Racism: Quebec Soccer Federation sticks to turban ban

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bagkitty bagkitty's picture

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.[...]

[Emphasis added]

Yeah, and the majority that I know do. Ain't subjectivity grand? Of course it could be that I simply move in more pious circles than you  do. That must be it, I am holier than thou. 'Cause the only other option that comes to mind is that the Sikh community in these parts either feels less pressure to conform to "western" dress codes, or more inclined to resist the pressure. Nah, let's stick with my being holier than thou.

Unionist

bagkitty wrote:

Yeah, and the majority that I know do. Ain't subjectivity grand? Of course it could be that I simply move in more pious circles than you  do. That must be it, I am holier than thou. 'Cause the only other option that comes to mind is that the Sikh community in these parts either feels less pressure to conform to "western" dress codes, or more inclined to resist the pressure. Nah, let's stick with my being holier than thou.

I'm not sure why you're being sarcastic and obnoxious. I've stated what I thought of this ban. If I need to kneel and pronounce it equivalent to genocide, and confess that it is the logical culmination of Québec nationalism, at least give me a minute to put on a pair of old pants with worn knees.

I wanted to play basketball in junior high school, so I had to play on Saturdays. No choice in the matter. Oh sorry, I had a choice. I could have played basketball in my back yard on non-Sabbath days. Fucking anti-semitic genocidal school authorities.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

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

Mikal, this comment is completely unacceptable. Don't attack posters you disagree with. kropotkin speaks a lot of wisdom here.

6079_Smith_W

Come on Unionist. You toughed it out so they should just accept their medicine?

(and yes, I know you don't support the ban, so what gives?)

Too late for some of us, I'm sorry to say. They never tried to beat right-handedness into me like they did with my dad.

 

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Come on Unionist. You toughed it out so they should just accept their medicine?

(and yes, I know you don't support the ban, so what gives?)

What gives? Massive frenzy created over this incident, exploded into anti-Québec rants, cheered on by Jason Kenney and Justin Trudeau, by neocolonial superior knowitalls who don't even notice anti-Sikh xenophobia under their noses (such as the items I posted earlier... like the Supreme Court banning turbans for safety reasons in a CN Rail yard - the Supreme frickin' Court, no less). And cheering on the Canadian Soccer Federation for its staunch anti-racist suspension of the Québec federation - giving the neoliberal xenophobe Pauline Marois an opportunity to play heroics to a waning crowd.

It's frankly astonishing, Smith, that some people think this is about fighting racism. This is an issue which should be sorted out through calm deliberation. Not through a BDS movement against Québec soccer. Can't see that? Well, maybe I'm dead wrong. But lord, some of the posts above are disgusting.

And yeah, I played basketball on Shabbat, after having words with my parents. And a Sikh kid who wants to hire on in construction or many industrial jobs will have to have words with his parents too - that's on the off chance that they actually care.

The Québec Soccer Federation allows hijabs. Give them a minute, and they'll allow turbans. Shout and scream and suspend? Great strategy.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

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", just as is the case when the defense of any other manifestation of authority is placed above and beyond all other values.  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".

 

I could have used a less-inflammatory xample...but you did get the point I was trying to make...that when you put "self-determination" above everything else, you can create the conditions for truly odious outcomes.  And my point was made in the spirit of human solidarity, not a desire to crush Quebec into submission.  

And I would not have spoken on the matter if I'd been, say, the U.S. ambassador to Canada.  I fully accept that there are limits to what representatives of governments can say.  But can you really compare soccer administrators to colonial overseers?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Well, it was wrong for anyone to attack Quebec collectively over this, and such attacks should be condemned.  But I don't think that was the intent of anyone in THIS thread.

Unionist

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

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.

That sophistry is beneath you. Neo-colonialists are those who practise or ignore racism and xenophobia under their noses, while trying to lecture and pressure Québec to get into line because it's just another province of Canada. That's my definition, in my dictionary. Unfortunately, my bizarre definition fits way too many types around the country.

onlinediscountanvils

Unionist wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

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.

