ICYMI: Burkini would not likely pass the CAQ’s citizenship test, says Legault e

Not totally surprising that the CAQ would play identity politics but still disturbing given its predecessor, the ADQ, did so:

It was Legault who opened himself up to the attacks when, arriving for a two-day meeting of his caucus, raised the issue when asked if he still has confidence in his caucus chairperson, Nathalie Roy.

Roy said last week she wanted the burkini — a piece of clothing which covers the entire body and head leaving only the face, hands and feet visible — banned. It is the same clothing which sparked a furor on the beaches of France this summer.

Photos of police officers who intervened on the beaches because of Muslim women wearing burkinis were seen around the world.

After saying he has the same “malaise,” as Roy when it comes to the burkini, Legault said it explains why the CAQ — should it form a government — is proposing to create a values test for newcomers.

It would be CAQ policy to require new immigrants to pass a test on Quebec’s language, and cultural values, after a three-year probationary period. If they don’t pass after two tries, they would be asked to return to their country of origin or to another province in Canada.

Legault ventured that immigrants in favour of the burkini would likely fail those tests and could be refused citizenship because a burkini runs against the principle of equality between men and women.

“There are big questions to be asked on such a piece of clothing,” Legault said. “Does it respect the fundamental values we have in Quebec on the equality of men and women?”

Asked by a reporter what would happen to a person who had moved to Quebec and insisted that the burkini was part of their faith, Legault was clear:

“They don’t get citizenship, that’s all.”

Source: Burkini would not likely pass the CAQ’s citizenship test, says Legault | Montreal Gazette

Nawaz: Both Sides Are Wrong in the Burkini Wars – The Daily Beast

Maajid Nawaz on the burkini controversy:

The burkini is, in fact, a sad symbol of Islam today going backward on gender issues. France’s ban on it is a sad symbol of liberalism today going backward in reply.

Classical liberals of any religion or none would do well to remember that this does not have to be a zero-sum game. It is possible to oppose the French ban on burkinis while also challenging the mindset of those who support burkas and burkinis.

As a reforming secular liberal Muslim, I do not endorse the gender-discriminatory body-shaming and moralizing of burkas. I recoil, too, at the silly idea of a burkini. But I also believe that France’s ban on them is ridiculous, illiberal, and incredibly petty. It is also cynical.

As for liberalism going backward, when Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a truck through the crowd in Nice on July 14, he sought to deepen division, and to further the ISIS aim of a global civil war. Strategically, he chose the right location.

The French Riviera is a traditional stronghold of French reactionaries. The area sees consistently high poll results for the far right. Last year, National Front leader Marine Le Pen’s niece, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, ran a high-profile campaign there and succeeded in making huge gains. The region is now rapidly turning into a polarized hotbed of tension, pitching far-right sympathizers against Islamist extremists.

In this respect, the burkini ban is nothing but a product of political opportunism. With the proximity of elections looming, shortsighted politicking is the only consideration that matters. Local petty political chieftains would rather provoke national turbulence merely to win a local council seat than do what is in their country’s national interest.

As the 2017 French presidential and legislative elections approach, the country’s politicians are desperate to prove who can do the most—or anything at all—against the pernicious effect of jihadist terrorism. They have only a few months left. Sadly, grand gestures such as bans on symbolic pieces of cloth carry political currency in this game of mass-hysteria identity politics.

This is how our most valued asset, source of strength and global envy—liberalism—is capitulating to identity-based communalism, short-term electoral gain, populist appeasement, and a clamor to just do something.

This capitulation is exactly what jihadist terrorists were hoping to achievewith their sustained random attacks.

Perpetual identity-based civil war, rather than war between countries, suits those who wish to build a new world order—a caliphate—carved out of existing states. Equal treatment on a citizenship basis means nothing to jihadists.

There is no better way to kickstart dividing people along exclusively religious lines than by committing atrocities in the name of Islam. Their hope is that everyone else also begins to identify Sunni Muslims primarily by their religious identities, in reaction to the atrocities. In this way, religious identity has won and citizenship becomes redundant.

But the backward trajectory of contemporary liberalism is matched by a backward trajectory within Islam today.

In modern Muslim-majority contexts and up until the 1970s, the female body was not shamed out of public view. As one Egyptian feminist asserts, this was mainly due to the social dominance of the relatively liberal, middle-class elite in urban centers.

