PQ unveils plans to curb religious, individual rights
© Canadian Press photo
A group of women walk to the front of the legislature to demonstrate against the proposed Quebec charter of values Tuesday.
A family flees a fundamentalist Islamic state where women are forced to wear the hijab — a veil which covers the head as a symbol of modesty — at all times in public. So the family comes to Canada and settles in Quebec where they expect to enjoy our much-hyped individual rights and freedoms. Now the Quebec government, with its Charter of Values, is telling this same family that women must take off the hijab if they are in a position of authority.
What does this family now think of Canada when basic civil rights can be revoked at any time? Are women any more or any less a person by choosing to wear a hijab? Or is a Jewish man who wears a yarmulke or a nun who wears a habit? This so-called Charter of Values is really an attempt to stamp out religious rights.
Does the PQ government seriously believe people will cast some sort of religious hold on those in their care by wearing a religious symbol? Isn’t just the opposite true, that young people will grow up without fear of religious symbols after being exposed to them in various sectors of Quebec society?
Isn’t this charter ultimately hypocritical of the PQ government which lays claim to supporting an equal, secular society and thus should support the elimination of prejudice instead of state sanctioning it. Quebec would be raising its children to be xenophobic and mistrusting of anyone who looks different.
The fact the law is being proposed at all, and has considerable support among the Quebec population, is frightening. This is not progress, it’s retrograding into the Middle Ages.
Premier Pauline Marois is looking desperately for an issue to take the minds of Quebecers away from a struggling economy and endless scandals in Quebec municipal governments. It’s likely this is just setting the stage as an election issue, to show Quebecers they must have their own country since the rest of Canada is opposing this legislation.