That sophistry is beneath you. Neo-colonialists are those who practise or ignore racism and xenophobia under their noses, while trying to lecture and pressure Québec to get into line because it's just another province of Canada.

Sorry if my "sophistry" isn't up to your level yet. You've got a few years on me, so give me time.

6079_Smith_W

Sure Unionist. If you look upthread you'll see I have spoken out against that repeatedly myself, and I think it should be dealt with calmly too.

But I think the horse is out of the barn on that one. Say this doesn't involve racism all you want; it's not going to make the anti-Quebec attacks or the racist posts in some of those newspaper articles disappear. It is a bit late for that.

I agree that now that this has turned into a question of Quebec jurisdiction there's more reason for both sides to dig their heels in even further.

I can even sort of see some strategic sense in keeping quiet and not making waves in the hope that they'll reverse this decision. Not sure if someone who is the object of that discrimination would agree, and there are plenty of situations where that strategy hasn't worked at all. Who knows; maybe they figured they'd test the waters with thisand go further if they pull it off. I can certainly see why they'd pick something like a turban rather than, say braids.

 

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

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.

That sophistry is beneath you. Neo-colonialists are those who practise or ignore racism and xenophobia under their noses, while trying to lecture and pressure Québec to get into line because it's just another province of Canada. That's my definition, in my dictionary. Unfortunately, my bizarre definition fits way too many types around the country.

What makes you so sure that even a significant minority of those speaking out on this are, in fact, ignoring racism under their own noses?  Or that people are demanding something of Quebec that they aren't asking of anyplace else?  Do you really believe that if this was

happening in, say, Toronto, that nobody would care?  You can't really believe that of people on the left, for God's sake. 

 

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.worldsikh.ca/news-release/wso-reacts-suspension-quebec-soccer... Sikh Organization of Canada Reacts to Suspension of Quebec Soccer Federation[/url]

Quote:
On June 6th, Mr. Vinning had sent a letter to the QSF requesting for a review of the decision to uphold the ban on the turban and for a dialogue to address any concerns the QSF may have with respect to safety.

No response has been received from the QSF.

WSO’s first letter to the QSF to address the issue of the accommodation of religious headdress on the soccer pitch was sent on June 21, 2011 which has been followed up on several occasions by phone calls and a registered letter.  No response was ever received from the QSF.

WSO legal counsel Balpreet Singh said, “this situation could easily have been resolved through open discussion and dialogue.  We are at a loss as to why the QSF has refused to simply talk to us.

[emphasis added]

Unionist wrote:
The Québec Soccer Federation allows hijabs. Give them a minute, and they'll allow turbans.

A lot of minutes go by in two years. I'm sure the QSF was just about to pick up that phone when this all blew up.

Or maybe the QSF considers it a safety hazard to even talk to Sikhs.

Caissa

If the NBSF forbid turbans, hijabs, yarmulkes, etc. I would condemn it as strongly as I would condemn the  QSF's decision.

Unionist

Caissa wrote:

If the NBSF forbid turbans, hijabs, yarmulkes, etc. I would condemn it as strongly as I would condemn the  QSF's decision.

So would I. I have some questions for you, Caissa:

Do you also condemn the employers, backed by the Supreme Court, who have banned turbans for safety reasons, even where the worker is prepared to accept full liability?

Do you wonder why the MSM has gone to town with this scandal of the century, but never even mentions the daily discrimination against observant Sikhs in workplaces?

Do you support the suspension of the QSF? Given Marois's stand, would you support a boycott of Québec until the discrimination is ended?

While we're at it, did you know that only children of parents educated in English in Canada are allowed to attend English-language public schools? That South Asian immigrants, even those whose first language is English, must send their children to French schools or pay for private ones? Could we add that monstrosity to the boycott conditions?

One more question: What do you think of Québec solidaire's position on the issue?