But throughout the ’80s, theocratic Islamism began replacing Arab socialism as the ideology of resistance against “the West.” As is always the case with misogynist dogma, the war against the “other” necessitated defining what is “ours” and what is “theirs”—and our women, of course, were deemed “ours.”

Suddenly, women’s bodies became the red line in a cultural war against the West started by theocratic Islamism. A Not Muslim Enough charade was used to identity “true” Muslims against “Western” stooges. Religious dress codes became a crucial marker in these cultural purity stakes. Only the fanatic can ever win in this Not Muslim Enough game. Any uncovered woman was now deemed loose, decadent, and attention seeking.

In short, too Western.

Many Islamists advocate total segregation between the sexes, and in fact they would reject the burkini. The full-body swimwear would certainly not be allowed in today’s Saudi Arabia: still too revelaing!

In that sense, it is actually a step forward from Islamism’s peak in the ’90s. But it is still a step backward from before theocratic Islamism took hold among Muslims. The more women succumb to this Not Muslim Enough charade, the more theocrats demand of them. Is it any wonder, then, that some of the most abusive, oppressive societies for women happen also to be the most religiously conservative?

When writing recently in defense of her burkini invention, Aheda Zanetti equated concealing the female form with “modesty” no less than three times.

She confessed to not participating in sports when young “because we chose to be modest.”

But the assumption that “modesty” equates to covering up is a subtle form of bigotry against the female form. It goes without saying that harassment on Western beaches, where the female form is more normalized, occurs less than in conservative societies, even though it is still present. But in too many instances across Muslim-majority contexts this “modesty theology” has led to slut-shaming of women who do not cover.

In the worst of cases, misogyny disguised as modesty has led to mass sexual harassment on the streets, most recently by gangs of Muslim migrants in Cologne. In Egypt, it has even given rise to a mass public rape phenomenon. As Muslim feminists note, violating Muslim cultural “honor codes” (irdh) and modesty theology (hayaa’) can lead to heinous legal and societal reprimand and the gross fetishization of a woman’s body.

Just like any other practice rooted in religiously inspired misogyny, the burkini cannot be detached from the body-shaming tied to its origins. Aheda Zanetti continued to insist that her product is “about not being judged” as a Muslim woman, yet she is wedded to a practice that inextricably judges the female form as being “immodest,” as she, too, did in her own piece.

“I don’t think any man should worry about how women are dressing,” she argued.

OK. But it has only ever been conservative-religious Muslim men telling Muslim women how to dress.

Over the course of my years immersed in Islamic theology and Arabic, I remain unaware of any medieval female Muslim exegete used as authority by Muslim women for the “duty” of wearing a hijab. It is only ever male exegetes of the Quran who are cited preaching for the duty of female “modesty.”

And it is simply an undeniable fact that most Muslim women judged and attacked around the world for how they dress are attacked by other Islamist and fundamentalist Muslims, not by non-Muslims. These are religious fanatics playing the Not Muslim Enough game.

I am a liberal. The headscarf is a choice. Let Muslim women wear bikinis or burkinis. Liberal societies have no business in legally interfering with the dress choices women make. I have consistently opposed the ban on face veils in France, just as I oppose their enforced use in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Outside of this legal debate, though, and as a reforming secular liberal Muslim, I reserve the right to question my own communities’ cultural traditions and taboos.

As a liberal, I reserve the right to question religious-conservative dogma generally, just as most Western progressives already do with Christianity. Yet with Muslims, Western liberals seem perennially confused between possessing a right to do something, and being right when doing it.

Of course American Christian fundamentalists of the Bible Belt have a right to speak, but liberals routinely—and rightly—challenge their views on abortion, sexuality, and marriage. To do so is not to question their right to speak, but to challenge their belief that they are right when they speak. I ask only that secular liberal Muslims are also supported in challenging our very own “Quran Belt” emerging in Europe.

This is the real struggle. It is intellectual and it is cultural, more than it is legal.

From France to Sydney, places to swim still a beachhead for bigotry 

More commentary on beachwear by Shree Paradkar:

As reported here in July, a hijab-wearing Scarborough mother was told to leave the pool if she didn’t change her daughter’s long shorts and T-shirt, although they were swimwear. (It was deemed okay for her son to wear that.)

In the United States in June, the American Red Cross was forced to apologize after a social media post elicited outrage over a safety poster that labelled white kids “cool” for obeying the rules and kids of colour “uncool” for disobeying them.

