What is going on in Quebec? What is this thing that we have against anything that does not have an origin in Europe, or more to the point in Christianity? Why do I feel like anything other than European culture or the Christian faith is only tolerated in Quebec, but not respected, or accepted as having an equal right to exist in this province? When the first conversation began about the right of Muslims to wear their religious headgear and kerchiefs and scarves, I wondered where this all was coming from and where it would end if we allowed the fear of the unknown to lead us down the slippery slope of religious and cultural intolerance? It would seem in Quebec that not even the children are safe from this separatist’s party’s obvious hatred of anything that is not French, Catholic and a registered Parti Quebecois member.
The argument that the niqab the face covering worn by Muslim women was somehow a threat to national security and could not be worn by Muslim women in federal or provincial buildings like schools, courts, office buildings and the like because they posed a threat to the people who worked there seemed reasonable to most Canadians, but was it really? Were we as a country really acting out of a need to secure government buildings and protect the workers from terrorists? I would say to you that if that was the reason we have forced Muslim women and girls not to follow the doctrines of their faith, then we as a country have effectively labeled ever Muslim woman and girl a suspected terrorist. I would put it to you also that we did this without one incident of one Muslim women, or girl ever been suspected of a terrorist act, let alone committing one-act of violence, one-act of anything that could be remotely considered a terrorist act period, veil or no veil and so the question must be asked what was the basis of the law, what was the real need for it? I submit that it was the start of the beginning of the end of cultural and religious freedom in Canada, and certainly in Quebec brought on by an over reaction to 9/11 in the USA; all countries of European heritage took advantage of the 9/11 terrorist attack to stop what they called the overrunning of their countries by an increasing population of Muslims. I find it rich that the Conservative Government of Canada finds that the Soccer Association of Canada ban of Quebec Soccer from its ranks because of their turban law is justified and the right thing to do, when it is their government who started the Canada for real Canadians business in the first place and went on to define that by saying that,”As a country we have to start saving Canada as a place for real Canadians, by preserving our rich European cultural, languages and religious heritage”.
Patka/Keski Turban is a common Sikh turban used by young boys. It is normally used as more of a casual turban, or when playing sports. Contrary to popular belief Patkas are actually types of turbans. If you take into consideration that the wearing of a turban to Sikhs is not an option, but a religious right that must be respected and followed and all that this religious practice means to a Sikh, than you know as I do that the ban must be lifted, or the QSF and the government of Pauline Marois are guilty of violating not only Canada’s Charter of rights, but the Quebec Charter of Rights as well.
The fact that FIFA’s rules don’t explicitly ban turbans, that Quebec is the only province in Canada to rule the wearing of the Patka as dangerous and is enforcing a no play if you wear ban on all Sikh and other children who wear a turban speaks volumes and demonstrates that there is something else darker and uglier driving this move to keep certain children practicing and observing certain religious rights and religions out of soccer and I fear organised sports in Quebec. Quebec’s Pauline Marois can scream as loud and for as long as she cares to, that the Canadian Soccer Association has no right to ban the Quebec Soccer Association, but the truth is that they have every right to do so. The CSA reports directly to the FIFA world body and is responsible for granting or revoking the membership of provincial federations.
Brigitte Frot, the director-general of the provincial association, was asked what she would tell a five-year-old boy in a turban who shows up to register to play soccer with his friends. She replied: “They can play in their backyard. But not with official referees, not in the official rules of soccer. They have no choice.” Conservative MP Parm Gill said, “It is incredibly unfortunate and insulting that, in a nation that prides itself on diversity, such discriminatory regulations are allowed to stand. There is no valid reason for a ban on the wearing of turbans or other religious symbols during athletic competitions”
I think that in Quebec especially there is an underlying current of intolerance of minorities that is very ugly and that seems to have no low, nothing is untouchable and nothing sacred save the French language, culture and religion. Quebec separatists have long-held to the belief that multiculturalism is not all that it is cracked up to be. Some of Quebec’s top political figures have publicly stated their fears of losing their majority status in Quebec’s population and with it their identity as a distinct society and chance to be a sovereign nation, because of too much ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. This private war they have decided to support under the guise of soccer safety with the Sikh community unfortunately is a direct attack on children, as was their attack on four-year olds in the private daycare system and I do not think that this government will find much support for this type of stupid, irrational behavior.
In all fairness this is not the 1st time the turban ban has been tried. It was tried by the government of Canada in the past to stop Sikhs from wearing the turban in the service of the RCMP, but was abandoned when it was found to be in violation of the right to freedom of religion and in direct violation with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To further understand why this continues to go on, one only has to listen to what Steven Harper’s “Office For Religious Freedom“, had to say about this newest violation of Canadian citizens rights in Quebec. Steven Harper’s Office For Religious Rights And Freedom said, “We will not get involved in the issue because, the new federal organization, created by the Harper Tories, explained that it operates under the Department of Foreign Affairs and its work is limited to the area outside Canada’s borders”. In other words they will look after the rights of others in other countries and not the rights of their own in their own country.
Note: The Marois government is now threatening to bring in a new Charter of Quebec Values, with secularism being a most important virtue. The government is saying that their brand of secularism will not apply to all religions equally; in other words they have decided to discriminate religiously. They give the example of their intended action to discriminate religiously stating that, “Muslim and Sikh headwear, will likely be banned from public institutions under the proposed policy; while, on the other hand, the large Christian cross hanging over the Quebec legislature will get to stay”. I feel that there is no limit, no end and no line that to Pauline Marois is not willing to cross to drive all minorities out of Quebec in a last-ditch effort to get Quebec the voting numbers it needs to separate from the rest of Canada. This in my estimation makes her dangerous to all people living in Quebec and one of the most dangerous people in Canada. When I think of home-grown terrorist, the name of Pauline Marois pops into my head first thing. I feel that her and her political party is the driving force behind all of the religious, language, racial conflict in Quebec. It would seem that Steven Harper’s, strong, stable, majority government feels that it is a priority to safe guard the human rights and the religious freedom of people in foreign lands, but has decided to abandon the religious rights of his own people in Quebec. The statement made publicly by his newly created only Office For Religious Rights And Freedom,”We will not get involved in the issue because, we operate under the Department of Foreign Affairs and its work is limited to the area outside Canada’s borders” , is the type of cowardice, that emboldens the old toothless, clawless and clueless tigress and her cubs.
- Premier Marois sides with Quebec Soccer Federation on turban ban (cbc.ca)
- Quebec soccer federation to kids with turbans: Play in your own yard (vancouverdesi.com)
- B.C. soccer officials have no problem with turbans, unlike Quebec (vancouverdesi.com)