Caissa

I have a hard time telling which of your questions are rhetorical, Unionist.

Unionist

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Unionist wrote:
The Québec Soccer Federation allows hijabs. Give them a minute, and they'll allow turbans.

A lot of minutes go by in two years. I'm sure the QSF was just about to pick up that phone when this all blew up.

Or maybe the QSF considers it a safety hazard to even talk to Sikhs.

As you grow old like me, you'll hopefully learn to look to the essence of what people are saying in a conversation, rather than seizing on a figure of speech and taking it literally in order to score a bizarre little debating point.

You don't seem to get that the QSF's stand is unjustifiable and xenophobic - that we have no idea why they have stuck to it (they won't speak to the media, let alone to Sikhs) - and that the suspension of the QSF was perpetrated by characters as self-important and xenophobic and anti-children as those of the QSF itself.

 

lagatta

I don't think any immigrants to Québec (I don't mean people from elsewhere in Canada) should have any right to send their children to public English-language schools. Not Americans, not Brits, not South Asians or people from "BWI" (as many English-speaking Caribbeans say themselves, a bit ironically...).

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

I don't think any immigrants to Québec (I don't mean people from elsewhere in Canada) should have any right to send their children to public English-language schools. Not Americans, not Brits, not South Asians or people from "BWI" (as many English-speaking Caribbeans say themselves, a bit ironically...).

You realize of course that I was being ironic. Unsuccessfully, I suppose, but ironic all the same.

There is massive racial discrimination across Canada, targetting Asian immigrants among others, but nothing so sexy as soccer turbans and Québec separatists.

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/whatever-you-call-it-discrimin... you call it, discrimination is alive and well in the work place[/url]

Quote:
Professor Woolley points us to two important ones. Another is by by University of Toronto economics professor Philip Oreopoulos, who sent out thousands of identical resumes with different names. This recent study found that employers across Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver significantly discriminate against applicants with common Indian and Chinese names relative to English names. It found that name-based discrimination remains largely unaffected by including other indicators of language or social skills, comparing occupations that require less of these skills, and by using European names, more likely second-generation applicants, than Chinese or Indian names. In our study The Colour Coded Labour market, using Census data, we found evidence of labour market discrimination across a wide range of labour market indicators.

 

Unionist

Mikal Sergov wrote:

The federation's executive-director, Brigitte Frot, says the organization takes safety too seriously to allow turban-wearing boys and will only change its stance if ordered to by FIFA, soccer's international governing body.

Now that FIFA has apparently written an explanatory letter yesterday to the Canadian Soccer Association, let's expect that the Brigitte Frot and her colleagues will end their ignorant and xenophobic stance and comply immediately.

 

onlinediscountanvils

Unionist wrote:
As you grow old like me, you'll hopefully learn to look to the essence of what people are saying in a conversation, rather than seizing on a figure of speech and taking it literally in order to score a bizarre little debating point.

Well, not by following your example, I won't.

You see, I didn't seriously think this could be resolved in "a minute" any more than you did. So don't seize on that figure of speech too literally, as you completely ignore my essential point; the QSF has apparently been ignoring all attempts by the Sikh community to discuss this issue [url=http://www.worldsikh.ca/news-release/wso-reacts-suspension-quebec-soccer...for the past two years[/url].

Pleas to wait for injustice to die a natural death are the language of privilege.

 

Unionist wrote:
You don't seem to get that the QSF's stand is unjustifiable and xenophobic

Noooo... I really do get it. Their stand is unjustifiable and xenophobic.

pookie

cco wrote:
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.

All I can say is that under Canadian human and constitutional rights of the last thirty years, it is, most definitely, the CFS that is responsible for these children not being allowed to play soccer.

I truly cannot believe some of the comments in the this thread. These acts are not racist? The true culprit of any exclusion is religion not the party imposing the rule?

Am I on babble?

WTF??!