In France, the city of Cannes and 15 towns chose to uphold the nation’s traditions of liberté and egalité by imposing more rules around women’s clothing. On Aug. 12, it banned the burkini — full body-covering swimsuits — on its beaches. The ban does not apply to full-body covering scuba diving suits. Perhaps there was a safety angle to this?

There isn’t. The city’s decidedly non-Muslim mayor had decided burkinis were “the uniform of extremist Islamism, not of the Muslim religion.”

 Pools and beaches have also become battlegrounds over modesty — for women.

Beach volleyball matches in Rio provided the perfect showcase to visualize that spectrum of modesty as the uniforms ranged from itsy bikinis and tankinis to full sleeves and full pants (including a hijab option).

Why do so many female competitors wear so little and men compete in tanks and shorts? USA Today asked its nation’s beach volleyball team this question. The communication’s manager said the team’s female athletes choose to wear bikinis, “because there are less places for sand to hide.”

That explanation appears disingenuous.

There is an authentic — and valid — reason to wear so little: vanity. Who wouldn’t want to show off those incredibly sculpted bodies? I know who; those who value modesty as a virtue.

You may or may not be comfortable with that moral code, but if you agree women have a choice to wear little then you agree they have a choice to cover up.

Women’s sports get sexualized to varying degrees and in the highly sexualized beach culture, one set of athletes gets leered at and the other gets jeered at. On that front, neither side wins. Yet, one side is perceived as the “free” and the other as the “oppressed.”

….Going to the seaside can be a time of calm reflection and recreation, so why does stripping down to get into water end up stripping down the notion of inclusiveness?Through the 20th century, going to a pool to swim meant you could afford to pay for it, going to a beach meant you could afford the time for leisure. Both symbolized privilege and luxury, available to a select few.

Gradually opening pools and beaches to all people diluted that privilege. Modern laws don’t allow for direct exclusion, but being offended by what others wear, or how they behave, simply allows the threatened elite to disguise their bigotry.

Source: From France to Sydney, places to swim still a beachhead for bigotry | Toronto Star

Port du burkini: un débat futile, selon Trudeau

Not covered in English media unless I missed it: PM Trudeau’s comments on the burkini debate in Quebec, framing diversity as not merely as tolerance but rather as “acceptance, openness, friendship and understanding:”

Le premier ministre Justin Trudeau juge futile le débat qui commence à faire rage au Québec sur le port du burkini à la plage.

À l’instar du premier ministre du Québec Philippe Couillard, la semaine dernière, M. Trudeau cachait mal son irritation lundi, à l’issue d’une retraite de deux jours de son cabinet à Sudbury, de voir que certains tentent de lancer un tel débat au pays.

«Il y a des pays dans le monde où la tolérance serait essentielle. (…)  Mais je pense qu’au Canada, on devrait être rendu au-delà de la tolérance. Tolérer quelqu’un, c’est accepter qu’ils aient le droit d’exister, mais à condition qu’ils ne viennent pas nous déranger trop, trop chez-nous, là », a d’abord déclaré M. Trudeau au cours d’une conférence de presse.

« Au Canada, est-ce qu’on pourrait pas parler d’acceptation, d’ouverture, d’amitié, de compréhension ? C’est vers là que nous allons et c’est ce que l’on est en train de vivre à tous les jours quand on voit nos communautés diverses et riches, pas en dépit de leurs différences, mais bien grâce à ces différences », a ajouté le M. Trudeau.

En France, des municipalités ont décidé d’interdire le port du burkini à la plage, provoquant un vif débat en Europe sur le respect des droits de la personne. Ce débat a eu des échos au Québec, notamment à l’Assemblée nationale, où la Coalition avenir Québec a pressé le gouvernement de Philippe Couillard d’emboîter le pas aux municipalités françaises qui ont choisir d’interdire ce vêtement de plage.

 Vendredi dernier, le premier ministre Philippe Couillard a opposé une fin de non recevoir catégorique à cette demande de la CAQ. « «Je ne peux pas croire qu’on en est là», a laissé tomber M. Couillard.«L’État n’a rien à voir avec la façon [dont] les femmes se vêtent sur les plages».

Devant les journalistes, lundi, M. Trudeau a rappelé aux élus, peu importe où ils siègent, qu’ils ont le devoir d’élever le débat public et de s’assurer de respecter les droits de la personne.

« Oui, il va y avoir des petites controverses ici et là comme toujours. Mais pour moi le respect des droits et des choix des individus doit occuper la première place dans notre discours et dans nos débats », a affirmé M. Trudeau, a-t-il dit.

Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast

Indeed:

Go to any public beach in Italy and chances are you’ll eventually see a woman wearing a veil and long skirt. But she likely won’t be a Muslim in a version of the controversial burqini. She will almost certainly be a Catholic nun in her summer habit either watching children in her care or, God forbid, just enjoying some sun, which is considered a human right here in Italy, where the sea defines the majority of the borders.  

No one in Italy would dare blink an eye at the sight of a habit-wearing sister at the seaside or even in the water

“We have nuns on the beach all the time,” Marco Beoni, a barista at a coffee bar along the sea near Sabaudia, about an hour south of Rome, told The Daily Beast. “They go in the water in their skirts and sit on blankets just like everyone else. Who cares what they are wearing. What’s the problem?” 

 In fact, most Italians are at odds with edicts at several French beach resorts banning women wearing the burqini (also spelled burkini), as the modest full coverage swimwear is called. Even Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls has waded into the debate in Paris, declaring the wearing of the burqini is “not compatible with the values of France and the Republic.”

Italy’s interior minister, Angelino Alfano, himself no great fan of immigration or integration of non-Italians into the country, said he thought France was making a mistake by banning the burqini. “We aim to avoid certain prohibitions that can be interpreted as provocations that could trigger retaliation towards Italy,” he said when asked if Italy would follow France in banning what has been interpreted as religious wear on the beach. “After all, the ‘French model’ of integration has not yielded great results.”

It should be no surprise at all that the Catholic Church, for its part, doesn’t see any problem whatsoever with modest swimwear. The head of the Italian bishops, Monsignor Nunzio Galantino said that caution is understandable, but only when tempered with common sense. 

“It’s hard to imagine that a woman [in a burqini] who enters the water is there to carry out an attack,” he told the daily Corriere della Sera in a far-reaching interview on the topic. “I can only think of our nuns, and I think of our peasant grandmothers who still wear head coverings.” 

Making an analogy with the wearing of a cross or a kippah, Galantino said, “The freedom to be granted to religious symbols should be considered on a par with the freedom to express one’s beliefs and to follow them in public life. And, let me tell you: I find it ironic that we are alarmed that a woman is overdressed while swimming in the sea!”

Quebec opposition MNAs reopen divisive debate over religious attire with call for ban on burkinis

Sigh. Here we go again:

It was just two years ago that Quebec was tearing itself apart over proposed restrictions on religious attire as the Parti Québécois government of Pauline Marois sought to ride its Charter of Values to reelection.

The PQ lost the 2014 election, but the resulting social wounds were deep. A new study by Quebec researchers in the scientific journal Transcultural Psychiatry surveyed university students and found the Charter was associated with “a shift from a predominantly positive perception of intercommunity relations to a predominantly negative one, particularly among women, immigrants and … cultural or religious minorities.”

You might think that having assessed the damage, Quebec politicians would be cautious about reopening the debate. But for the opposition Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and one prominent contender for the Parti Québécois leadership, the temptation to score votes on the backs of minorities is apparently too strong.

As a growing number of municipalities in France moves to ban the burkini, a full-body swimsuit worn by some Muslim women, it was a matter of time before the question arose in Quebec.

On Wednesday, the CAQ called on the provincial government to ban the body-covering garment. Nathalie Roy, CAQ critic for secularism, called the burkini an instrument of oppression of women and urged the Liberal government to examine ways to outlaw it as well as other body-covering Muslim garments.

Speaking to 98.5 FM host Paul Arcand Thursday, Roy said she realizes there are few if any burkinis worn on Quebec’s beaches and in its pools. (The Journal de Montréal ran two columns and a news story on the issue Thursday, all of them illustrated with photos from overseas.)

But that is beside the point, Roy said.

“It’s the symbolism,” she said. “It’s a symbol of radical Islam, a radical Islam that is trying to take root in Quebec.” Other politicians are too “politically correct” to confront the issue, she said.

Not the PQ’s Jean-François Lisée, one of the architects of the Charter of Values. On his Facebook page, Lisée called for a debate on the prohibition of burkinis, burkas and niqabs, leaving little doubt where he stands on the question.

“If our society tolerates in the public place this obvious manifestation of the oppression of women, it confirms that this oppression is acceptable and accepted,” he wrote.

Lisée, who is seeking to replace Pierre Karl Péladeau as PQ leader, also argued that burkas should be banned on security grounds.

