Now before you rush to the comments section to point out that my two previous posts are incompatible with this statement, hear me out.
A couple of days ago, a group of Sikhs was refused entry into Quebec's Parliament because they refused to give up their ceremonial daggers known as Kirpans.
"Hearings into the accommodation of minority groups were disrupted Tuesday when security agents refused to accommodate four Sikh officials who refused to turn in their ceremonial daggers" Toronto Sun.
"Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to enter because we wear the kirpan, which is a bit ironic because we were here to speak upon the issue of accommodation and we weren't accommodated," said Singh. CBC
By the way, this is the law that would ban the niqib (veil) in some public situations.
The spokesman for the group pointed out to reporters that the kirpan is an 'article of faith' and not a weapon, but take a look at the knife, it looks pretty dangerous to me.
I guess one man's 'article of faith,' is another man's weapon.
While most Canadians overwhelmingly agree with Quebec in matters of religious accommodation, the federal government and the other provincial governments disagree and the liberal media is quick to condemn Quebeckers as intolerant based on this difference of opinion.
Quebeckers are much more sensitive to religious extremism, having been the victim of a domineering church up until the last generation. There remains a great deal of resentment at having ones life controlled by others and seeing a woman wearing a veil is as provocative to Quebec women as a matador's cape thrust before a bull's face.
Where one persons freedom ends and the public begins shall always remain a contentious issue.
Those who say that all religious ceremonies and conventions should be tolerated and accommodated are spouting poppycock.
We don't allow human or animal sacrifice, flagellation, exploitation of children or polygamy (even though this last one may change.)
As a society, we set limits. Where those limits are, remains a fair question.
And so debate over religious accommodation is legitimate.
- Should Muslims be provided prayer rooms in universities?
- Should Hassidic children be excused from studying the standard provincial curriculum
- Should women be allowed to demand to be treated by a female physician or be served by a female public employee?
- Should days off for alternative holidays be provided?
- Should public and private institutions provide for segregated male/female classes.
- Should dangerous religious symbols such as kirpans be carried on airplanes or public buildings?
When it comes to 'hate crimes,' Quebec has the lowest incidence in Canada.
That's right, I bet you didn't know that.
In fact Vancouver, that paragon of tolerance has the highest incidence of hate crimes in Canada (6.3 per 100,000 population)
In 2008 there were 271 hate crimes in Toronto compared to just 38 in Montreal! Link
Of course we are reminded that the boycott of the Le Marcheur shoe store is another act of aggression towards Jews, but when it comes to the campaign of Boycott and Divestment of Israel, Francophone universities have largely steered clear of celebrating "Apartheid week." The intolerance and aggression shown to Jewish students in Anglophone universities like Concordia and other across Canada, towers over anything on the French side.
That's also just the plain truth.
Anyone who calls Quebeckers religiously intolerant by nature, is dead wrong. Statistics don't back up that theory.
Where things go awry is on the language question. There, too many Quebeckers become irrational and intolerant of others.
Again, that's just the plain truth.
As I've always said...... in Quebec it's always about language...but lay off the religious intolerance.