Quebec Charter Of Values

Jan 2, 2014


Discussion by: Qcm@rk

I just wanted to know if you guys have heard of what we are trying to accomplish in Quebec (Canada). This controvertial Charter of Values would ban visible religious items such as burka, crucifix in school,etc from public and gouvernement space. We have been called racists, intolerants and many other named for trying to put in place such a law. What do you think of such a law? Do you think it interfere with the Constitution and the freedom of religion act?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_Charter_of_Values

 

87 comments on “Quebec Charter Of Values

  • 1
    jonskiles says:

    If you are talking about a student wearing a cross or some other religious symbol I think you would be found in violation of the 1st Amendment’s free exercise clause.



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  • 2
    Red Dog says:

    In reply to #1 by jonskiles:

    If you are talking about a student wearing a cross or some other religious symbol I think you would be found in violation of the 1st Amendment’s free exercise clause.

    Quebec is in Canada so the first amendment doesn’t apply, although they probably have something similar. Although whatever their laws I know the Canadian laws aren’t as rigid on speech as the US, for example there are hate speech laws in Canada that wouldn’t be constitutional in the US.



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  • 3
    Red Dog says:

    I don’t know about Canadian laws but I agree with the critics, this is IMO just a waste of time. What’s next are you going to ban people wearing clothing that supports their local hockey team? My first principle is unless there is clear evidence that someone is harming another person then the government should not interfere with personal decisions like this. The idea of a “jewelry police” seems like the ludicrous eventual result:

    “excuse me mam I need to check that necklace eh? let’s see sparkly unicorn, let me run down the list, not a crucifix, not a Star of David, OK that’s good you can wear it, have a nice day eh”



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  • 4
    canadian_right says:

    Most Canadians think this “Charter of Values” is a misguided, even bigoted, mistake and should not become law.

    As much as I dislike much about religion, I have no right to stop other people from doing harmless things like wearing a cross or head scarf. It is only when religious belief leads to harmful actions that the rather big hammer of the law should step in.



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  • Its difficult to have a reasonable debate about this when almost all reports exaggerate the effects. The proposed bill is available here:
    http://www.assnat.qc.ca/en/travaux-parlementaires/projets-loi/projet-loi-60-40-1.html
    and the gist seems to be on page 6 of the pdf. Almost every clause starts with “In the exercise of their functions …” and the intent
    is to limit the overt display of religious symbols and beliefs during those times only. It says nothing at all about what state employees do on their own time, nor what others do at any time (except for the requirement the people most “ordinarily” have their faces uncovered when receiving services).

    That said, I still don’t have a fixed opinion on this, but its not nearly as draconian as is ordinarily presented.



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  • 6
    Aureliano Buendia says:

    With regard to burka, hijab or niqam, I know that is not islamic symbol. It is a part of the Arabian culture, not islamic culture, because islam is not just Arabia. That is the big problem of muslims. They identified islam to Arabian culture; they use Arabian name, wear Arabian cultural clothes (even they live in some cold place xD).. etc



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  • 7
    digibud says:

    A ban on the burqa I understand when entering places like court houses and governmental or even private businesses. At least I understand banning people from covering their face. Cover your hair and body, but not your face. That makes sense and I see no reason for any religious accomodation, but a person wearing a trinket? I can see banning governmental employees from displaying religious symbols and I think employers should be allowed to ban that too but I’m clueless regarding Canadian law.



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  • 8
    Jim Royal says:

    To those asking whether this charter is in violation of existing laws… the answer is almost certainly yes. I doubt vey much whether this charter would survive a legal challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. If it passes into law, I expect an immediate legal challenge the moment someone tries to enforce it.

    In discussion with those who either support this law, or who are unsure, I sometimes posit this hypothetical scenario: Suppose you have an office of the revenue agency that has two female employees, both of whom deal with the public. One is a white Christian, while the other is a middle-eastern atheist. Both wear head scarves for reasons related to fashion (or a bad hair day), not religion. But the white woman is wearing a small but visible cross — small enough to skirt the law. Which of the two do you think will get a lecture from their employer about properly observing this law?

    Of course, in this scenario, the brown-skinned atheist would get the lecture, and would be required to modify her appearance despite not engaged in any religious activity whatsoever. The white woman would not be required to change her behaviour in any way. Application of this law turns immediately into racial profiling.



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  • 9
    Simon Tuffen says:

    Secularism should be about preventing privilege on the basis of religious belief or no religious belief. It should not be about a blanket ban on everything religious.

    If a school has a uniform policy, then it must apply equally to everyone of all faiths and none. That may include banning Burkas if they happen to contravene the uniform policy. But the policy should not say, “Islamic dress such as Burkas are banned.” It should say something like, “All head coverings are banned.”

    A necklace with a crucifix should not be banned unless all necklaces are banned. If people are allowed to wear non-religious symbols on their necklaces, they should be allowed to wear religious symbols.



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  • 11
    EvolutionCricket says:

    The Charter of Rights and Freedoms would essentially overrule such a law in Quebec. Quebecers can go the Russian route and attempt to establish unpopular laws (such as Russia’s vile anti-gay laws) as an ultra-nationalist middle-finger to the rest of the world and establish it as another step towards separation from Canada. Plenty of Quebecers would like to live in an isolated xenophobic bubble of only Francophone culture, language and religion, generously allowing non-Francophones to exist out of the kindness of their ultra-nationalist hearts. But I can’t see this law being passed or enforced without international condemnation.

    It also doesn’t surprise me that some Americans think the first amendment applies to countries that are not the United States.



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  • 12
    Muljinn says:

    In reply to #10 by Mr DArcy:

    It would seem that not only the religious can be zealots.

    In this instance, it’s being pushed by a gang of idiots who happen to make up the provincial government in Quebec at the moment, the Parti Quebecois. Basically, they’re racist jack-offs, cloaking themselves in secularism as a cover for their hate on for anyone who isn’t (to use their term) pure laine Quebecois, that is to say, white, French and, mostly, Catholic.

    Because Quebec has such a big chunk of the seats in the House of Commons, the federal government here in Canada has a long standing habit of spinelessness towards demands from Quebec. Some of their complaints are legit to be sure, but their continual threats of breaking up the country if they don’t get their way is getting -really- annoying.



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  • 13
    David R Allen says:

    I would be opposed to the Quebec Charter. It’s getting close to banning Richard Dawkins wearing his scarlet “A” lapel badge. A slippery slope.

    I also think it is the wrong way for the secular movement to pursue an enlightened community. Prohibition, whether it is alcohol in the 1930’s, drugs now, or attempts to change people thoughts, always fail. Throughout the history of time, banning stuff has never worked. If the secular movement is serious about the political methods required to neutralize the excesses of religion in society, then it can only be slowly, slowly campaign with cogent arguments, and persistent questioning of decisions based on religion. I like A C Grayling’s approach of determined and irrefutable argument to demolish religious based decisions. I suspect that militant in your face atheist attacks only push the moderates towards the fundamentalists. The moderates are our allies, not enemies. These are the guys who will vote with us if cultivated, to sideline the extremes of religious fundamentalism. And mostly, they do no serious harm.

    So if there was a demonstration against this law in Quebec, I would be marching with the religious opposing its introduction, and at the same time dropping a seeds of wisdom to my fellow marchers that might show fruit in the future.