Unionist

Here is [url=http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/ifab/news/newsid=2109325/]FIFA's statement[/url], issued in letter form to the Canadian Soccer Association yesterday:

Quote:

Following communication between the CSA and FIFA, the matter related to Law 4 – The Player’s Equipment, the use of head covers and the situation arisen within the CSA has been presented to the members of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) for discussion.

The IFAB has exceptionally agreed to extend the conditions of the current experiment previously approved by IFAB in October 2012 (as per FIFA circular no. 1322, see PDF on the right hand side), and to allow male players in Canada to wear head covers as well, as long as the following conditions are respected:

The head cover must:
• be of the same colour as the jersey
• be in keeping with the professional appearance of the player’s equipment
• not be attached to the jersey
• not pose any danger to the player wearing it or any other player (e.g. opening/closing mechanism around neck)

The letter sent by FIFA to the CSA on 13 June 2013 authorises the CSA to permit all players to wear head covers as described above, in all areas and on all levels of the Canadian football community.

This matter will once again be discussed by the IFAB in October 2013, before a final decision is reached at the next Annual General Meeting of the IFAB, taking place in March 2014.

The "current experiment" relates to the wearing of hijabs. I'm not aware of any problem in Québec or elsewhere in Canada regarding hijabs since FIFA initiated that experiment last October.

Likewise, the Québec Federation had claimed that if FIFA were to extend that "experiment" to male head covers, it would immediately comply. We shall see tomorrow.

 

Unionist

This is from FIFA's Circular no. 1322, issued Oct. 25, 2012, which contained the directive on the use of headscarves during the "trial phase":

Quote:

The headscarf must:

- be of the same colour as the jersey
- be in keeping with the professional appearance of the player’s equipment
- not be attached to the jersey
- not pose any danger to the player wearing it or any other player (e.g. opening/closing mechanism around neck)
- only be worn by female players

[my emphasis]

Wish I had seen this document earlier. Clearly this was the QSF's pretext for saying they needed to hear FIFA extend the "experiment" to turbans (and their variants for male players) before they would would drop their ban.

Well, now it's done, isn't it?

janfromthebruce
  1. Ian Gillespie ‏@IanRGillespie 5h

    As @MattDube originally called for, FIFA has stepped in and (via @IvisonJ) resolved the QSF turban issue. https://twitter.com/IvisonJ/status/345564300515102720 … #cdnpoli

    Expand

  2. Robert McClellandRobert McClelland ‏@RJMcClelland 5h

    @IanRGillespie It's like the NDP wanted to resolve the situation rather than just see who could bray the loudest @MattDube @IvisonJ

      Hide conversation

janfromthebruce

John IvisonJohn Ivison ‏@IvisonJ

QSF backs down and abides by FIFA's decision on turbans.

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:

John IvisonJohn Ivison ‏@IvisonJ

QSF backs down and abides by FIFA's decision on turbans.

The man is an idiot. His inability to read is amply reflected in his inability to write.

 

janfromthebruce

I agree Unionist - re: "the man is an idiot". I forgot to include it as part of the tweets Robert was replying to. Ivison was grouped in the "braying" category of idiots.

pookie

bagkitty wrote:

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.[...]

[Emphasis added]

Yeah, and the majority that I know do. Ain't subjectivity grand? Of course it could be that I simply move in more pious circles than you  do. That must be it, I am holier than thou. 'Cause the only other option that comes to mind is that the Sikh community in these parts either feels less pressure to conform to "western" dress codes, or more inclined to resist the pressure. Nah, let's stick with my being holier than thou.

Are you fucking kidding me, Unionist? I would really like to know why your personal acquaintanceship with individual Sikhs and their religious habits is relevant to the issues in this thread. Is there a cut-off point below which a religious observance no longer matters?

Most women I know aren't pregnant. And most of them choose to become so, when they are. Boy, I sure am glad our courts didn't let that stand in the way of finding that treating people worse because they are pregnant is sex-based discrimination. (In fact, it's not considered discrimination in the US for pertty much those reasons.)

