion and positions get more dug in." Mme David says with regret. She slams the Québec Soccer Federation, which very poorly assessed the impact of its decision, as well as their Canadian counterpart, which took, she says, a "disproportionate and hostile decision with respect to the Québec federation, instead of opening a dialogue to try to reconcile their respective positions."

The Gouin MNA hopes that the debate which the PQ wants to launch this fall around its proposed "Charter of Québec Values" will focus essentially on secularism.

"Frankly, we have to go back to basics. We must discuss secularism in Québec. Québec solidaire proposes the inclusion, in the (QC) Charter, of articles clearly affirming that secularism forms part of Québec values. In order for there to be a calm and constructive debate, the parties must not exploit these sensitive issues for partisan or electoral motives," Mme David said hopefully.

ETA: Sorry, forgot to include the title:

Soccer and Turbans: Can we just let the children play in peace?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:

Meanwhile, those who use this turban ban as political ammunition against Quebec’s social or cultural values ignore one basic fact. Just a few short years ago, the exact same ban was in effect in other Canadian provinces, but no one accused them of the same sins back then.

As an active member of the BC Human Rights Coalition when the turban debates went on in this province I can tell you that the bans were called racism and systemic discrimination.  In fact the debate was won by not mincing words and telling otherwise good people that what they were doing was not acceptable and was discriminatory.

6079_Smith_W

On CBC radio this morning the comparison that was made was not Herouxville, but the RCMP turban dispute which affected all Canadians.

Yes I think some are using this as a foil, but I'd say that is happening on both sides, I don't think that fact should put a chill on reasonable discussion.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If Marois' real issue is the fact that it was the Canadian soccer authorities ordering the Quebec soccer authorities to let the Sikh kids wear their turbans...than we need to ask...how would she react if, say, it was the Canadian soccer authorities reversing a ruling by Quebec soccer authorities that Jewish kids would be required to wear yellow stars on their uniforms?  Would she STILL, in that instance, insist that the fact that it was the Canadian authorities making the ruling that mattered more than anything else?  Would she insist that the kids be MADE to wear those stars? 

This is the kind of thing that happens when you make a fetish out of "self-determination", and place that value ahead and above of all others.  Self-determination yes, but with humanistic and egalitarian values being given equal importance.

 

Unionist

You know, Ken, until I read your over-the-top sick the-PQ-are-pretty-much-like-Hitler comment, I resisted stating the obvious, but I will now:

What the fuck makes anyone think that this story is about RACISM?

There are ample cases of racism, racial profiling, racial discrimination in Québec (just like in your little parts of the world). There is no evidence, to date, that that's what this is.

But if it makes superior tea-sipping neo-colonial types feel oh-so-more-genteel than Quebeckers to pretend that they are more "inclusive" than we are - fill your proverbial boots.

And yes, Ken, self-determination means that Quebeckers will make their own decisions about everything in the world. They will not be lectured to by their erstwhile bosses and overlords in matters of human rights.

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I'm not a neo-colonialist...and I wasn't saying the PQ is like Hitler...just taking the logic of Marois' argument to its logical extreme.

Obviously you are anti-racist...and, I think the best sovereigntists are(as I've said in other threads, if I lived in Quebec I'd vote QS, which is also sovereigntist but does see the wrong in how the soccer federation is handling this)but this is a horrible and unforgivable stance for Marois to take.  And, since you aren't even a PQ supporter, why would you be touchy about what anybody said about her?  She's now a right-wing extremist, for God's sake.

But if the issue isn't bigotry(I agree that it isn't technically racism, since there's no such thing as a Sikh "race"...there are adherents of the Sikh religion drawn from cultures around the world, including North Americans with pale skin)then why didn't Marois place equal emphasis on calling on the Quebec federation to revoke the turban ban on its own at the same time that she was calling out the Canadian soccer authorities for what she saw as meddling?

I'm sorry, but I remember the (still incomplete)black freedom movement in  my country, and the same cries of "interference by outsiders" were raised by the bitter-end defenders of segregation.  It was also used to attack those who, before the end of slavery, helped organize the Underground Railroad.

