Some pointed out that this opinion is at odds with what has been a common theme that I have maintained wherein I've advanced the position that Quebecers are a generally kind, gentle and no more racist than anyone else in Canada.
In this regard it's important to note that racial incidents of all kinds, including overturned gravestones, hateful graffiti, street confrontations or spoken, written or online hate is no more predominant in Quebec than elsewhere in Canada, perhaps less so.
It's hard to make sense of statistics, not many religious or linguistic communities keep good data on the subject, but in terms of prosecutions for hate crimes, Quebec actually has proportionally less.
Again its hard to put these statistics in context. Take for example the fact that there is twice as many antisemitic incidents in Ontario as compared to Quebec, when based on population, there should only be 50% more.
But then consider that there are twice as many Jews to be discriminated against, living in Ontario as in Quebec, so the numbers can be seen to line up pretty evenly.
To say that Quebec is a racist province is to say that Ontario is one as well. It's a cheap shot.
But one thing is evident, that incidents against Muslim women are certainly on the rise, fuelled of course by the PQ government's attempt to ban Muslim religious regalia.
"A network of women's centres says it's seen an alarming rise in intolerance, racism and violence against Muslim women in Quebec, coinciding with the debate over the Parti Québécois government’s proposed Charter of Quebec values. LinkOf course these incidents are the work of a tiny minority of misguided lowbrows, who believe that it's their
But in truth, we still live in a province where these incidents are an embarrassment to the majority of citizens of all backgrounds, who condemn these actions unreservedly.
But like it or not, this anti-Muslim crusade has unleashed a barrage of emotion, some of which can only be described as ignorance and hate, aided and abetted by Bernard Drainville and the PQ who and which have made dire warnings of impending doom, without a shred of evidence.
Mr. Drainville cannot tell us how many government employees wear these beastly religious accoutrements or how many 'religious accommodations' are being meted out.
In truth, he hasn't a clue. It is policy based on whim.
Drainville demands that judges across the province be forbidden from wearing religious clothing, when a quick search reveals that not one judge does so today.
But good people can be led astray by con artists, we've seen it before in civilized and democratic countries where unscrupulous politicians have dragged citizens over to the Dark Side like Darth Vader, in order to maintain or advance their political position.
Making people afraid of the unknown or scapegoating a minority is by no means a new strategy, it has been practiced as long as mankind has organized itself into societies.
Drainville has made many of the good people of Quebec (English AND French) fear Muslims, just because they are Muslims.
Make no mistake about it, this law couldn't pass if it targeted Jews or Sikhs alone, there aren't enough of them.
There are about 8,000 Sikhs in Quebec and if half the men wear turbans, it makes for just 2,000 offenders.
As for the Jews, aside from the Hasids, I don't think 5% of the men wear kippas outside of synagogue, in their daily life, meaning that there is no more than 2,000 Jews who 'offend.' and these gentlemen are hardly a threatening lot.
And truthfully, Jews who are inclined to wear a kippa in a hospital (just about the only place they work for the government) can easily switch to a baseball cap, its effect is the same and who's going to ban baseball caps?
But the Muslims are a different story, aside from being the focus of a considerable fear campaign, whipped up by Darth Drainville, many, many Muslim women wear religious head dress, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 50,000.
It is the fear that Muslims will do here what they did in Europe that drives the Charter of Values debate and that gentle readers is a fear that is hard to be reckoned with.
That the government pretends that the debate can be calm and serene, is at odds with the strategy of creating fear.
How on Earth could the PQ otherwise explain the selection of a family of redneck Muslim-bashers to be one of the first to testify before the Parliamentary hearings into the Charter. Watch the video (with Eng. subs)
It surely set a tone, one which the PQ set in motion.
Every time we hear of an incident of Muslim-bashing, Drainville is first to condemn the incident, claiming that it isn't the Quebec way.
But he understands the essential element in fear-mongering. Always claim the high ground but encourage the nastiness.
If you wonder if my attitudes over the good spirit of Quebecers, their sense of decency and democracy and openness has changed, my answer is NO.
We are being tested by an evil mastermind named Darth Drainville, but in the end, I hope he will suffer a similar fate.