Quebec Muslims facing more abuse since charter proposal and other Charter-related articles

Not surprising, that Quebec Muslims are reporting more abuse following the proposed Charter. Playing identity politics invites that. It will be interesting to see if these anecdotes of increased abuse show up in the official Stats Canada Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2011 (there is always a time lag), as police-reporting is a higher threshold and allows more consistency among groups.

Quebec Muslims facing more abuse since charter proposal, women’s groups say – The Globe and Mail.

Femmes voilées: «augmentation dramatique» des agressions

And signals from the Quebec government that no exceptions to the proposed Charter will be allowed, whether for Montreal, universities or the health sector:

Charte: Québec songe à abolir le droit de retrait

Some interesting commentary today, starting with Humera Jabir, a law student at McGill, noting her own history of considering the hijab as a political symbol as much as a demonstration of her faith, and in the end stopped wearing the hijab, given that her spiritual grounding was not strong enough:

Quebec is wrong to treat the hijab as a political tool

Michelle Gagnon of CBC notes some of the paradoxes of the proposed Charter with respect to Catholicism  (of which there are many). A good illustration of yet another government being driven by the politics of the anecdote, rather than sound evidence, and I pity the public servants that had to provide “fearless advice” as the government proceeded down this path. Would love to see the briefing notes!

Is Quebec more Catholic than it likes to think?

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.

One Response to Quebec Muslims facing more abuse since charter proposal and other Charter-related articles

  1. Victoria says:

    And that is one more reason why identity politics are deadly.

    Whether the authors of the charter meant it or not, the signal it sends is that there is something fishy about those people wearing those clothes or crosses or whatever. It says, “This is not normal” and it’s our job to make them behave like “normal” people in public.

    From Free to Be, You and Me (cut my teeth on this one at hippy daycare):

    “Don’t Dress Your Cat In An Apron”

    Don’t dress your cat in an apron
    Just ’cause he’s learning to bake.
    Don’t put your horse in a nightgown
    Just ’cause he can’t stay awake.
    Don’t dress your snake in a muu-muu
    Just ’cause he’s off on a cruise.
    Don’t dress your whale in galoshes
    If she really prefers overshoes.

    A person should wear what he wants to.
    And not just what other folks say
    A person should do what she likes to
    A person’s a person that way.

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