The Quebec Charter of Secularism

The secular charter. Where to begin?

The bill that Pauline Marois has been teasing about all summer finally made it’s way into public view in the recent weeks and “surprise!” it’s every bit the xenophobic, self-centered and, dare I say it, racist document that people feared it would be.

The best description of the bill that I’ve heard so far is “Privileged white person hopes other privileged white people will support bill that removes privileges from non-white people”. While this might sound a little blunt, it isn’t far from the truth of what this so-called charter is looking to accomplish.

The double standard of it all is what sickens me. The PQ are focusing their war of values on the symbols of Islam, Sikhism and Judaism, essentially depriving people who are traditionally “not white” from being able to display their faith and cultural heritage in public, all the while willing to leave crosses (depending on their length) in public spaces because they are very much part of the “Quebec Identity”.

I’m 100% behind the separation of Church and State; the human race has witnessed far too many atrocities when a narrow-minded religious enterprise was able to enact its policies with the full power of the state behind its swings. However, this isn’t about Church and State being bed-buddies, this about the State deciding which Church has a place in it’s society.

As well, the state has little to no right to interfere with the personal lives of its citizens in areas where no one is being harmed. Yes, there are crazy religious cults out there and crazy over-zealous practitioners of virtually every religion (yup, there are even xenophobic, violent Buddhists out there, believe it or not) but this is Canada and the par for the Canadian course is peace and tolerance.

Religions in and of themselves are not bad; a Koran lying on the table, or being recited in an old man’s head as he walks down the street, isn’t harming anyone. The problem with religions is how they are interpreted and then how those interpretations are put into practice.

I’ve also never heard of a man’s turban being used to kill someone, but I’ve heard rumours that crosses were once a popular method.

People should be enraged when people are deprived of their religion and culture just as equally as they should when religion is forced upon others.

Equally so, if this bill passes, who’s to say we won’t see an even more severe one come two or three years down the road? If it’s public offices today, why not extend it to all Quebec business, and then parks and public spaces and just forget altogether that Canada (Quebec included) is a nation made up of many nations? Oh wait, that’s sort of what they are trying to do. Nothing like a little “us vs them” mentality to keep a society healthy.

 

Author: alexander

Drinker of bad wine and writer of many things.