    My test is, “First, do no harm.” If a persons actions do no harm, then I don’t particularly care either way. Wearing a covered face does harm to society, because it is a threat to security, and could be used as a device for criminal behaviour. It also does harm to a woman who is forced to wear it, but not to one who voluntarily wears it. It must be clear to all in a society, that the choice to wear hijab, is solely the woman’s. If a person wears a cross while serving me at some counter, I don’t care. If you make an issue of the wearing of a cross, you’ve just created a “Division” in society, not a coming together.



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  • 14
    naskew says:

    I am generally not opposed to the idea that Government should be secular but where are you going to draw the line? I mean with the Christmas holiday just behind us are you going to ban Christmas decorations on public buildings? Would it be illegal for state employees to request leave during religious holidays?

    I do have the point of view that any religious observation should not impact the member of the public using the service. So, for example, a deaf person that relies on lip reading should not be refused service because the local authority employee demands to wear a burka. I also firmly believe that religious belief should not impact law. But how do you separate the two? What law is common sense and what law is religious?

    Personally I think that atheism, or rather certain atheists, do run the risk of simply alienating others including the agnostic. To a certain extent this is inevitable as our belief in a lack of a deity is totally at odds with their fundamental belief. But I do not believe it is necessary to take the stance that ‘mangers outside city hall’ are wrong to be a good atheist.



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  • 15
    DocWebster says:

    I have a problem with anyone but me deciding what I can wear if there isn’t any safety or nudity concerns. On the whole I think that’s the reasoning of a great majority of people. Stick to worrying about safety and nudity and leave the rest up to the individual. Now there will be those that want to force their whims upon others so limits have to be set out as to what constitutes safety concerns and nudity concerns but that shouldn’t be too difficult. as for baubles costumes, everything that passes muster on my 2 concerns is open season to my mind. Provided, of course, the wearing of such is the choice of the wearer.



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  • 16
    naskew says:

    In reply to #15 by DocWebster:

    I have a problem with anyone but me deciding what I can wear if there isn’t any safety or nudity concerns.

    Why should someone else’s nudity be an issue? What is too much nudity? Does level of tolerable nudity depend on gender?



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  • I don’t really care what individuals believe, or wear. What institutions do or display is more important for me. No burkas / batman face masks though. I like to see who I’m talking to.



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  • 18
    SaganTheCat says:

    better add to that band t shirts, sports strips, any expression of political alegence or publicly expression a favorite cake recipie

    give it up. you’re in freedom of expression teratory



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  • 19
    jonskiles says:

    To those of you who thought my response was based on a view the U.S. Constitution applies to the world please understand you can be just as comfortable and somewhat more accurate in viewing me as simply an ignorant American. I read the question as asking for an opinion on whether similar legislation would be appropriate in the U.S. I get the fact our Constitution does not apply outside the U.S. The NSA has done a very good job as of late reminding the world of that fact. Just to be safe…that was meant to be ironic not a suggestion I am a fan of wiretapping the world.



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  • 21
    Alexinpessac says:

    Here in France there has been a law for several years which bans burkas in the street. Most French people actually support this law as they see the burka as a symbol of the oppression of women. I teach in a school near Bordeaux and technically the kids aren’t supposed to wear crucifixes, but on the rare occasion I see one around a kid’s neck I ignore it – common sense prevails as I reckon it’s harmless. I support the ban on headscarves in schools, however, and it’s never been a problem in my 13 years as a teacher. To be honest, religion is a subject which never, ever crops up in the classroom, French kids these days seem largely immune to it thanks to our secular society.



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  • 22
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #21 by Alexinpessac:

    I support the ban on headscarves in schools, however, and it’s never been a problem in my 13 years as a teacher. To be honest, religion is a subject which never, ever crops up in the classroom, French kids these days seem largely immune to it thanks to our secular society.

    Isn’t that just the most interesting statement? “it’s never been a problem in my 13 years as a teacher.” In fact, wouldn’t you say that this opinion extends out to the country in general? Based on reports, apparently the headscarf ban went over quite smoothly with a only a few fringe fundamentalists creating a public protest. It should be said that many Muslim girls and women were relieved to be granted the freedom to wear what they want to school. The headscarf law was an effective check on the power of the “brothers” ability to intimidate women and girls in their communities. Anyone who thinks that burkas, nicabs, and hejabs are a womans/girls choice are mistaken and haven’t done their homework on this subject. (I would be happy to point anyone in the direction of this homework)

    Muslim women want the same things that western women want: access to good education, jobs, health care, safe environment to raise children. The very people who force them to wear these revolting cover-ups are the ones who want to deny them those things. Let the state push back against the reactionary forces of fundamentalism.

    There’s no shortage of comments around here of how Muslims won’t assimilate and force their bad lifestyle on people in their new countries, but here we have an example in France of how the state did act on behalf of Muslim girls by giving them the freedom to assimilate, at least for their school day if nothing else. If these women come to a new country and want to assimilate and be productive citizens then let’s help them do it! What the fundamentalists want most of all is to keep all of their victims secluded in an Islamic ghetto with no contact with the secular, progressive, feminist kaffar in the new country. These women need help to hold their own and we in the west should do everything to provide that help. So the Christians won’t be allowed their crosses and Richard won’t be allowed his lapel A, it’s worth it all around.



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  • 23
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #22 by LaurieB:

    I think requiring kids in school to be uniform in dress is an excellent idea. It is vitally important they have a sense of purposeful community there. As for the wearing of bondage gear in public, I think it in very poor taste (would prefer I didn’t have to explain it to my kids about S&M) but creating a law against wearing it in public is a serious undercutting of simpler laws which should be used to help all unwilling “masochists”. The use of existing laws to protect bullied people (and I mean Burka wearing women here specifically) from their bully is what needed to happen. THIS is what would truly reach into oppressive communities and give notice that our existing laws are for everyone. The burka ban is far too squeamish in its dealing in this often bullying-rooted phenomenon.

    Currently, there is a growing set of adverts in the UK about bullying in relationships. They are brilliant IMO. Starting with the anger prone and violent adolescent male they have moved on to the subtler psychological bullying of partners by men (the example is about her wearing clothing acceptable to him). Burqua wearing could fit right in with this. Spending the money on telling people they are free to behave and dress as they wish without duress from others and that society stands by the side of the bullied to help and bringing cases to court of those bullied women would achieve the clarity of purpose that is currently missing. (Male Muslims interviewed regarding the French BB legislation spoke of compliance so as not to offend their “host nation” with overt symbols of Islam, totally failing to accept that sexist oppression of women was the issue.) Petty and meddlesome legislation weakens simpler and more principled prior law which should always be used in preference. It creates precedents for worse, and allows society off the hook of making its existing laws work.

    The Quebec stuff here looks reasonable to me, focused as it is on work/school wear. Discovering your nurse was a heavy-duty Catholic, would be disconcerting for me in the ICU. Anyone needing me to see a dying man nailed to a cross around her/his neck, may have motives quite other than relieving my suffering here and now.

    (Laurie, would love to be pointed at the homework.)