Jesus fucking wept.

Unionist

Pookie - relax.

cco

Yeesh! Most Muslim women don't wear a niqab, either. That doesn't mean that certain policies don't discriminate against them. But they're not racist, because being Muslim is not a race. Neither is being Sikh or Christian.

sherpa-finn

Wow .... this has been an interesting thread.  Canada's 'Two Solitudes' are alive and kicking on Babble!

My modest contribution as an Anglo-Quebecker (QS provincial supporter/NDP federal) is to simply note that one should not summarily equate 'secularism' as generally understood in English Canada with the motion of 'laicite' as understood and widely embraced in Quebec.  

Simply stated, secularism aspires to keep institutions of the state separate from those of religion, and vice versa. Laicite takes a more aggressive position and aspires to ensure that religious symbols and practices remain wholly in the private domain and are not generally on public display, and most particularly not in publicly funded spaces.  (If I was more of a political philosopher, I  would try to frame the distinction in terms of  different societal understandings of individual rights and collective rights.)  

Thus much of the popular response in Quebec in support of the QSF took the form of people wondering / bemoaning / complaining why it is that Sikhs could not simply set aside their religious apparel for 90 minutes to play a game on a publicly funded sports field.  Could they not 'reasonably accomodate' the majority view?  From this perspective, the social contract implicit in Quebec's commitment to laicite was perceived as being unreasonably challenged by a small immigrant minority with the aggressively vocal support of external (anglo/Canadian) hypocrites. 

Of course, the contradiction of banning public displays of 'other' religions while still having crucifixes scattered all over the province seems obvious to outsiders. But most Quebecois seem to see it differently.  Hijabs and turbans are expressions of living religious believers and their beliefs.  Crucifixes in buildings and on mountains are relics of a long-dead history. 

In other words, its complicated and Quebec is indeed different.  And the rapid cranking up of the discourse to shrill accusations of racism is not helpful. I actually think the low-key responses of both the QS and Mulcair were appropriate for the situation. 

PS To Jan, - my favourite tweet on this was the following - critical but respectful contribution:  So proud of Quebec for recognizing the right to die with dignity. Common-sense. Now if only you could support right to play soccer w dignity

6079_Smith_W

cco wrote:
Yeesh! Most Muslim women don't wear a niqab, either. That doesn't mean that certain policies don't discriminate against them. But they're not racist, because being Muslim is not a race. Neither is being Sikh or Christian.

Again, not to distract too much, but if we followed that strict definition to its logical conclusion then hardly anything would be considered racism. Italians, Ukrainians and Poles aren't races, but they have certainly faced racism.For that matter, how can anglos be accused of anti-french racism when the two societies are racially mixed, and the dominant English class came from the Normans? Sorry, but that strict definition just doesn't make sense.

If you look at definitions of genocide, they include "ethnic, racial, caste, religious or national groups". 

The notion that if it is not something that is visible, and that someone can technically change then it's not racism is a bit presumptuous. In the first place there are enough people who have gone to their deaths rather than compromise principles, and secondly, it's not always true that someone can just change and no longer be targetted for their culture and beliefs.

 

cco

I'm of the opinion (and others may certainly disagree) that a race is something you're born with, whereas a religion is something you believe. You can't change being Italian, Ukranian, or Polish. You can certainly change your religion, else they wouldn't be competing so hard for converts. Surely, people have gone to their deaths defending their religions. Their loss. And if people have abandoned their religions and still been slaughtered, I grieve for them. But you're still not born with a religion. (There are borderline cases like Judaism where the line between religious belief and ethnic group is blurred.)

lagatta

Interesting commentary by Rima Elkouri of La Presse:

http://www.lapresse.ca/debats/chroniques/rima-elkouri/201306/13/01-46608...

