Here we go again: The PQ takes on Crown symbols and hijabs

But crucifixes are OK, of course

CP

TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. – Pauline Marois’s vision for Quebec includes fewer hijabs and fewer symbols of the Crown.

She announced Tuesday that if her Parti Quebecois wins the Sept. 4 election, it will introduce a Charter of Secularism that would forbid public employees from wearing religious symbols on the job — like Muslim head scarves.

But the Charter of Secularism, it seems, would not be applied evenly.

The ban on religious symbols would not extend to employees who wear a crucifix necklace. Nor would it extend to the crucifix hanging in the legislature, which Marois says is part of Quebec’s heritage. The cross first found its way onto the legislative chamber’s wall in 1936 under the government of Maurice Duplessis.

The ban on religious symbols would extend, however, to some non-religious aspects of Quebec’s history as selected by the PQ.

Artistic references to the monarchy would also disappear from the legislature under Marois’ watch. She allowed that “some moldings” might remain.

Marois explained the logic behind the criteria.

“I have a lot fewer qualms regarding the monarchy and it doesn’t bother me to see them disappear,” she said.

As for the crucifix, Marois said keeping the symbol makes perfect sense — even if the state strives for secularism overall.

“Wanting to take a step toward ensuring the neutrality of the state doesn’t mean we deny who we are,” she said while campaigning in Trois-Rivieres, Que. “It simply means we are at a different moment in our history.

“And from this point, we believe that the neutrality of the state and the fundamental values of equality between men and women must guide us in living together in Quebec.”

She says the legislation declaring Quebec secular would turn the page on the reasonable accommodation debate festering in Quebec since 2007.

That year, the now-defunct Action democratique du Quebec made spectacular, if short-lived, political gains as it played to fears that Quebec’s identity was being threatened by multiculturalism.

At the time, some tabloid media carried frequent reports about affronts to Quebec’s culture — such as the case of a sugar shack that served pea soup without pork in order to please a group of Muslim visitors.

In that election, under the resolutely cosmopolitan Andre Boisclair, the PQ shied away from such issues and it suffered its worst defeat in decades. The party has since sought to re-appropriate its mantle, under Marois, as staunch defender of Quebec culture.

Marois said Tuesday that, if elected, her government would be prepared to fight any attempt to stop it from carrying out its plan.

The PQ had earlier opposed Liberal legislation to address reasonable accommodations, saying it didn’t address the issue sufficiently.

The announcement follows earlier PQ declarations that it plans to toughen Quebec’s language laws to protect perceived threats to the survival of French in such places as Montreal.

Marois made her secularism announcement on land belonging to a Christian religious order. She was accompanied by one of her candidates, Algerian-born Djemila Benhabib, an author who has been deeply critical of Islamic fundamentalism and a vocal proponent of secularism.

Benhabib has differed from her party policy in one respect: she suggested that she would prefer that the crucifix also be removed from the legislature. She added later that she was endorsing her party’s position.




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Here we go again: The PQ takes on Crown symbols and hijabs

  1. In some ways their pandering is as loathesome and transparent as that of crapweasel Jason kennedy.

    • “In some ways…” I am not sure what you are trying to say about their “pandering being almost as loathesome as that of Jason Kennedy. What is it that Catholics get a free pass on being racist and anti-gay, etc. but everybody else (ie. born-again Christians are suspect). Catholics don’t allow the gay clubs in their highschools; they don’t allow the public healthcare nurses in their highschools to vaccinate against HPV and NOW we hear from the horse’s mouth that cross’s with jesus hanging from them are OKAY in government buildings but don’t show up with any OTHER religious icons because ONLY Catholic icons are acceptable and our response is to bring up Jason Kennedy because he isn’t a Catholic…what like Chretien and Trudeau and most of the Liberal Quebeckers are? Why are crazy Catholics assumed to have distance between their religious between their religious beliefs and their public policy? Maybe it is time you took a look at the size of their families of origin and the questionable policies coming out of places like Quebec.

      • Jason Kennedy is a devout and traditional Catholic actually.

        We don’t believe in gay marriage and promotion of homosexuality (we know how behavioral genetics works, so we don’t believe people are “born this way”). There are some in the school system who think that HPV vaccine is a tacit approval of sexual activity between minors (though I’d rather the catholic school system just give the vaccine for the inevitable sexual activity and actually teach the doctrine and dogma of the Catholic faith, of which the Catholic educators do neither). I’m not sure how we are racist, as we have the most racially integrated congregation in the country. Heck, I’d say we are the most racially integrated organization in the country.

        Also, yes we do think that our faith should inform our political life and our policy. We are not subjects of some secular order, but free citizens in a democratic society. You include us, problematic beliefs in all, because otherwise we have no incentive to participate in this project known as Canada. If you disenfranchise people, whether they are Catholic, or Muslim, or Socialist or whatever, they simply find other, usually less peaceful, ways to express their political wants and desires.

        The PQ government isn’t particularly Catholic, which is why they are going after a “Charter of Secularism” in the first place. But they are giving Catholics an exemption because 1) They don’t want to alienate a large segment of older Catholic voters and 2) Because even though they don’t go to church and hate it because it doesn’t believe in their left-wing secular values they are so obsessed about worrying that their culture will change to be more integrated and global that they are holding on to any scrap of anything that might be considered “Quebecois”.

        The repugnant thing about this is the social engineering, as social engineering of culture is always repugnant. Just let people go along their own way and they will choose the culture that makes them happy, whether Catholic, Protestant, American, Muslim, Secular or something else.

        The culture war is just various groups pushing their culture on people and people pushing back.

  2. It seems as though the PQ has no problem with being openly racist. I am a proud franco-ontarian and it worries me that keeping the french language is this country is going to be at the expense of other languages, religions or nationalities.
    This isn’t the way to protect culture.

  3. way to reinforce the racist francophone stereotype. how is this level of intolerance and bigotry acceptable?

  4. We are all equal, but some are more equal….

    • …than others.
      Conrad Black comes to mind….

  5. You’ve got to be kidding! Is she for real? Glad I don’t live in Quebec and my guess would be that if she is elected and follows through with her threats there will be another exodus as there was in the 80′s.

  6. Marois is a neo-nazi and should be sent to an internment camp to receive a little of her own medicine.

  7. I thought she was more educated than that but really she is illitrate person.or the parents did not do a good job on her,Iappologise to all muslims on behalf of her.

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