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  • 24
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #23 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #22 by LaurieB:

    The homework:

    1. Here is the website of Karima Bennoune. Her recent book is Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, Untold Stories From The Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism. This book was featured on this site for discussion. I can’t get that page to come up in the search feature, my bad, but we may have crossed paths on that comments section too. I can’t say enough about this book. It is a window into the world of progressives who are risking their lives on a daily basis to fight fundamentalism. To understand the degree to which women are forced to wear the hejab read about the level of fear and intimidation that exists in North Africa and the Middle East in the past 20 years in this book. There are other articles on Bennoune’s website as well as interviews and book related info. This is a great place for anyone to start if they are looking to get some general understanding of the state of affairs in that part of the world and will also point the reader in the direction of other key players and their human rights groups that are forging ahead in the fight against fundamentalism.

    http://karimabennoune.com/

    After that I recommend an article by the same author. It was published as chapter 5 in the book Human Rights Advocacy Stories by Deena Hurwitz, 2009. The chapter by Bennoune is an analysis of the French headscarf ban which I referred to in previous comment.

    http://www.slate.com/media/22/CHAP5.Bennoune.Headscarves.pdf

    Here is another of her articles that I really appreciate.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=989066

    I think requiring kids in school to be uniform in dress is an excellent idea.

    I’m conflicted on the school uniform idea. While I see the value of eliminating the whole outrageous fashion statement display in schools which might distract students from their intellectual pursuits, still, I can’t seem to shake my perspective of what it was like to be a child in the 60’s and a teen in the 70’s and watch the public school dress codes finally allow the girls to wear pants (not jeans mind you) and when I arrived at middle and high school we were finally allowed to wear jeans and other clothing that was street acceptable. I haven’t forgotten what freedom it was for us girls to be given the gift of self expression in those wonderful years of social upheaval. I realize that I have just fortified the arguments of my opponents but it must be said nevertheless. I must say that I strongly value our right to wear what we want. That is is the key phrase, is it not? And even given this perspective, and in addition to my thirty years in and out of North African culture, on balance I still come out in favor of the action taken by France on this issue in support of it’s policy of laicite.

    THIS is what would truly reach into oppressive communities and give notice that our existing laws are for everyone. The burka ban is far too squeamish in its dealing in this often bullying-rooted phenomenon.

    I’m all for community outreach and I want more aggressive action in this way. Those adverts/commercials for the anti-bullying message sound very interesting. I’d like to hear more about that and I’d love to have a chit chat with some of the women that they are aimed at to get their take on the matter. Do they realize that these ads are aimed at them? Can they identify with them or do they think these are aimed at the non-Muslim Brit women? Do the Muslim women perceive the message to be just a bunch of Kaffirs who are trying to undermine their religion? Interesting indeed but I fear it’s not enough to breach the barricades that have been constructed in the minds of Muslims against the secular societies all around them. I hope to be proven wrong though ! 🙂

    We should keep in mind one difference here. If I, a female WASP in the US was being beaten in my own home, saw an ad on TV offering help, I would know that my community would support me and insist that I leave him etc. However, I have my doubts that an immigrant Muslim woman would see it that way. The Koran gives husbands the right to beat their wives and this must put those women into a terrible conflict between religion/community/culture vs surrounding non-Muslim new society. Still, I favor an aggressive approach to inform these women of their legal rights and make it as easy as possible to strike out on their own, with their children as we possibly can, given the constraints of budgets of course.

    Petty and meddlesome legislation weakens simpler and more principled prior law which should always be used in preference. It creates precedents for worse, and allows society off the hook of making its existing laws work.

    I agree that this is something to avoid and that’s why I am following the progress of the French model quite closely, as are the Canadians, hopefully.

    Anyone needing me to see a dying man nailed to a cross around her/his neck, may have motives quite other than relieving my suffering here and now.

    Waaaaay too scary!!



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  • 25
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #24 by LaurieB:

    In reply to #23 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #22 by LaurieB:

    The homework:

    Many thanks for this. This shall become my homework too. It will probably get handed in late though…

    I tried not to actually say uniform, merely invoke the value of a sufficient uniformity. (My Grammar School started out all gowns and mortar boards and uniform inspections but 1968 hit and I remember going to school one snowy morning in my mother’s old fur coat and my pony tail tucked up into a Khrushchev fur hat. I I had some sort of period tunic underneath and mid calf boots. I didn’t stand out, though every time I recall it I die a little.). I think schools do a good job now in striking a balance between a cohering uniformity and an all out fashion war.

    The anti-bullying ads at present are not aimed at anything other than mainstream (white!) culture. At present, they would probably run a mile from using any non-white faces precisely for reasons of being thought “racist”. What would be great though is to risk taking them into such areas, in a montage of examples of say psychological bullying. We have to be less prissy about our disapprovals. As I keep saying communities aren’t legal entities, especially not their self appointed leaders. We must pay them less heed than the individuals that comprise them and who are legal entities, entitled to all the rights and privileges that the state affords.

    Still, I favor an aggressive approach to inform these women of their legal rights and make it as easy as possible to strike out on their own, with their children as we possibly can, given the constraints of budgets of course.

    This is exactly right. We have to spend the money and prepare to publicise this despite the PC backlash.

    I was earlier arguing that whilst I dislike society telling people what they can and can’t wear as a solution to an identical problem, I would love that those wearing bondage gear were targeted by the police and social workers to receive kind words and a leaflet offering substantial help and a phone line if needed if they are suffering from bullying.



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  • 26
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #25 by phil rimmer:

    I had some sort of period tunic underneath and mid calf boots. I didn’t stand out, though every time I recall it I die a little.

    hahaha! fantastic. I will now confess to having some worn-to-threads Levi jeans that were completely covered with embroidery that I did myself. There were flowers and cringeworthy statements on the jeans (so super meaningful at the time, no I will not say what they are!) and peace signs and that Rolling Stones sassy lips logo, of course. So predictable. I wasn’t allowed to wear these (by my parents) so I used to leave the house in the morning with boring conventional jeans on and change into my beloved hippy jeans when I entered the school. Before going home I’d change back to the boring jeans and stash the beloved ones in my locker. There were plenty of fights over my refusal to wear a bra for the whole decade that was the 70’s. sigh. Don’t worry about the period tunic, fur coat etc.

    ~snickers~

    This is exactly right. We have to spend the money and prepare to publicise this despite the PC backlash.

    I’d like to see some TV ads that simply state this: Hitting is a crime. Don’t hit your spouse. Don’t hit children. You will be arrested. This will stay on your permanent record for the rest of your life. Do not force your wife to stay in the house when she wants to leave. This is kidnapping. Kidnapping is a crime. You will be arrested… Too blunt?

    Alternatively, and more realistically, Ayaan Hirsi Ali recommends a detailed conversation with immigrants that explains the laws and expectations of their new country and society. Immigrants may be surprised to hear that even though their religion has no problem with hitting and beating others, the new legal system that they will live under doesn’t tolerate it and if this bad behavior comes to the attention of the authorities then the consequences will be harsh.

    I would love that those wearing bondage gear were targeted by the police and social workers to receive kind words and a leaflet offering substantial help and a phone line if needed if they are suffering from bullying.

    et-hem. Well, I can see that the bondage bunch has caught your attention and you may have a bee in your bonnet there Phil…heh. It’s just that when I see the Goths or bondage wearing individuals out in public I never considered the possibility that they were being forced to wear the gear by someone else. I thought it was self expression. If you find out that it’s all consensual, will you be ok with it then?