Obviously a fair share of the comments afterwards are idiotic, but that is always the case at media forums.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

cco wrote:
I'm of the opinion (and others may certainly disagree) that a race is something you're born with, whereas a religion is something you believe. You can't change being Italian, Ukranian, or Polish. You can certainly change your religion, else they wouldn't be competing so hard for converts. Surely, people have gone to their deaths defending their religions. Their loss. And if people have abandoned their religions and still been slaughtered, I grieve for them. But you're still not born with a religion. (There are borderline cases like Judaism where the line between religious belief and ethnic group is blurred.)

Sure, just like speaking a language is a choice. You're not born into it, after all. There are borderline cases like French where the line between language and ethnic group are blurred, but for the most part, if you don't like the language your family, community and nation speaks, you can just up and change it. If you couldn't, there wouldn't be all those language classes vyying for your dollar.

Unionist

Quebec soccer federation scraps controversial turban ban after FIFA ruling

Quote:
“It has been our intention from the onset to get a confirmation that the FIFA allowed wearing of turbans, patkas or keskis,” said the Quebec federation’s executive director, Brigitte Frot.

“We are very happy that the FIFA has responded to our request and by the same token dispelled the ambiguities created by a lack of clarification.”

[...]

“Our intervention was solely from a technical point of view and had absolutely nothing to do with religious matters or political views,” she said in defending the federation’s actions.

“We sometimes had difficulty communicating our intentions over the last few days. If we have offended or appalled some people, please know that it was not intentional nor voluntary and we are deeply sorry.”

6079_Smith_W

@ cco

Yes, we will, and I'm fine with that; I said so in reference to Unionist's definition. I don't actually think the semantic difference has any real meaning; the result is the same.

The only difference is if it amounts to putting the burden on the victim for continuing to remain a target rather than conforming. I presume you wouldn't feel comfortable changing your convictions or culture like you might change a shirt; why would it be any easier for someone else?

If it's the god thing, frankly it's a red herring; If you read the link I posted upthread, that Sikh woman's rationale for not cutting her hair seems deeply important and makes perfect sense to me; the fact that it is part of her culture or she feels it is divinely inspired notwithstanding; it is part of who she is.

Same thing for mennonites who were driven across Europe for the silly superstition that they should have nothing to do with war, or quakers who were hanged because they believed that everyone should be free to follow their own convictions.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

sherpa-finn wrote:

Thus much of the popular response in Quebec in support of the QSF took the form of people wondering / bemoaning / complaining why it is that Sikhs could not simply set aside their religious apparel for 90 minutes to play a game on a publicly funded sports field.  Could they not 'reasonably accomodate' the majority view?  From this perspective, the social contract implicit in Quebec's commitment to laicite was perceived as being unreasonably challenged by a small immigrant minority with the aggressively vocal support of external (anglo/Canadian) hypocrites. 

Thank you for a very good and informative post.  I guess the problem is the initial perception of who belongs to "our" culture.  BC has a Sikh temple that is celebrating its hundredth anniversary this year.  To call them an immigrant community is a discriminatory statement, after all except for the FN's we are all immigrants to this country.  It is the same as calling any Canadian whose ancestry is Chinese an immigrant.  They are not the "other" where I live they are my neighbours and have been part of the social fabric of our society for over a century. Excluding Sikhs who might literally be fourth generation Canadians from participation in publicly funded activities is a form of racism. To tell children they have to denounce the faith of their parents is a fundamental breach of their human rights.

The other part of this story is one that I don't have the facts on. Why did this become an issue now?  Have Sikhs kids never been allowed to play? If they have always played then why the ban now.  No one from the "outside" including FIFA told them it was a safety concern and QFS has no examples of any safety issues either.  Who are the people on the Board of the QFS and how soon can the soccer parents in Quebec get them thrown out of their positions for there discriminatory behavior.

 

Unionist

This thread drift would be more interesting if the QSF had actually indicated that it had banned turbans because of "secularism" or something similar. In fact, the reason they gave was their cautious interpretation of Law 4, saying that as soon as FIFA clarified it to allow turbans etc., they would comply. They have done so.

