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Amnesty International slams Quebec charter for limiting ‘fundamental rights’


 

MONTREAL – Amnesty International is wading into the debate over Quebec’s proposed charter of values.

The human rights organization says the Parti Quebecois plan would limit two fundamental rights: freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

According to the group, that means the charter would violate Canadian and international law.

The PQ plan announced earlier this month would prohibit public employees from wearing obvious religious symbols, including the hijab.

Amnesty International took issue with one of the stated goals of the charter — that it would promote equality between the sexes.

The group says the proposed law isn’t the best way to ensure women’s rights, and would only force some women to quit their jobs.

“For people, and particularly for women, who might be coerced into wearing a religious symbol, prohibiting them from wearing it will not solve the problem,” Canada’s branch of Amnesty International said in a statement.

“The people who had coerced them will still go unpunished, while the people who have been coerced will be punished in a number of ways, such as losing their jobs and hence their right to work and risking becoming isolated and stigmatized in their communities.”


 
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Amnesty International slams Quebec charter for limiting ‘fundamental rights’

  1. “The people who had coerced them will still go unpunished, while the people who have been coerced will be punished in a number of ways, such as losing their jobs and hence their right to work and risking becoming isolated and stigmatized in their communities.”

    Exactly!

    Not only isolated but possibly further punished by those that coerce them in the first place: access to a job may be a godsend for some of these women as they have a degree of independence in the situation.

    Further to that, if the rules envisioned by the charte result in women losing their jobs, it will reduce affected families finances, which in turn might affect their children’s education and thus slow the recent immigrants full integration as productive members of society.

    I think if anyone were to step back and look at the longer term, they would realize that the religious accoutrements will most likely disappear over time, give it a generation or two; of course there will be pockets of those preserving the traditional ways but these will be declining population. So everyone should just take a breath and let time sort this out.

  2. I respect the division of church and state. Canadian’s inclusive behaviours have reached the point where we have opened the door to such a variety of religious symbols and practices that the rights of the majority to openness and transparency are compromised by religious symbols and dress which even obscure identity. Religious practices outside the workplace have an important role; in the workplace, no symbols, practices or expectations should set a group apart as this creates feelings of exclusion and bias. it’s time that Canadians created a community of goodwill where all are accepted in the workplace based solely on skills, personality and work ethic. It’s time to stop allowing religious practices and symbolic dress to continue to divide Canadians on ethnic lines. If I decide to work in Saudi Arabia, I will have to conform with the tradition of a covered head and other restrictions due to gender restrictions. My husband will conform to other male restrictions. The consequences of nonconformity are not only job loss but other severe penalties. Public education, too, should be based on academic standards not religious values. Again, schools which use a religious framework to offer education whether these be Christian, Islamic, Jewish or Scientology or any other group should not be funded by any portion of taxpayer’s dollars. These institutions often create exclusive groups of students who are taught to hold onto a separate identity (usually religious) which permits little or no integration with other groups after graduation and, in many cases, promotes an exclusivity which often discriminates against women. It’s time for all Canadians, whether third or fourth generation or newcomers to gratefully accept an assimilated Canadian identity which celebrates the peace and prosperity of a nation composed of many cultures working together under a blended common Canadian identity. The divisiveness of religious standards imposed upon government and business must be eliminated.

    • Maybe the problem is you and your unwarranted reactionary feelings. Try fixing yourself and not telling others what to do.

    • “If I decide to work in Saudi Arabia, I will have to conform with the tradition of a covered head and other restrictions due to gender restrictions.”

      But we are not in that country. We are talking about a province of Canada. An argument that refers to the requirements in a different country (and I doubt if many immigrants come from the country you gave as an example) implies that we should be making Canada less democratic by emulating their example.

  3. Kebec is just doing what many people across the country have stated in the privacy kitchen but are afraid to state publicly

    The Political Correctness Police are winning

    • Why are bigots so cowardly?

      • Why don’t you tell us?

        • I imagine thishas something to do with it.

  4. So what is Amnesty going to do – write a stern letter to the Premier and then promise to follow up with an even stronger “open letter” to the editor?

    Amnesty International? LOL

    A useless organization.

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