    Hang loose on the bondage thing Phil. It’s all good 😀



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  • 27
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #26 by LaurieB:

    In reply to #25 by phil rimmer:

    Hang loose on the bondage thing Phil. It’s all good 😀

    LOL. Bondage gear is my smart alecky phrase for burkas. (Should’ve put it in quotes.) I’ve got that other thing under control now.



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  • 28
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #27 by phil rimmer:

    LOL. Bondage gear is my smart alecky phrase for burkas. (Should’ve put it in quotes.) I’ve got that other thing under control now.

    Ohhhhh! I get it now! Yes, I really, really do! What a relief. I did think the bondage thing was just a little too random, but whatever. 😀



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  • 29
    nick keighley says:

    In reply to #3 by Red Dog:

    I don’t know about Canadian laws but I agree with the critics, this is IMO just a waste of time. What’s next are you going to ban people wearing clothing that supports their local hockey team? My first principle is unless there is clear evidence that someone is harming another person then the government should not interfere with personal decisions like this. The idea of a “jewelry police” seems like the ludicrous eventual result:

    “excuse me mam I need to check that necklace eh? let’s see sparkly unicorn, let me run down the list, not a crucifix, not a Star of David, OK that’s good you can wear it, have a nice day eh”

    what about satanic symbolism? Are inverted crosses allowed?



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  • 30
    nick keighley says:

    In reply to #23 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #22 by LaurieB:

    I think requiring kids in school to be uniform in dress is an excellent idea. It is vitally important they have a sense of purposeful community there.

    A dress code, ok. But a school uniform? no. I hated school uniform.



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  • 31
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #30 by nick keighley:

    In reply to #23 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #22 by LaurieB:

    I think requiring kids in school to be uniform in dress is an excellent idea. It is vitally important they have a sense of purposeful community there.

    A dress code, ok. But a school uniform? no. I hated school uniform.

    But I explicitly didn’t say A uniform.



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  • 32
    nick keighley says:

    In reply to #25 by phil rimmer:

    I tried not to actually say uniform, merely invoke the value of a sufficient uniformity. (My Grammar School started out all gowns and mortar boards and uniform inspections but 1968 hit and I remember going to school one snowy morning in my mother’s old fur coat and my pony tail tucked up into a Khrushchev fur hat. I I had some sort of period tunic underneath and mid calf boots. I didn’t stand out, though every time I recall it I die a little.).

    good grief. Where did you go to school? in 1969 they had me in shorts. In winter. In rural Derbyshire (central uk and hilly. we had proper snow in them days). I don’t know where other posters live but school uniforms around here look pretty similar to the ones I remember. I don’t see schoolkids in jeans. And I watch people going into London (I’m catching a train in the other direction) and they look pretty uniform. (I’m not a fan of suits for everyday wear)



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  • 33
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #32 by nick keighley:

    In reply to #25 by phil rimmer:

    good grief. Where did you go to school? in 1969 they had me in shorts.

    Liverpool. John Lennon’s old school. I was 15 and the school had just morphed from a grammar to a comprehensive. We suddenly had astonishing freedom, by virtue of our age and the age. A group of us were thespians, other groups, artists, musicians. We produced alternate school plays, magazines. The film club (which we ran) put on Jean Luc Godard and Lindsay Anderson. Exciting times.

    A few years after leaving the whole thing rather fell to bits. It was in no sense a sustainable regime.



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  • This Canadian does not care what is on a person’s head, but rather what is in it. Banning religious head coverings and jewellery is downright oppressive. I would not agree to be lawfully discriminated against for wearing an atheist T-shirt or placing a Darwin fish on my car bumper. Why is it okay for them to cherry-pick what is acceptable?



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  • 36
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #34 by Cree:

    This Canadian does not care what is on a person’s head, but rather what is in it. Banning religious head coverings and jewellery is downright oppressive. I would not agree to be lawfully discriminated against for wearing an atheist T-shirt or placing a Darwin fish on my car bumper. Why is it okay fo…

    This is about public servants. Can they come to work dressed any which way? Most jobs have dress requirements.



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  • I am aware of that, and I am a public servant myself for another Canadian government (every province and territory has its own government and in addition there is the federal government). Dress requirements should not extend to banning hijabs, crosses, turbans, etc. Fortunately, I do not work in for the government of Quebec so if the ruling should pass, neither I nor my coworkers will be affected. However, if we did, I would be sad to see my educated, talented, hardworking colleagues leave the public service and they would – devout Muslims will not remove their hijabs nor will Sikh men remove their turbans (as only a few examples). And why should they? It does not interfere with their ability to do their work.

    In reply to #36 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #34 by Cree:

    This Canadian does not care what is on a person’s head, but rather what is in it. Banning religious head coverings and jewellery is downright oppressive. I would not agree to be lawfully discriminated against for wearing an atheist T-shirt or placing a Darwin fish on my car…



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  • In reply to #35 by Alexinpessac:

    Cree – read LaurieB’s first post, she explains it better than I could.

    In the case of the Quebec proposition to ban religious wear from public servants, we are not talking about school children – we are talking about adults who have made a conscious decision to follow their religion or culture. Why should they need to remove their religious head covering, jewellery etc. when it has no bearing on their ability to do their job effectively?



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  • 39
    Alexinpessac says:

    In reply to Cree – because some – admittedly not all – women are bullied into wearing it. If you ban it the bullying stops. As I said, the contributor LaurieB explains it better than me, follow her ‘homework’ leads.



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  • 40
    Red Dog says:

    In reply to #39 by Alexinpessac:

    In reply to Cree – because some – admittedly not all – women are bullied into wearing it. If you ban it the bullying stops. As I said, the contributor LaurieB explains it better than me, follow her ‘homework’ leads.

    That is such a condescending and ass backward view of feminism. Women are too weak to stick up for themselves so we have to protect them by telling them it’s illegal to wear things we think degrade them. What a load of bullshit. This is just about people wanting to assert dominance over others and using PC BS to justify it.



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  • 41
    Alexinpessac says:

    In reply to #40 by Red Dog:

    Well, I’ve seen long interviews with Muslim women on French TV who support the ban because they were being bullied by their ‘grands frères’ into wearing headscarves. I don’t think these poor women are being condescending. THEY think it’s degrading to wear these things too, they’re just sticking up for themselves.



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  • 42
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #39 by Alexinpessac:

    In reply to Cree – because some – admittedly not all – women are bullied into wearing it. If you ban it the bullying stops…

    Got any evidence for this? It seems likely that many of the women forced to wear restrictive Islamic clothing by the males in their life would, in the event of a ban, be rendered prisoners in their own home. It’s wishful thinking to imagine their oppressors would go “Well, all right then, out you go with your hair and face uncovered; when in Rome!”

    That is the major problem with this sort of illiberal legislation: it could result in hundreds if not thousands of western Muslim women suffering the same fate as the victims of that Ariel Castro creep.



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  • 43
    Alexinpessac says:

    In reply to #42 by Katy Cordeth:

    I can only vouch for France, where my Muslim girl pupils and their mothers seem as free and happy as their non-Muslim counterparts. It works in France, but I make no claims for other countries.