You can't seriously defend what you know to be, at best, a bigoted and right-wing policy(the turban ban, a ban you I'd naturally assume that you, as a decent anti-hate leftist, to passionately oppose)simply because you want to defend the authority of those who made it.  If if was wrong to defend "self-determination" as expressed by Mississippi authorities in fighting for segretation to the bitter end in 1964, and if it was wrong to defend it in South Africa when the Pass Laws were enacted and the bantustans, it's wrong to defend it as an absolute here.  The turban ban is not as honorous as either of those things, but it's on the continuum that leads to them.  And if you're going to back Quebec self-determination, you have an obligation to oppose "tyranny of the majority" moments like this. 

And I used the yellow star analogy to make a point...if you oppose ONE regime making that decision, you have to oppose ANY regime making it.  Justice, common humanity and the sacred principal of human equality must come before all else, or they can never exist at all.  

My position isn't colonialist-you know perfectly well that I don't want Quebec to be subjugated to anglophone dominance-and you also know perfectly well that the Canadian authorities aren't opposed to the turban ban because of it being imposed by Quebec.  They'd do exactly the same thing if such a ban was imposed by soccer leagues in Nova Scotia, Ontario, or even Alberta.  They weren't treating Quebec differently.  It isn't automatically colonialism just because it's Canadian soccer authorities telling Quebec soccer authorities to back off on this, any more than it would be if, were this situation to exist, Canadian soccer authorities were to tell Quebec soccer authorities not to ban teams made up of visible minorities.

There simply isn't any legitimate defense of what the Quebec soccer authorities are doing here.  It goes without saying that safety isn't a real issue and that the wearing of turbans doesn't threaten secularism in Quebec.  It's a harmless symbol of religious and cultural values, and making the players remove it means making them disown their heritage.  Why do something so heavy-handed and ugly when there is clearly no reason for it?  Is there really any possibly way that letting the kids wear turbans threatens the survival of francophone language and culture?  They don't make Orthodox kids cut off their sidelocks before letting them play, and they don't ban Rastafarian kids from wearing dreadlocks on the pitch...so why, other than hatred and fear of "the other" would they impose such a pointless and arrogant rule? 

Self-determination doesn't matter more than common humanity.  If you decide that it does, than you give up on common humanity, and on any progressive values at all.  You end up giving the authority that cites "self-determination" as its justification something like papal infallibility.  Why do that?

Self-determination, yes, but the universal progressive values of justice and equality must be held at an equal level to it, or else self-determination simply becomes the right to oppress. 

Finally, U, I don't see myself as superior to anybody.  I just stand with the oppressed.  I'd be taking exactly the same stance here if this was somebody in B.C. or Manitoba or Newfoundland or Alaska trying to impose something as stupid and pointlessly hateful as this rule is towards innocent kids.

Quebec loses nothing if the soccer federation backs down on this rule.  And it doesn't make any difference WHO was calling on them to do so.  There's no way that doing what's right on soccer appearance policy is going to stop Quebec getting independence if it ever ends up actually wanting it.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sikhism is a religion and in Canada it is practiced mostly by people from South Asia.  There are an extremely small number of adherents of the faith that have converted who are not South Asian.  With racism and systemic discrimination the intent of the rule is irrelevant it is the effect that counts.  The effect of this rule is that a group of South Asian children don't get to play soccer.  Its like the searches they do at NY subways.  The proponents of it say it can't be racism because some of the people searched are white. However the effect is clearly that mostly black people get harassed and so it is racism even if some whites get caught in the net.

When people wanted to ban turbans from the Legions and the RCMP it had nothing to do with religion it was racism. Unionist are you really saying that antisemitism is not a form of racism because religion is the trigger for the discrimination? If so then all I have to say is who fucking cares about a definition it is systemic discrimination against a minority and that is wrong.

Mikal Sergov

Unionist wrote:

There are ample cases of racism, racial profiling, racial discrimination in Québec (just like in your little parts of the world). There is no evidence, to date, that that's what this is.

 

Does stopping Sikh kids from playing soccer make you feel like a big man, Unionist? You're scum.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

What the fuck makes anyone think that this story is about RACISM?

If it can't be proven that the actual ban was racist (and technically you are right), racism is at the centre of the fallout and the response to this.

The only false assumption I see is for anyone to assume that things are any less racist elsewhere.