“We have a declared enemy, the Islamic State, which recruits people here to set bombs,” he wrote. “Our only choice is to debate the prohibition of the burka BEFORE a jihadi uses one to hide his movements for an attack, or AFTER.”

Liberal House Leader Jean-Marc Fournier accused the CAQ and Lisée of practicing a “fearful nationalism of exclusion.” He said it is reasonable to require people to have uncovered faces to give and receive government services, as the government proposes in a bill currently before the legislature. But anything more, he said, is a recipe for isolating minorities.

“It has been said that the state has no place in people’s bedrooms. It has no place in their wardrobes either,” Fournier said.

The CAQ and PQ, tied for the lead among francophone voters in the latest CROP poll, are battling for predominance on the so-called Quebec identity issue. They claim to be seeking to protect the French language and state secularism, but the effect of the discourse is to create a divide between the majority of white francophones and the province’s minorities.

The study in Transcultural Psychiatry suggests a revival of the debate could be damaging. Nearly one-third of the 441 students the researchers surveyed reported having experienced or witnessed an act of religious or ethnic discrimination in the months after the PQ introduced its Charter.

The Charter’s portrayal of such religious symbols as the hijab and kippa as threats to Quebec values contributed to flare-ups of discrimination, the authors, led by psychology professor Ghayda Hassan of the Université du Québec à Montréal, concluded.

“This is how ordinary violence insinuates itself into the very midst of normal life, taking a variety of subtle forms,” they wrote.

Studies around the world have shown that discrimination and tensions around religious and ethnic identity are harmful to youth mental health, and Quebec is no exception, they concluded: “Clearly, building a foundation for living together in harmony from which both immigrants and the host society would benefit still represents a major challenge for present-day Quebec.”

Telling women what to wear at the beach is not going to help.

Source: National Post

Patrick Weil : « Qu’on laisse en paix les femmes voilées » | L’Opinion

As always, sensible and nuanced commentary by Weil:

Patrick Weil, historien et politologue, est directeur de recherche au CNRS et au centre d’histoire sociale du XX e siècle à Paris I. Considéré comme l’un des meilleurs spécialistes des questions de laïcité et d’immigration en France, il a participé aux travaux de la commission Stasi qui rendit en 2003 un rapport sur l’application du principe de laïcité. Il est notamment l’auteur de Qu’est-ce qu’un Français ? Histoire de la nationalité française depuis la Révolution, Gallimard.

Est-il vrai que le port du voile islamique explose en France ?

Non. La religiosité se développe. Le voile se présente sur de nouveaux territoires car des femmes le portent et frappent aux portes des entreprises et de tous les métiers qualifiés, mais il ne se développe pas et il n’explose pas. Son port peut d’ailleurs avoir des sens différents. Il peut être porté sous la pression des pairs ou de certains membres de la famille. La personne qui le porte parfois le fait pour ne pas être harcelée dans son propre milieu tout en étant très libre dans sa tête et ses amitiés. En gros, je mets le voile et je ne me fais pas em… par la famille. Parfois elle le porte en toute bonne foi, par tradition familiale ou au contraire en réaction à un milieu non croyant ou non pratiquant.

Et après tout, cela ne nous regarde pas, comme ne nous regardent pas les opinions et les pratiques religieuses d’aucun de nos concitoyens. Violent-elles la loi en portant un voile ? non. Alors, qu’on les laisse en paix. Tant que nos compatriotes musulmans n’auront pas droit à l’indifférence qui passe d’abord par le silence des politiques, alors on ne fera que renforcer – par solidarité, fierté ou sentiment de discrimination – les comportements que l’on veut réduire.

Que le ministre de l’Intérieur s’attaque aux violations de notre laïcité qui sont les plus sérieuses sans être les plus visibles : les pressions sur les mineures par exemple. Ou encore le phénomène qui se développe, si l’on en croit certaines études, de mariages religieux soit avant le mariage civil soit sans mariage civil. La loi ne permet aujourd’hui de punir les officiants mais pas ceux qui se marient. Si demain la loi pénalisait ceux qui se marient religieusement avant de se marier civilement, cela ne serait pas choquant du tout. Le mariage civil à la mairie, célébré devant la communauté des citoyens, avant l’éventuel mariage religieux, c’est au fondement de la laïcité, depuis 1792.

Est-il pertinent d’ouvrir un débat sur le port du voile à l’université ?

Pour la commission Stasi, il n’était pas question d’interdire les signes religieux dans les Universités – comme cela vient d’être proposé – ou ailleurs dans le monde des adultes : les adultes ont des moyens pour se défendre que les enfants n’ont pas. Ils peuvent aller en justice et protéger leur liberté de conscience plus facilement.

