Charter of Quebec Values would ban ‘overt’ religious symbols

RNS () — Quebec’s government this week introduced its much-discussed Charter of Quebec Values, which would ban “overt and conspicuous” … Continued

RNS () — Quebec’s government this week introduced its much-discussed Charter of Quebec Values, which would ban “overt and conspicuous” religious symbols worn by government employees.

Pushing the twin ideals of secularism and separation from Canada, the Parti Quebecois’ plan would prohibit public employees from wearing large crosses and crucifixes, Islamic headscarves, Sikh turbans and Jewish yarmulkes as a way to establish “religious neutrality” in public.

The prohibitions would apply to civil servants, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses and public day care employees.

Elected officials would be exempt. Universities and municipalities could seek a renewable, five-year exemption.

“The time has come to rally around our common values,” Bernard Drainville, the minister in charge of the plan, said at a news conference Tuesday (Sept. 10). “They define who we are. Let’s be proud of them.”

The government also introduced a visual graphic to explain the plan, detailing what is deemed ostentatious and what is acceptable. Small earrings showing a religious symbol are fine; a hijab is not.

A bill will be introduced this fall in the National Assembly, but the minority government of Premier Pauline Marois will need opposition support for the measure to pass.

The plan has been widely denounced as xenophobic, even racist. But polls have shown that a majority of Quebecers approve the measures.

Meanwhile, Canada’s federal government says that if the charter is approved, Ottawa would order a review by its Justice Department.

“We would challenge any law that we deem unconstitutional, that violates the fundamental constitutional guarantees to freedom of religion,” said Jason Kenney, the federal multiculturalism minister.

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  • markjuliansmith1

    A slave may enjoy being a slave but does this mean the rest of us have to enjoy the spectacle of the public display of such a heinous state of subservience to master in our Public Square.

    I appears to me a possible connection exists between the relative subservience of women, degree of textual construct, public displays of subservience to Man (forget about God HE does not exist, this has been set up to train women to be subservient to Man under the auspices of a fictitious God figure whose authority for imposing such a despicable condition is unable to be challenged. How do you argue with an all-powerful pretend person?) and a correlation to cultural growth of fundamentalism, feeding into Muslim violence internal/external, given these varying degrees of public displays of Muslim women’s subservience within any society – I have a feeling there is going to be a more than significant connection between the relative degree of publicly displayed subservience and attempted/actual violence against Other.

    It is important to determine how true wearing the Muslim veil, niqab and Burqa is a ‘free choice’ devoid of cultural pressure to conform and the various psychological states and relative power states each relatively inform for women – also the impact on the relative level of acceptance of the subjugation of women and lessening of respect for women equality which may be associated with such states and if the feminist construct and derived relative power of women means such depictions of subservience should be banned from the Public Square to prevent new citizens from believing such a state is acceptable.

    Societies should be allowed to choose, based on scientifically derived evidence, whether or not a culture is to be allowed into the Public Square, particularly cultures whose codex contains a genocide construct of Other and subjugation of women thrown in.