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  • 44
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #37 by Cree:

    devout Muslims will not remove their hijabs

    How do you know that? Hejabs, burkas, and all other head/body coverings are NOT required in Islam. Hejab is a statement of political Islam. When faced with a job offer that is contingent upon her leaving her hejab at home, what will a Muslim woman do? I don’t know. It’s her choice. She can toss aside that symbol of hopeless oppression and take the job, the money and every good thing that comes with it or she can embrace the victim mentality, return to the self imposed faith ghetto and stew in the stinking juice of reproductive and domestic slavery that will be her lot in life.

    If she is forced to wear it in the home, at least let her have the protection of the law to toss it aside at work and school. She will see that she is liked and appreciated for her character, skills and accomplishments. She may find that this is a much more important thing than to be judged on her sheep-like pious devotion to the old ways. But how will she know if she can’t swing between the two situations and compose a compare and contrast analysis in her mind?

    We may never make any progress with the women who immigrated as adults, but the first generation Canadian kids are a different story. Let them grow up thinking that those saggy baggy hejabs are totally old-world and the stuff of their quaint old aunties and grannies who just never seemed to adapt. The older set was bullied into it but things are different for them. The first generation Canadians are not required to wear that garment, so says the Canadian government. I like the sound of that and I hope the measure is passed for the sake of these girls and the community in general.



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  • 45
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #43 by Alexinpessac:

    In reply to #42 by Katy Cordeth:

    I can only vouch for France, where my Muslim girl pupils and their mothers seem as free and happy as their non-Muslim counterparts. It works in France, but I make no claims for other countries.

    I’m sure it does work for wives and daughters from liberal, Muslim families. What about those whose male members are not quite so understanding and think Islamic law trumps the French legislature?

    I just wonder about those under patriarch-imposed house arrest.

    What about these Rapunzels? Is out of sight out of mind?



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  • 46
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #44 by LaurieB:

    In reply to #37 by Cree:

    … I like the sound of that and I hope the measure is passed for the sake of these girls and the community in general.

    Cosmic. So instead of male religious leaders and family members telling women and girls what they have to wear, we’re going to hand over that duty to our governments. And this is different how?



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  • How do I know that? I’ve talked with my Muslim co-workers working in the public service and listened to what they have to say.

    Sounds like you have a huge issue with women wearing hijabs regardless of their reason…

    In reply to #44 by LaurieB:

    In reply to #37 by Cree:

    devout Muslims will not remove their hijabs

    How do you know that? Hejabs, burkas, and all other head/body coverings are NOT required in Islam. Hejab is a statement of political Islam. When faced with a job offer that is contingent upon her leaving her hejab at home, what w…



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  • 48
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #37 by Cree:

    I am aware of that, and I am a public servant myself for another Canadian government (every province and territory has its own government and in addition there is the federal government). Dress requirements should not extend to banning hijabs, crosses, turbans, etc. Fortunately, I do not work in for…

    There are many rational reasons for restricting the dress of employees. Scottish medical consultants were banned from wearing ties and white coats on the basis that they were spreading MRSA infections between their patients. Headgear needs to be replaced with proper low shedding materials for people working in labs and food preparation areas. Loose clothing is not permitted near some machinery. Helmets worn by people going up ladders or in certain work environments. Uniforms are required sometimes to remove as much individuality from people as possible and to focus all people involved in the task at hand. I have no problem that some jobs are better done without the distraction of ostentatious individualism. Regarding the clothing you wear outside work I can see no reason for any restriction.



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  • And in the office?

    In reply to #48 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #37 by Cree:

    I am aware of that, and I am a public servant myself for another Canadian government (every province and territory has its own government and in addition there is the federal government). Dress requirements should not extend to banning hijabs, crosses, turbans, etc. Fortuna…



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  • 50
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #36 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #34 by Cree:

    This Canadian does not care what is on a person’s head, but rather what is in it. Banning religious head coverings and jewellery is downright oppressive. I would not agree to be lawfully discriminated against for wearing an atheist T-shirt or placing a Darwin fish on my car bumper. Why is it okay fo…

    is about public servants. Can they come to work dressed any which way? Most jobs have dress requirements.

    Trueenough



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  • 51
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #47 by Cree:

    Sounds like you have a huge issue with women wearing hijabs regardless of their reason…

    Damn right I do! Is there any good reason for wearing a hejab? They represent something and I have every right to despise what they represent and to endorse protective measures for girls and women who are being coerced by their culture within a culture.

    I’ve talked with my Muslim co-workers working in the public service and listened to what they have to say.

    How is this valuable? Were they women? Were they fundamentalists? Were they progressive? How much have you looked into the work of the Muslim women who are opposed to hejab and grateful to the French government for their actions against it? If your only source is a few coworkers who can’t or won’t assimilate, then that is a very limited source. It is not enough research to understand the hejab issue.



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  • 52
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #42 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #39 by Alexinpessac:

    That is the major problem with this sort of illiberal legislation:

    To say nothing of the downright dishonest framing of its intention-

    The key argument supporting this proposal is that face-coverings prevent the clear identification of a person, which is both a security risk, and a social hindrance within a society which relies on facial recognition and expression in communication.

    Which says nothing about bullying husbands and the real disgrace of why the thing is often worn. Less draconian legislation was possible for the security concern mandating facial disclosure if building owners/operators felt it was necessary. And now the issue of bullying is not being tackled here, now the visible signs having been swept from the streets.

    But I mustin fairness finish with my homework before saying any more.



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  • Adhering to dress code for health and occupational safety is one thing. When I worked in a hospital, I could not have artificial nails due to the increased risk of harbouring and spreading pathogens between patients – so of course I adhered to that rule. That makes perfect sense. Banning hijabs, turbans and kippas in the office is not based on health and occupational safety rules and regulations.

    In reply to #48 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #37 by Cree:

    I am aware of that, and I am a public servant myself for another Canadian government (every province and territory has its own government and in addition there is the federal government). Dress requirements should not extend to banning hijabs, crosses, turbans, etc. Fortuna…



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  • 54
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #46 by Katy Cordeth:

    Cosmic. So instead of male religious leaders and family members telling women and girls what they have to wear, we’re going to hand over that duty to our governments. And this is different how?

    No, it’s not governments telling women and girls what to wear. It would be the government creating a shelter in certain places where Muslim girls and women can be free from community and family coercion. As in France at the present time, there will be plenty of hejabs seen on the streets and in the homes. Apparently, the burkas are gone from that scene and good riddance to them. This ruling is much more limited than a total ban on hejabs, where someone would be arrested for stepping out in the street with it on. I don’t even think it would be possible to ban it completely anyway and I don’t want to take that strategy.

    I just wonder about those under patriarch-imposed house arrest.
    What about these Rapunzels? Is out of sight out of mind?

    And by the way, where are you getting this idea from? I understand that you are fearful of this happening and all credit for that, but is it based on any concrete information? Do you claim that the “Rapunzel effect will significantly increase if this very limited measure is passed in Canada? I doubt it, but if you think so then go ahead and defend it.



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  • But you know better about the effects such a ban would have in public servants working in Quebec, Canada? Additionally, you know nothing about my ethnic, cultural or religious background or knowledge on the subject, so no need to be so judgemental. We are talking about a proposed ban that would affect not only Muslims who wear the hijab, but Sikhs who wear turbans, Jewish people who wear kippas, Christians who wear crosses, etc. etc.