Il faut le rappeler : la plus importante de nos lois, la loi de 1905, assure la liberté de conscience, sépare l’Etat et les Eglises, mais elle n’est pas une loi antireligieuse. Elle laisse sa place à la religion, à toutes les religions et à toutes les options spirituelles. C’est une loi négociée entre les socialistes de l’époque et l’Eglise catholique de France. Elle a ensuite été – temporairement – rejetée par le Vatican, avant que l’Eglise ne l’accepte et ne finisse par en faire tous les éloges. Sous ce régime de laïcité, la neutralité envers les croyances religieuses n’est imposée qu’à l’État et ses serviteurs, au sein de la sphère politique et depuis 2004, aux élèves des écoles publiques. Elle n’est pas imposée dans d’autres sphères publiques.

Source: Patrick Weil : « Qu’on laisse en paix les femmes voilées » | L’Opinion

And for background on the French government’s position:

The French government has defended municipal bans on body-covering Muslim ‘burkini’ swimwear but called on mayors to try and cool tensions between communities.

Three Mediterranean towns — Cannes, Villeneuve-Loubet and Sisco on the island of Corsica — have banned the burkini, and Le Touquet on the Atlantic coast is planning to do the same.

The mainly conservative mayors who have imposed the ban say the garment, which leaves only the face, hands and feet exposed, defies French laws on secularism.

The socialist government’s minister for women’s rights, Laurence Rossignol, supported the bans.

 “The burkini is not some new line of swimwear, it is the beach version of the burqa and it has the same logic: hide women’s bodies in order to better control them,” Rossignol told French daily Le Parisien in an interview.

France, which has the largest Muslim minority in Europe, estimated at 5 million, in 2010 introduced a ban on full-face niqab and burqa veils in public.

Rossignol said the burkini had sparked tensions on French beaches because of its political dimension.

“It is not just the business of those women who wear it, because it is the symbol of a political project that is hostile to diversity and women’s emancipation,” she said.

‘It is not just the business of those women who wear it’: France defends growing number of ‘burkini’ bans

With the Charter, Quebec risks closing its mind – The Globe and Mail

Louise Arbour in the Globe on the Quebec Values Charter:

In short, we are called upon to choose the kind of world in which we want to live. All this talk about secularism, the neutrality of the state, tolerance or the specificity of Quebec should not obscure the fact that this is not about affirming values, but it’s about promoting and implementing them.

We have avoided the pathologies of nationalisms that feed the far right and all other forms of extremism. Quebec society is modern, open to the world and until now inclusive. In that setting, the proposed charter of secularism is a siren song. It evokes images of a homogeneous Catho-secular society where “our” religious symbols are innocuous, since we have voided them of their purely religious content, but where the religious symbols of “others” are a perpetual menace to us all.

In reality Quebec has succeeded remarkably well in absorbing immigration into a tightly knit society. Fear is always a bad adviser. Rather, social cohesion comes from a generous and welcoming spirit that induces others to integrate. This is, in fact, what newcomers have always done.

With the Charter, Quebec risks closing its mind – The Globe and Mail.

On a (relatively) positive note, the Mayor of Quebec city manages to find a balance between tolerance and his discomfort with more fundamentalist Muslim women:

« Y’a des gens qui pourraient être tentés de blâmer ces femmes-là. Je voudrais dire à ceux qui pourraient être tentés de faire ça à Québec de ne pas le faire. De surtout avoir beaucoup de compassion pour ces femmes-là qui sont obligées de s’attriquer de cette façon-là à cause de préceptes religieux, à cause d’interprétations d’une religion qui, quant à moi, sont fausses. »

M. Labeaume a par ailleurs indiqué qu’il n’avait aucun problème à laisser ces femmes porter de tels maillots. « De toute façon, des nageurs professionnels ont à peu près le même », a-t-il dit.

Il n’a pas caché par ailleurs qu’il les plaignait beaucoup et espérait qu’elles « se révoltent un jour ».

Port du burkini: ​appel à la «compassion»

Fatima Houda-Pépin, excluded from the Liberal Party of Quebec caucus, tabled her own version of laicité, narrower that the proposed Charter coverage but including the creation of an organization to monitor religious fundamentalists. Needless to say, the PQ government is delighted with this, both on substantive and political terms:

Houda-Pepin revient hanter Couillard