And if that is a distraction, it is even more of a distraction that this is being eclipsed (on both sides) by the issue of sovereignty.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mikal this is a sensitive subject and personal attacks are not helpful to reasoned debate. Besides I don't think Unionist has said he supports the ban. I suspect that he agrees with the QS that letting the kids play is the right thing to do.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pandher is a BCA (NDP affiliated) trustee on the Burnaby school board as well as a teacher, I voted for him and will vote for him again.  He is right that no one gives turbans a second thought.  They are just part of our society.

Quote:

Pandher said he thought of his eight-year-old son on hearing the Quebec news and noted he plays several sports, including ice hockey where "we've had to make some adjustments to make sure his helmet fits properly and everything.

"He hasn't faced any of this [discrimination] here in the Lower Mainland. Kids here, they're lucky that way, there's no obstacles in their way really. It's a shame kids in Quebec are having to deal with this."

Burnaby is such a multicultural community nobody gives turbans a second look, he said.

Pandher teaches a Grade 5 class in a Surrey school where most students are South Asian. In his social studies class Wednesday he led a discussion with his students  about the Quebec situation and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"They can't really relate to the type of thinking that goes into these decisions, it's not in their realm of experience."

http://www.burnabynewsleader.com/news/210432471.html

Edited to add a picture of our Trustee

onlinediscountanvils

kropotkin1951 wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:

Meanwhile, those who use this turban ban as political ammunition against Quebec’s social or cultural values ignore one basic fact. Just a few short years ago, the exact same ban was in effect in other Canadian provinces, but no one accused them of the same sins back then.

As an active member of the BC Human Rights Coalition when the turban debates went on in this province I can tell you that the bans were called racism and systemic discrimination.  In fact the debate was won by not mincing words and telling otherwise good people that what they were doing was not acceptable and was discriminatory.

Yeah, that part was nonsense. Just because the author wasn't unaware of anyone speaking out against the ban, doesn't mean that it wasn't happening. It is true that this has gotten more attention, but that's also largely due to the incerased role of social media.

6079_Smith_W

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

It is true that this has gotten more attention, but that's also largely due to the increased role of social media.

Plus the issue of double standards in secularism which is already news.

Plus the fact that we have been down this road before.

Plus the anti-Quebec contingent (including some cabinet ministers) who are more than happy to exploit this unfortunate matter.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

If Marois' real issue is the fact that it was the Canadian soccer authorities ordering the Quebec soccer authorities to let the Sikh kids wear their turbans...than we need to ask...how would she react if, say, it was the Canadian soccer authorities reversing a ruling by Quebec soccer authorities that Jewish kids would be required to wear yellow stars on their uniforms?  Would she STILL, in that instance, insist that the fact that it was the Canadian authorities making the ruling that mattered more than anything else?  Would she insist that the kids be MADE to wear those stars? 

This is the kind of thing that happens when you make a fetish out of "self-determination", and place that value ahead and above of all others.  Self-determination yes, but with humanistic and egalitarian values being given equal importance.

 

That's an odious comparison. Nobody is requiring Sikhs to identify themselves for persecution.

voice of the damned

Pierre Martin wrote:

Meanwhile, those who use this turban ban as political ammunition against Quebec’s social or cultural values ignore one basic fact. Just a few short years ago, the exact same ban was in effect in other Canadian provinces, but no one accused them of the same sins back then.

Well, I'm pretty sure the Alberta government was denounced as "homophobic" by progressives elsewhere in Canada, when Klein was pandering to his SoCon base with musings about blocking same-sex marriage. Would Pierre Martin argue that the Canadians who denounced Alberta in those terms were being hypocritical, since SSM had been illegal everywhere in Canada, "just a few short years" earlier?

This raises a question I've wondered about, and to which I do not purport to have a solid answer. At what point after abandoing a bad practice does it become okay for you to lambaste others for the same thing? Britain fully abolished slavery from its empire only in 1843. Did doing so earn them the immediate right to hurl abuse at the slave-owning USA? Or was there a "period of repentance" in which they had to remain silent, or at least phrase any criticism of American slavery in the gentlest of terms? And if the latter, how long does the period of repentance last?