In the meantime, the QSF's ignorant and xenophobic statements of "they can play in their back yard" - which IMHO caused more of an international scandal than the mere banning of turbans - and their refusal to explain their rationale to the media and the public and Sikh organizations, or to pro-actively look for accommodation if safety and following the rules was their real concern - all this is indefensible. As was the outcry from anti-Québec revanchists, seizing the latest whiff of scandal to accuse the society as a whole of being racist.

Québec society, like Canadian society, is indeed racist. But this wasn't the incident that nailed it, any more than Ontario's rejection of Sharia law did.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, and I think we've kicked those horses (the technical point of the ban, and the fact that it has been exploited, and that racism is everywhere) to death too.

As Chevy Chase said, I don't judge a man by the colour of his skin....

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

cco wrote:

I'm of the opinion (and others may certainly disagree) that a race is something you're born with, whereas a religion is something you believe. You can't change being Italian, Ukranian, or Polish. You can certainly change your religion, else they wouldn't be competing so hard for converts. Surely, people have gone to their deaths defending their religions. Their loss. And if people have abandoned their religions and still been slaughtered, I grieve for them. But you're still not born with a religion. (There are borderline cases like Judaism where the line between religious belief and ethnic group is blurred.)

Sikhs are actually far less racially and ethnically mixed than people of the Jewish faith. What right should the state have to tell people they cannot display their religious beliefs by wearing a turban or certain kinds of head scarves?  I think that the answer to that is no right at all.  The idea that services that are generally available to all citizens should be restricted on the basis of religious belief is called discrimination. Telling people what they can and cannot believe in is a fundamental intrusion into their human rights. To reiterate what I said ion my earlier post, Sikhs have been part of the fabric of our society for a hundred years. Tell me cco why should citizens be told they do not have the freedom to express their religion outwardly.

onlinediscountanvils

kropotkin1951 wrote:
What right should the state have to tell people they cannot display their religious beliefs by wearing a turban or certain kinds of head scarves?  I think that the answer to that is no right at all.  The idea that services that are generally available to all citizens should be restricted on the basis of religious belief is called discrimination. Telling people what they can and cannot believe in is a fundamental intrusion into their human rights.

Agreed.

cco

Catchfire wrote:
if you don't like the language your family, community and nation speaks, you can just up and change it.

I did. So did my wife. And my grandparents.
kropotkin1951 wrote:
Tell me cco why should citizens be told they do not have the freedom to express their religion outwardly.

They shouldn't. I'm against the ban, as I've said a dozen times. And now it's been scrapped, and that's a good thing.

sherpa-finn

Kroptkin wrote: The other part of this story is one that I don't have the facts on. Why did this become an issue now?  Have Sikhs kids never been allowed to play? If they have always played then why the ban now?

A rough translation of the opening paragraphs of Elkouri's article in La Presse, linked by Lagatta in #134, above.

This story takes place on a soccer field just before a tournament. A referee tells a 15 year old Sikh player: "You can not play with your turban. It is forbidden. " His coaches get involved, "This is a religious issue. You can't ask him to remove it! " The referee, uncompromising, responds with a phrase that oozes intolerance: "He has to decide what is most important: religion or the game."

On other fields at the same tournament, other Sikh players are excluded by referees invoking the same rule. In solidarity with the excluded players, entire teams decide to boycott the tournament. Six games are canceled.

This story happened in 2005 in British Columbia, a province where nearly half of Canada's Sikh population lives. Discrimination and a violation of religious freedoms, said some. A decision dictated by FIFA rules said others. In short, the same debate that is taking place here today was raised there a few years ago.  Was British Columbia accused of being an intolerant, xenophobic province like Quebec is being accused today? No. 

lagatta

I know absolutely nothing about Mme Brigitte Frot. Frot is not a typical "pure-laine" name (lots of Irish names among those, by the way, like Ryan and O'Neill). Googling it briefly there are records of it in France and in Germany, so it may well be Alsatian or Lorrain. Not that this would be any excuse, but I think it might have some relation to her callous "play in your backyard" statement; it might not have the implications it does in North America.

