PQ minister responsible for values charter to meet Muslim groups next week - Macleans.ca
 

PQ minister responsible for values charter to meet Muslim groups next week


 

MONTREAL – The Quebec minister responsible for the government’s proposed charter of values will meet privately with representatives of the Muslim community next week as the backlash against the Parti Quebecois plan continues to grow.

That news emerged as a coalition of Muslim groups held a news conference on Wednesday to speak out against the PQ government’s proposals, which would ban the wearing of prominent religious symbols by public employees.

The group known as Quebec Muslims for Rights and Freedoms claims to represent 50 religious and secular Muslim groups.

A declaration by the coalition says government employees should be allowed to adhere to their political or religious beliefs, and that wearing religious symbols does not contradict or affect the neutrality of the state.

It says members are against any ban on religious symbols that would restrict individuals’ freedom of beliefs and limit their employment opportunities.

The coalition also supports the concept of inclusive secularism which, it adds, has been practised for decades in Quebec.

“We believe inclusive secularism is to not differentiate among citizens based on their religious beliefs or cultural background,” spokesman Samer Majzoub told reporters. “We believe that the state itself has to be secular. In other words, policies should not be created based on religious beliefs or any other beliefs.

“So, in an open secularism, the state includes all citizens and does not discriminate based on any background that they have. We strongly believe that the moment we speak about enclosed secularism, the victims of such a policy would be women.”

A coalition member will be among eight Muslim groups meeting with minister Bernard Drainville next week. A spokesman for the minister says two Muslim groups already met privately with him in August before Drainville publicly released his charter of values plan.

The minister also met with representatives of the Jewish community at the time. They went public with their opposition to the proposals after details of the plan were leaked to the media.

Meanwhile, Drainville has announced Quebecers will have until the end of this month to leave comments — in French or English — on a website set up to gather reaction.

The PQ minister said in a statement that in only two weeks, more than 130,000 Quebecers have already visited the site and more than 16,000 have left comments, although they are not available to the general public to read.

Another demonstration is planned against the charter on Sunday. It’s being organized by a non-partisan group of young professionals.


 

PQ minister responsible for values charter to meet Muslim groups next week

  1. Where is this website to leave comments for the PQ re the Charter of Values?

      • THANKS!

    • Charter of Values- Rabbi Reuben Poupko said it all, that Canada allows “personal religious freedoms” which is great “IF” they keep it personal and do not expand on it by being so demonstrative and decorative by showing it off to everyone which crates an offensive approach to everybody they encounter be it in a service industry or an essential service such as hospitals, policing, fire fighting, or any other public service that could have bearing on where they are coming from and not necessarily a Canadian approach. We are a melting pot, not a place where radicals can accumulate and expound their theories through their appearances and symbols carried over from their “old” country of origin. I believe that Marois is on the right track by separating the pious from their symbols.

      • Give me a break. My doctor walks in with a hijab and I am “offended”? A teacher wears a turban, and suddenly he can’t teach? How convenient that Catholic symbols, which are small, are allowed but larger symbols, like head pieces, aren’t? The charter is NOT secular, it’s pro-Catholic, anti-everyone else. I’m an atheist, but I’m not racist! Mr. Mazjoub’s quote is right on. Secularism protects us from religious law, and it allows us to celebrate our religions or lack thereof without discrimination. This law is especially damaging to the dreams of women who wish to wear a hijab – now they can’t be doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. The REAL purpose of this Charter is simply to convince French-Canadians that their values are SO different from anyone else, that they must separate to retain their identity. It’s part of that “us vs. them” tactic that the PQ survives off of. I believe in secularism and gender equality, not hypocritical racist non-sense.

      • Give me a break. My doctor walks in with a hijab and I am “offended”? A teacher wears a turban, and suddenly he can’t teach? How convenient that Catholic symbols, which are small, are allowed but larger symbols, like head pieces, aren’t? The charter is NOT secular, it’s pro-Catholic, anti-everyone else. I’m an atheist, but I’m not racist! Mr. Mazjoub’s quote is right on. Secularism protects us from religious law, and it allows us to celebrate our religions or lack thereof without discrimination. This law is especially damaging to the dreams of women who wish to wear a hijab – now they can’t be doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. The REAL purpose of this Charter is simply to convince French-Canadians that their values are SO different from anyone else, that they must separate to retain their identity. It’s part of that “us vs. them” tactic that the PQ survives off of. I believe in secularism and gender equality, not hypocritical racist non-sense.

  2. The PQ is right. This should have been done across this country decades ago. PET and his liberalism have run this country into the ground. It was like the Sikh cops who want to wear turbans. What part of “uniform” don’t they understand? If your religion trumps your obligation to everything else than you shouldn’t be working in public or civil service period. What you do as a private citizen is your business, what you do on my dime is mine. I’m sick to death of these immigrants that come here and not only refuse to integrate but demand, actually demand, that we acquiesce to them. Way past due to end the free run on immigration in this country. Time to implement english language and customs laws. Don’t like it? Go somewhere else.