Charte des valeurs: Some Good Opinion Pieces

Starting to blink as the Quebec Minister for Montréal, Jean-François Lisée signals open to compromise. However, what sort of compromise, and how do you compromise fundamental human rights, is another matter. A suivre:

Charte des valeurs: porte ouverte aux compromis | Le Devoir.

And a range of commentary in The Globe, ranging from Jeffrey Simpson on the Charter being a wedge issue, one that seems to be backfiring on the PQ,  and not even working well, Jack Jedwab of the Association for Canadian Studies provides a solid critique, contrasting with Canadian multiculturalism, and Lysiane Gagnon reminds us of the different histories of France and Quebec, and how France is hardly a model to follow. Francine Pelletier in Le Devoir also notes the generational gap on how the Charter and related issues are seen..

The Quebec charter is a wedge issue solely of the mind

No thanks Ms. Marois, I’ll take Canada’s brand of multiculturalism

Could Quebec go further than France?

La Charte de la chicane

Less profound commentary comes from Robert Sibley in The Citizen, who focuses on easier issue of the niqab/burqa, and is silent on the hijab. Not one word. And the issue in the Quebec Charter is more the hijab and other head coverings (kippa, turban etc.), rather than the niqab/burqa.

Targeting one religion without making a distinction between the two is intellectually dishonest at best. There is a wide range within the Muslim Canadian community from the secular to those who wear the hijab, and how they wear the hijab a similar range between extreme versions (no hair showing) to colourful and flirtish versions.

Might Quebec’s “charter of values” serve real Islamic values

Tarek Fatah repeats his call in The Sun for banning the burqa/niqab, citing the reason court decision in the UK that allowed for a woman to wear the niqab during her trial. This was a more permissive ruling than the recent Canadian Supreme Court ruling which set some tests. I am with Fatah on this; when it involves government identification requirements, working in a government office, or implicated in the legal system, accommodation is not appropriate. Walking down the street is one thing, compliance with government and legal requirements and practices is another thing.

West should ban niqab

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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