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Quebec Proposes Religious Symbols Ban… with a Few Exceptions

September 11th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

On the left are examples of religious symbols deemed acceptable for public sector employees; On the right examples of religious symbols deemed unacceptable for public sector employees

What gives Quebec?  Seriously, you’re acting very – dare I say it – “un-Canadian” these days.  The recent news reports about a proposed ban on religious symbols in the public sector has me deeply concerned, and rather embarrassed that such blatant discrimination is making headlines around the world, effectively tarnishing the image of my nation.

I’m not going to sugar-coat my opinion.  This policy is blatant discrimination and I have no doubt that it will be challenged and defeated at the highest levels.  What’s more, the list of exceptions is laughable.  For example the ban would not apply to any historical religious symbols in public spaces – which are for the most part Catholic symbols.  It also would not apply to elected officials.  Yes, you read that right.  The politicians trying to push this ban through, wouldn’t actually be effected by the ban.

What this policy WILL do is marginalize large segments of the immigrant population.  It will force people to make a choice between working for their community and honouring their faith.  It also will do very little to actually enshrine secularism into the charter because secularism isn’t about symbols.  It’s about ensuring that public policies aren’t influenced by religious ideology.  Asking someone to forgo wearing a religious headdress isn’t going to change the fact that they are religious.  If the government really wants to ensure secularity, then they need to ensure that policies aren’t being strong-armed by ideologies.

Wait, that sounds familiar too – doesn’t it?  Pot meet kettle.

Many of us would do well to remember that Canada was founded by European settlers seeking religious freedom.  That is our legacy.  That is what makes this nation so great.  Freedom to choose, practice, and express our religious or non-religious proclivities.  What’s more, Canada is known for its multi-cultural mosaic.  Any attempt to homogenize the public should be regarded as an attack on the values of our nation.

Now I know that there are many who won’t agree with my sentiments.  That’s fine.  It’s your right in a free and open society.  I hope though, that those who disagree see the irony in policies such as this that limit personal freedoms.  It’s a slippery slope.

M. xo

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