    In reply to #51 by LaurieB:

    In reply to #47 by Cree:

    Sounds like you have a huge issue with women wearing hijabs regardless of their reason…

    Damn right I do! Is there any good reason for wearing a hejab? They represent something and I have every right to despise what they represent and to endorse protective measures for gi…



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  • 56
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #54 by LaurieB:

    In reply to #46 by Katy Cordeth:

    Cosmic. So instead of male religious leaders and family members telling women and girls what they have to wear, we’re going to hand over that duty to our governments. And this is different how?

    No, it’s not governments telling women and girls what to wear. It would be the government creating a shelter in certain places where Muslim girls and women can be free from community and family coercion.

    A shelter is usually something people get to enter of their own volition: It’s raining, I believe I shall take shelter in this doorway for a while. Not Hey you, yes you. It’s raining, get your ass under that doorway.

    As in France at the present time, there will be plenty of hejabs seen on the streets and in the homes. Apparently, the burkas are gone from that scene and good riddance to them.

    Yeah, it’s wonderful if the burkas have disappeared. Providing you don’t start thinking about the whereabouts of the women who used to occupy them. Do you really think they spend their days strolling down the Champs-Élysées, hair shining in the sun like a shampoo commercial?

    This ruling is much more limited than a total ban on hejabs, where someone would be arrested for stepping out in the street with it on. I don’t even think it would be possible to ban it completely anyway and I don’t want to take that strategy.

    You’ve already handed partial control over to the authorities. What makes you think they won’t take advantage of this and consolidate their position? What would there be preventing them saying Screw you, Laurie, you’re the one who wanted this; we’re only improving on it? This is why you mustn’t hand control of something as fundamental as a woman’s right to wear what she wants over to a government: you don’t then get to bitch that they’ve overstepped their bounds if it was you yourself who helped to set the ball rolling in the first place.

    I just wonder about those under patriarch-imposed house arrest. What about these Rapunzels? Is out of sight out of mind?

    And by the way, where are you getting this idea from? I understand that you are fearful of this happening and all credit for that, but is it based on any concrete information? Do you claim that the “Rapunzel effect will significantly increase if this very limited measure is passed in Canada? I doubt it, but if you think so then go ahead and defend it.

    No concrete, just logic. Female attire is taken very seriously in Islam, as you may have noticed.

    When you were a teenager, Laurie, and heading on out to the local disco or whatever with your friends, what would the reaction have been from your parents, particularly your father if he was part of your life, if you hadn’t been wearing anything above the waist? Nothing, nada, zip. Would he have let you go out in such a state?

    Okay, now imagine the government had recently introduced a law which said it was in fact illegal for any female to leave her house who wasn’t topless.

    Do you see what I’m getting at? I know it’s silly to us, and it would be wonderful if they could be disabused of the notion, but for many possessed of the Islamic mindset a female whose head is uncovered is to all intents and purposes naked. She might as well have her tits on show.

    That is where this idea comes from: a basic understanding of the Muslim mindset. Sadly, it would be in the nature of the thing for the Rapunzel Effect to be very difficult to measure.



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  • 57
    Alexinpessac says:

    In reply to #46 by Katy Cordeth:

    Whoah, you’re being disturbingly mean to Laurie B. As I said in a previous post, most Muslim women DO NOT WANT to wear a headscarf (at least here in France according to what evidence I’ve seen/read). The tits analogy is a ridiculous exaggeration for all the Muslim women I know. Maybe we should end this debate. England have just lost the Ashes 5-0, there are more pressing matters !! 🙂



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  • 58
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #57 by Alexinpessac:

    In reply to #46 by Katy Cordeth:

    Whoah, you’re being disturbingly mean to Laurie B.

    Hey, I’m inordinately fond of Laurie. That doesn’t mean we can’t disagree.

    As I said in a previous post, most Muslim women DO NOT WANT to wear a headscarf (at least here in France according to what evidence I’ve seen/read).

    And why would they? I’m concerned with the women who don’t have a choice in wearing it and the effect bans have on them.

    The tits analogy is a ridiculous exaggeration for all the Muslim women I know.

    I was sort of talking about the male Islamic mindset, but by all means feel free to expand.

    Maybe we should end this debate. England have just lost the Ashes 5-0, there are more pressing matters !! 🙂

    Good, I hate football. 🙁



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  • 59
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #53 by Cree:

    is not based on health and occupational safety rules and regulations.

    No. But that wasn’t the limit of my previous post to you detailing other circumstances of restrictions by employers. Feel free to address that also…



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  • Here is a link to a recent opinion piece in the Toronto Star – worth a read if you are interested in public perceptions and sentiments here in Canada on the issue:

    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/12/07/increasing_resistance_to_quebecs_charter_of_values_siddiqui.html

    And please note that since the introduction of the proposed charter, incidents of racism have increased against Muslim women in some areas of the province. Some folks think it is now okay to harass these women for wearing a head covering.



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  • 61
    YesUCan says:

    In reply to #56 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #54 by LaurieB:

    In reply to #46 by Katy Cordeth:

    Cosmic. So instead of male religious leaders and family members telling women and girls what they have to wear, we’re going to hand over that duty to our governments. And this is different how?

    No, it’s not governments telling women and…

    K. Cordeth looks very confused.. I invite them to read about attempts toward modernization in Islamic world. All achievements gained by freeing burka, hijab etc. or by limiting the use of them? Those women may not be able to to street without religious attire, however starting from the second generation change will begin. There is no other choice. Religious cloths are pure ideology of bigotry and serious violation of human freedom. Instead of an endless discussion on the (non)existence of God, we should focus on the existing problems posed by man-madensupersitition and traditions.



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  • And feel free to address how wearing a kippa, hijab or turban can impact one’s ability to work in an office environment…

    In reply to #59 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #53 by Cree:

    is not based on health and occupational safety rules and regulations.

    No. But that wasn’t the limit of my previous post to you detailing other circumstances of restrictions by employers. Feel free to address that also…



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  • 63
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #50 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #36 by phil rimmer:

    True … enough

    I have no problem with employees seeking some accommodation. Turbans on top of helmets. Hijabs in corporate colours and styles. But if employers judge you are promoting something other than the service they wish you to promote then I stand with them.

    I remember going to a legal assessor related to health issues within the family. It was a traumatic time and finding his offices plastered with evangelic literature was a huge concern and distraction. This was before atheism became any sort of issue for me, but may have fed into it come to think of it…

    We wished the obvious culpability of the case attested to. He was of the view that we were being entirely negative and that unsought benefits (blessings!) would ensue. Had he an employer that told him NO, no ostentatious show of your views on X or Y is permissible, no political campaign buttons, no eco campaign posters in your cubicle where you greet clients, no atheist As, he might have better twigged that what he had to sell personally was not appropriate for his employer or HIS clients.



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  • 64
    YesUCan says:

    In reply to #62 by Katy Cordeth:

    Sorry for shortening your name.. But your proposal actually almost doesn’t change the life of these women. I wonder if they happily walk on the street under these cloths while seeing how freely other.women take care of themselves. There should be other ways of including them to social life. Im sure Canada is capable of doing that if they want to..



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  • 65
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #63 by Cree:

    And feel free to address how wearing a kippa, hijab or turban can impact one’s ability to work in an office environment…

    As I said I already did…

    “Uniforms are required sometimes to remove as much individuality from people as possible and to focus all people involved in the task at hand. I have no problem that some jobs are better done without the distraction of ostentatious individualism.”