I do hope some of you have read Rima Elkouri's comment piece.

I don't quite agree on signs of religious affiliation - yes, no restriction for people receiving services, but do we want people wearing religious symbols exercising secular authority? And the symbol I have the most problem with in this respect is a big honking cross, in relation to women's reproductive rights.

It was utterly ridiculous to restrict Muslim women wearing hijab from working in daycares here though (I see women in hijabs working in public daycares all the time, so I guess that dumb idea never had legs). Sadly for them and fortunately for Québec society, there are large numbers of highly educated women (here they actually are mostly recent immigrants, from the Maghreb) who wear hijab and face covert employment discrimination - out of fear and ignorance, mostly - who are extremely overqualified for their daycare jobs, and provide a top quality education to our petits enfants.

This question can get a bit complex, as EVERYONE is entitled to full civic rights, and there can be conflicts.

6079_Smith_W

Seems the Vancouver Sun did call the B.C. Association on it, even though the mistake apparently happened at the referee level (see editorial in post #2):

http://www.sikhawareness.com/index.php/topic/7616-bc-soccer-refrees-to-b...

Unionist

Elkouri's article was very good.

Continuing on from sherpa-finn's translation:

Quote:

This woman who foolishly says "let them play in their yard" isn't Québec. No more than the man who says, "they can choose between their religion and soccer", is British Columbia.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The difference between the BC case and the Quebec case is that the racism was not emanating from the provincial organization but from a group of misinformed bigots at the referee level.  The BC Soccer people immediately jumped in with a firm statement upholding the Sikh players' rights and engaged in a retraining program to ensure all the referees in the province knew the proper rules regarding turbans.

So is it possible the QFS fell victim to the same urban myth that emboldened the racists in BC to bar kids from the field?

Quote:

Provincial soccer officials will notify all referees that Sikh players can wear turbans on the field, after a number of boys were prohibited from playing over the weekend.
Referees who told Langley tournament players they couldn't wear turbans may have misinterpreted B.C. Soccer Association rules, said the group's president, Victor Montagliani.

"Unfortunately, this is an issue that when you misinterpret it, it doesn't go well," Montagliani said.
"We do not have a rule that bans religious headgear."

Langley referees and tournament officials said Sunday that referees had been advised during refresher courses that a new international soccer federation rule forbids turbans on the playing field. Because the B.C. Soccer Association goes by the federation's rules, turbans were banned here, the referees were reportedly told.
Montagliani said it's unclear who was giving referees that incorrect information.
"We'll be meeting with the people that are involved over the next week or two and finding out exactly what happened," he said.

...

BY THE BOOK
The Laws of the Game, according to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), do not ban religious headgear:
"A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself/herself or another player.
"Modern protective equipment such as headgear, facemasks, knee and arm protectors made of soft, lightweight, padded material are not considered to be dangerous and are therefore permitted."

http://www.sikhawareness.com/index.php/topic/7616-bc-soccer-refrees-to-b...

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The difference between the BC case and the Quebec case is that the racism was not emanating from the provincial organization but from a group of misinformed bigots at the referee level.

That's a very important distinction.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

cco wrote:
I did. So did my wife. And my grandparents.

I don't understand. If your grandparents changed the language they speak, why did you also have to do it? Or did you change it to something else again?

Anyway, the point is, of course, is that religion is a "choice" like consumerism is a choice, like language is a choice, like capitalism is a choice. They are not circumscribed objects which come to us unencumbered. They come with programming which runs deep, and not only, in the case of religion, identifiable as this or that ritualistic practice. Likewise, this or that ritualistic practice has dimensions which far exceed the act itself -- they have deep-seated ties to relationships, indentity, belonging and so on. Not something you can just easily "choose" not to have.

There's a reason why the dominant strand of atheism resembles secularized Protestantism so much (paging Maximilian Weber).

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