       

cco

kropotkin1951 wrote:
The effect of this rule is that a group of South Asian children don't get to play soccer

Sure they do. They just don't get to wear turbans while doing so. Now, mind you, I agree wholeheartedly that the ban is ridiculous. But I also think it's ridiculous that their religion prevents them from going outside without a turban on. Your religion isn't written in your genetic code. It's a set of silly superstitions you've been taught, and it has next to nothing to do with race. This isn't a genuine safety issue like carrying weapons into schools or the National Assembly or on airplanes, and I think it's stupid to care about how people dress while they play soccer (to be honest, I'm not exactly a sports fan to begin with). But having a deeply held belief in something isn't the same as having a skin colour you can't change. You can call it anti-Sikh bigotry, but it isn't racism.

onlinediscountanvils

6079_Smith_W wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

It is true that this has gotten more attention, but that's also largely due to the increased role of social media.

Plus the issue of double standards in secularism which is already news.

Plus the fact that we have been down this road before.

Plus the anti-Quebec contingent (including some cabinet ministers) who are more than happy to exploit this unfortunate matter.

All true, hence the qualifier 'largely'.

ETA: And speaking of social media...

I realize this is only annecdotal, but FWIW, the people who I've noticed condemning the ban in my FB feed have been Sikh, Québécois, Franco-Ontarian Anishinaabe, Mohawk, and Cree. Maybe they're all neo-colonialists too.

voice of the damned

autoworker wrote:
Ken Burch wrote:

If Marois' real issue is the fact that it was the Canadian soccer authorities ordering the Quebec soccer authorities to let the Sikh kids wear their turbans...than we need to ask...how would she react if, say, it was the Canadian soccer authorities reversing a ruling by Quebec soccer authorities that Jewish kids would be required to wear yellow stars on their uniforms?  Would she STILL, in that instance, insist that the fact that it was the Canadian authorities making the ruling that mattered more than anything else?  Would she insist that the kids be MADE to wear those stars? 

This is the kind of thing that happens when you make a fetish out of "self-determination", and place that value ahead and above of all others.  Self-determination yes, but with humanistic and egalitarian values being given equal importance.

 

That's an odious comparison. Nobody is requiring Sikhs to identify themselves for persecution.

I think the point was not that banning turbans equals forcing people to wear the yellow star. Rather, that if you defend the QSF's right to ban turbans specifically on grounds of autonomy, then logically you have to defend their right to do anything, since the principle of autonomy, if made paramount, allows for no interference by outside authorities.

It's like if someone says Obama should allow Colorado to legalize pot on the grounds that the federal government has no right to tell the states what to do. I'm a supporter of pot legalization, but I would still point out to the person that his argument would have made it illegitimate for the federal government to take measures against segregation in southern states. That doesn't mean I think pot smoking equals segregation.

That ssid, Burch should probably have given as his example something more akin to mine, ie. something that has actually happened in the past, rather than the pretty psychedelic idea of Quebec enforcing a yellow-star law. Like, say, "If Quebec autonomy is paramount above all else, then F.R. Leavis was wrong to challenge the Padlock laws in federal courts".

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

cco wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The effect of this rule is that a group of South Asian children don't get to play soccer

Sure they do. They just don't get to wear turbans while doing so. Now, mind you, I agree wholeheartedly that the ban is ridiculous. But I also think it's ridiculous that their religion prevents them from going outside without a turban on.

I think it is ridiculous that people would care whether some other person wants to wear a turban.  WTF does it have to do with anyone else except the person themselves. Does it harm people to have to look at a turban?  I think Speedos are ridiculous on obese men and if any sports gear is too be  banned on the basis of it being ridiculous that should be the first thing gone.

My only question is why should society have the right to tell people what religion they should adhere too. Who cares if you think it is ridiculous they obviously do not.  The only way to view discrimination is through the eyes of the minority not through the eyes of the majority who often think everyone's culture or religion except their own is ridiculous and should be ridiculed at minimum and maybe even banned.

janfromthebruce

Unionist wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:

I thought this was a great opinion on the soccer situation.

I wholeheartedly agree. And thanks so much for finding and posting this article!

 

You are very welcome.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Mikal this is a sensitive subject and personal attacks are not helpful to reasoned debate. Besides I don't think Unionist has said he supports the ban. I suspect that he agrees with the QS that letting the kids play is the right thing to do.

Thanks, kropotkin. I don't really feel like justifying myself in front of characters who call me racist, but what the hell:

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/thomas-mulcair-0?page=3#commen... those who bother to read[/url]:

Unionist, on June 8 wrote:
I consider the ban on turbans to be horrific and ignorant, and I'm sure my MP (Tom Mulcair) does as well. But I thought he handled the media baiting quite well in this case.