    My previous post (to this) has pertinent comments too.

    I would suggest a mutual effort to seek out an accommodation. I rather like the idea of a corporate kippa.



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  • 66
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #57 by Alexinpessac:

    In reply to #46 by Katy Cordeth:

    Whoah, you’re being disturbingly mean to Laurie B.

    Relax! It’s fine. I’m quite enjoying it. There’s nothing like a worthy competitor, wouldn’t you agree? There is a substantial risk to this type of legislation. They all have the right to argue against it. It worries me too, of course. I want to provide cover for Muslim women to walk away from fundamentalism but not at the expense of basic freedom for everyone. It’s a fine line to draw though, isn’t it. I’m very happy for your contribution on the French approach to the problem. You have an inside perspective on what the Muslim feminists are fighting for. This viewpoint is unknown here in the US. The American feminists think they are standing up for women’s right by saying that Muslim women can wear that burka, hejab, etc if they want to! Stop telling women how to dress! The Muslim Brotherhood is very pleased with their support. 🙁



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  • I still don’t see how your examples warrant a total ban on all public service employees being forced not to wear any religious items. I am also wondering how wearing a hijab, turban or kippa can stand in way of an individual effectively carrying out their duties in an office environment (the majority of government jobs)?

    In reply to #59 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #53 by Cree:

    is not based on health and occupational safety rules and regulations.

    No. But that wasn’t the limit of my previous post to you detailing other circumstances of restrictions by employers. Feel free to address that also…



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  • 68
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #55 by Cree:

    But you know better about the effects such a ban would have in public servants working in Quebec, Canada?

    I don’t know any more than anyone else how it would come off. All anyone can do is look to France where they have a similar ban. It seems to be going more smoothly than anyone even anticipated. This is what Alexinpessac is trying to get across.

    Additionally, you know nothing about my ethnic, cultural or religious background or knowledge on the subject, so no need to be so judgemental.

    It’s not my intention to be judgmental. I’m not sure where that is coming from. Could you be more specific? What would your ethnic, religious, cultural etc. background have to do with it anyway? I don’t know that about my other interlocutors either.

    We are talking about a proposed ban that would affect not only Muslims who wear the hijab, but Sikhs who wear turbans, Jewish people who wear kippas, Christians who wear crosses, etc. etc.

    Yes, I’m aware of that. This is the beauty of the French law. It’s applies to religious symbols not just to headscarves. Everyone across the board will keep their religion to themselves in certain public places. Long live *laiicite!!!!



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  • 69
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #67 by LaurieB:

    In reply to #57 by Alexinpessac:

    In reply to #46 by Katy Cordeth:

    Whoah, you’re being disturbingly mean to Laurie B.

    Relax! It’s fine. I’m quite enjoying it.

    I want to provide cover for Muslim women to walk away from fundamentalism but not at the expense of basic freedom for everyone.

    That’s exactly it, of course. I suspect Katy would endorse that too. The problem is the perceived collateral damage as much a the real efficacy of the possible solutions.



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  • 70
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #64 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #50 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #36 by phil rimmer:

    True … enough

    I have no problem with employees seeking some accommodation. Turbans on top of helmets. Hijabs in corporate colours and styles. But if employers judge you are promoting something other than the service they wish you…

    This legal assessor clown clearly had a sideline in proselytism. Although it’s possible his attitude and office decor was intended to discourage clients from spending any more time than was absolutely necessary in his company; the same way McDonalds and other fast food joints make their seating as uncomfortable as can be so you consume your horseburger and get the hell out of there lickety-split. There was a letter in an edition of Viz Comic some years ago which went something like:

    If you’re on a train and don’t want anyone to sit next to you, smile and nod at people and pat the seat next to yours as they embark.

    I’ve said this before, but I find it odd that some people view clothing such as the burka, hijab and whathaveyou, which are specifically intended to conceal a woman’s identity, as being deliberately provocative and in fact a message to the world. It’s all the fault of the tee shirt industry.

    Edit: I hope everything worked out as well as could be expected re the health issues stuff. Inelegantly put, but you get my meaning. 🙂



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  • Have surveys been taken of the satisfaction levels of Islamic schoolgirls in France? I would love to follow a link if someone had one. I tried to find such a survey, to no avail.

    I don’t harbour any greater ill feeling to the head covering than I do crucifix or skullcap, but I find the full burqa confronting, in the same way that I used to find the nun’s habit confronting.



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  • 72
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #71 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #64 by phil rimmer:

    If you’re on a train and don’t want anyone to sit next to you, smile and nod at people and pat the seat next to yours as they embark.

    I’ve always been a great fan of that strategy, but it can go so badly wrong…Being told I have lovely eyes five minutes into the five hour journey, in gruff Glaswegian, and, how did I know, is an eye watering prospect.



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  • 73
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #73 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #71 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #64 by phil rimmer:

    If you’re on a train and don’t want anyone to sit next to you, smile and nod at people and pat the seat next to yours as they embark.

    I’ve always been a great fan of that strategy, but it can go so badly wrong…Being told I have lo…

    Yes, it can backfire rather badly. Always carry earphones would be my advice, even if they aren’t connected to anything. If you happen to have forgotten them, affect deafness. I do this every time I’m stopped by a chugger or someone asking me to partake of some revolting new culinary concoction and give my verdict on its palatability. Just point to your ears and shake your head and you’re golden. Course, if I’m in a bad mood I just tell them to fuck off.



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  • In reply to #20 by StopLyingToKids:

    Quebec enjoys being different. It’s just an attitude. They may ban Toronto maple leaf jerseys too.

    I’d say we hate the Status Quo and we like to ask ourself questions as a society to know where we are going. If its wrong or if its to ”have a attitude” then we surely love to be different on those basis.



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  • 75
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #67 by LaurieB:

    In reply to #57 by Alexinpessac:

    In reply to #46 by Katy Cordeth:

    Whoah, you’re being disturbingly mean to Laurie B.

    Relax! It’s fine. I’m quite enjoying it. There’s nothing like a worthy competitor, wouldn’t you agree?

    Thank you.

    There is a substantial risk to this type of legislation. They all have the right to argue against it. It worries me too, of course. I want to provide cover for Muslim women to walk away from fundamentalism but not at the expense of basic freedom for everyone.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

    It’s a fine line to draw though, isn’t it. I’m very happy for your contribution on the French approach to the problem. You have an inside perspective on what the Muslim feminists are fighting for.

    Are there Muslim feminists who support a burka ban? Leurs noms, s’il vous plaît.

    This viewpoint is unknown here in the US. The American feminists think they are standing up for women’s right by saying that Muslim women can wear that burka, hejab, etc if they want to! Stop telling women how to dress! The Muslim Brotherhood is very pleased with their support. 🙁

    If I’m correct and legislation like this has the effect of making a substantial number of Muslim women prisoners in their own home, I would venture that the Muslim Brotherhood has a greater reason to be grateful to the government of Quebec and the supporters of this charter than to those of us who oppose it.



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  • 76
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #74 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #73 by phil rimmer:

    If you happen to have forgotten them, effect deafness.

    Half an hour later, your mobile rings. Do you-

    a.) ignore it?

    b) sheepishly answer it ? Or worst, after he tugs out your phone to helpfully show it ringing

    c) answer it in that tuneless nasal way of the profoundly deaf, listen then hang up. Then mouth to him, No one there!



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  • 77
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #76 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #67 by LaurieB:

    If I’m correct and legislation like this has the effect of making a substantial number of Muslim women prisoners in their own home..

    Sadly, this outcome will be greatly under-reported compared to the converse.



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  • 78
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #77 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #74 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #73 by phil rimmer:

    If you happen to have forgotten them, effect deafness.

    Half an hour later, your mobile rings. Do you-

    a.) ignore it?

    b) sheepishly answer it ? Or worst, after he tugs out your phone to helpfully show it ringing

    c) answer it in th…

    d) pull out the small plastic vial I always carry marked ‘holy water; Lourdes’ and proclaim at the top of my lungs “It’s a miracle. This shit actually works!”



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  • 79
    Katy Cordeth says:

    P.S. Option c? Don’t diss the deaf and the way they talk, man. It’s not their fault they sound like that. I’ve already managed to get one thread shut down on this site in the past couple of days.

    Commenting closed.

    I can make it two. You just see if I can’t.



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  • 80
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #56 by Katy Cordeth:

    A shelter is usually something people get to enter of their own volition

    Yes, that’s right. So that’s what is offered to the French Muslim girls when they enter their public schools. A religion free zone where they can fit in with their peers and be free of the “Law of the Brothers” as K. Bennoune calls it. For the time that they are there, they are only under the “Law of the Republic”. That’s the shelter I want to offer these girls. If they don’t want that shelter then there are various alternatives. Some of the fundamentalists in France removed their girls from public school and placed them in private school, but it wasn’t many at all.

    Yeah, it’s wonderful if the burkas have disappeared. Providing you don’t start thinking about the whereabouts of the women who used to occupy them. Do you really think they spend their days strolling down the Champs-Élysées, hair shining in the sun like a shampoo commercial?

    Yeah, it’s wonderful if the burkas have disappeared. Providing you don’t start thinking about the whereabouts of the women who used to occupy them. Do you really think they spend their days strolling down the Champs-Élysées, hair shining in the sun like a shampoo commercial?

    Who the hell wants to hang out on the Champs-Elysees? Not me! The Latin Quarter is where it’s at! Ok, seriously, I don’t know how many burka wearers were affected by the ban, and I don’t know what their families did about it, but if I had to take a guess, I’d say that they probably switched over to the closest common denominator that they could possibly get away with. A hejab with a half veil, for example. Did a few of these women end up locked in their apartments? Maybe there are some. If someone is forcing another adult to stay in a residence against their will in the US it’s the crime of kidnapping, by the way. Not sure what laws other countries have to this effect. As you indicated, there is nothing out there about a problem with former burka wearers being locked away in their homes and I can’t throw the rest of the Muslim women under the bus just in case a few fundamentalist men might possibly want to lock their women up in their apartments.

    you don’t then get to bitch that they’ve overstepped their bounds if it was you yourself who helped to set the ball rolling in the first place.

    Says who?! Nobody tells me what I can and can’t bitch about! Is everything written in stone then? If they overstep their bounds then you can be very sure that I will turn on a dime and lead the bitch-fest with torches and pitchforks held high! (come on. credit for the awesome imagery please)



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  • Late to the party. What was missing in the discussion is the long running “reasonable accomodation” controversy that splits Quebec* combined with a profound revulsion to a not so distant dominance of the Catholic clergy, known as the “great darkness” that many still remember with abhorrance.

    Fundamentalist immigrants come here with full benefits of a democratic society but accept none of the secular compromises. In its clumsy way, the charter attempts to nip cafeteria-style-because-my-religion-exempts-me democracy in the bud.

    *As an example of the reasonable accomodation debate: hassidic jews asked their local YMCA to tint the windows of their 2nd story workout room because the ladies there were inappropriately dressed. The YMCA complied.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/synagogue-s-complaints-prompt-gym-to-tint-windows-angering-athletes-1.578075



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  • 82
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #56 by Katy Cordeth:

    for many possessed of the Islamic mindset a female whose head is uncovered is to all intents and purposes naked. She might as well have her tits on show.

    This shall for ever more and henceforth be known as “the tits analogy” with proper citation straight over to this thread and to the very person who invented the phrase! 😀 What high entertainment! But I need to tell you that I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in the presence of Muslim women who were wearing hejabs and even a veil over the bottom half of their faces and guess what? …Their tits were “on show”. Yes, seriously. In their homes, and on the public bus as well! They were breast feeding their children of course. It’s a good thing but it’s somewhat jarring to see tits on display with everything else covered up in puritanical compliance.



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  • 83
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #83 by LaurieB:

    In reply to #56 by Katy Cordeth:

    for many possessed of the Islamic mindset a female whose head is uncovered is to all intents and purposes naked. She might as well have her tits on show.

    This shall for ever more and henceforth be known as “the tits analogy” with proper citation straight over to th…

    Cool. That’s the Tits Analogy, the Rapunzel Effect, and I’m really hoping Ragu-head will catch on. Sad. Still no word on Darminions though.

    The tits-oot-for-the-bairn thing. I don’t know. In Islamic culture, males are not exposed to this sort of image every day. If you’ve grown up not having Pamela Anderson’s bikini-clad bod permeate your dream state, perhaps the significance of knockerage is reduced. Brazilian men tend to be more aroused by the gluteus maximus area of the female form; Chinamen historically acquired woodage from thinkin’ about chicks with small feet.

    Maybe a woman with her norks out isn’t such a big deal to Muslim males because they haven’t been conditioned to react to breasts in the way western men have. If this is the case, Muslim women would be less reluctant, and less ashamed, to breastfeed in public. I find it very difficult to see this as a bad thing.



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  • 84
    LaurieB says:

    In reply to #84 by Katy Cordeth:

    Cool. That’s the Tits Analogy, the Rapunzel Effect, and I’m really hoping Ragu-head will catch on. Sad. Still no word on Darminions though.

    As far as I know you’ve got the ownership rights on those. I know I shouldn’t ask…there’s a shadowy feeling in the back of my mind telling me not to ask, but that’s never stopped me before, so what’s darminions?

    If this is the case, Muslim women would be less reluctant, and less ashamed, to breastfeed in public. I find it very difficult to see this as a bad thing.

    True that. We should take a page from their book. It’s still an abomination in US for women to feed in public.



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  • 85
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #80 by Katy Cordeth:

    P.S. Option c? Don’t diss the deaf and the way they talk, man. It’s not their fault they sound like that. I’ve already managed to get one thread shut down on this site in the past couple of days.

    Commenting closed.

    I can make it two. You just see if I can’t.

    There is profound deafness in my family. No one is dissing anything. I’m also intrigued at the thinking that this might have been the case…



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  • 86
    Moderator says:

    Moderators’ message

    Our Terms of Use require comments to be on the topic of the OP. Thoughtful comments only, please, and please don’t derail into chat or other off-topic diversions.

    Thank you.

    The mods



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  • In reply to #87 by Moderator:

    Moderators’ message

    Our Terms of Use require comments to be on the topic of the OP. Thoughtful comments only, please, and please don’t derail into chat or other off-topic diversions.

    Hi mods, it’d be useful if you could specify which messages fall into this category, or at least give examples. All the comments I saw seemed to be on-topic, discussing the consequences of bans on religious attire.



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