As for those who call it "racist", they should get a life. Sikhs haven't been banned. South Asians haven't been banned. The vast vast majority of Sikh men don't wear turbans or any other kind of headgear anyway. But the banning of turbans is (as I said) horrific and ignorant. The QSF should get a life, apologize for offending people's religious sensibilities, and get on with it.

As for the anti-Québec hordes, they should really do whatever they want in life. We are way ahead of them in social progress and intend to stay that way.

Unionist

cco wrote:
Now, mind you, I agree wholeheartedly that the ban is ridiculous. But I also think it's ridiculous that their religion prevents them from going outside without a turban on.

You know, cco, Sikh men don't wear turbans - no more than Jewish men wear yarmulkes (how many Jews do you know who go around with their head covered?). Of the many Sikh men I know personally, and have worked with, I can't actually recall a single one that grows their hair long or wears a turban.

Some particular individuals or sects choose to do so, but they're a tiny minority. In Punjab, fewer than 20% of Sikh men now wear them. Whether their religion "prevents" them or not, they are no more slaves to their "religion" than other people of India, or of Canada for that matter.

Having said that, I agree with you about the ban. It is offensive, and most likely xenophobic in origin (though the QSF is being silent on the whole issue, having made their questionable reference to Law 4 of FIFA and nothing since). The best way to deal with this is to call for tolerance, understanding, and unity. It's a shame that some babblers have used it as an opportunity to exhibit their own prejudices.

 

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

 I think Speedos are ridiculous on obese men and if any sports gear is too be  banned on the basis of it being ridiculous that should be the first thing gone.

Strangely enough, there are places where the wearing of them is enforced. A friend of mine showed up at a European beach (someplace on the mediterranean; he was German) one time wearing regular north american style swim trunks. The life guard sent him off the beach until he came back in a speedo.

That bit of humour aside, a well-stated post. I agree.

There are plenty of these personal choices that we exercise every day; we just don't usually think about them because we don't get singled out for them.

 

cco

Unionist wrote:

You know, cco, Sikh men don't wear turbans - no more than Jewish men wear yarmulkes (how many Jews do you know who go around with their head covered?). Of the many Sikh men I know personally, and have worked with, I can't actually recall a single one that grows their hair long or wears a turban.

Some particular individuals or sects choose to do so, but they're a tiny minority. In Punjab, fewer than 20% of Sikh men now wear them. Whether their religion "prevents" them or not, they are no more slaves to their "religion" than other people of India, or of Canada for that matter.

Thank you so much for telling me this, Unionist. I'm very ignorant of Sikhism and have no Sikh friends, and was looking at this issue through my general prism of anti-religion.

That said, if I modify my comment to substitute "the small minority of Sikhs who observe the turban requirement" for "Sikhs", I think I'd let the rest of it stand. There's no reason whatsoever to bar those wearing turbans from soccer games. It's ridiculous. But if we're going to talk about who's preventing a small segment of Sikh youth from playing soccer, it's not the QSF -- it's their own religion.

The QSF's rules are bigoted and have no justification, but there's nothing preventing the youth in question from joining the 80% of their fellow religionists and doffing the turban. They should be allowed to play soccer wearing a turban. No question. But I think saying the QSF is "preventing" a minority of very observant Sikhs from playing soccer is pointing the finger in the wrong direction.

6079_Smith_W

@ cco

I don't think there is any call for people to defend their culture or their religion or how they choose to present themselves to anyone. As I said above, at its core I think this is a safety and personal freedom issue. If there is no safety issue, and in fact precedents supporting that attire, what is the rationale for the ban?

That doesn't mean I don't consider it racist; and if that means I am using the term to describe something Unionist only considers xenophobic, so be it.

The thing about these finer details of people's beliefs, is that they have nothing at all to do with the motive of the person who is perpetrating the racist act. Was the murder of that Sikh gas station attendant after 9-11 not racist because they didn't understand the culture?

And if it is going to turn into a numbers game of why people just don't conform and adopt more western attire like other people, I think the main quesiton is going to be WHY people choose to clothe themselves and carry themselves the way they do. WIthout sidetracking this thread, I'd venture to say the answer is a little more complex than that they are victims of silly superstition.

http://jezebel.com/5946643/reddit-users-attempt-to-shame-sikh-woman-get-...

 

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