I plan on bringing in a new story every day, so once a new one is posted all discussion on the previous one ends, we don't want a huge jumble of conversation on ten things at once. But if a certain thing is going strong the next day I might leave it for a while longer. Also, I'd like to be able to bring in some controversial stuff without everything turning into a flaming match so please just don't take anything personally.
So here's the first one:
New Quebec law: Uncover your face if you want to deal with provincial government
MONTREAL - Muslim women will be forced to uncover their faces if they want services from the Quebec government, according to landmark legislation tabled Wednesday in the province.
In tabling the bill, Quebec delves into sensitive territory where governments in Canada have largely avoided treading: setting hard-and-fast rules for accommodating minorities.
The bill says people obtaining - or delivering - services at places like the health-or auto-insurance boards will need to do so with their faces in plain view.
Face-coverings won't be tolerated if they hinder communication or visual identification.
Premier Jean Charest characterized the legislation as a defence of two valued principles, gender equality and secular public institutions.
"This is a symbol of affirmation and respect - first of all, for ourselves, and also for those to whom we open our arms," Charest told a news conference in Quebec City.
"This is not about making our home less welcoming, but about stressing the values that unite us. . .
"An accommodation cannot be granted unless it respects the principle of equality between men and women, and the religious neutrality of the state."
While the debate over such identity issues has raged in Europe for years, and played out around countless dinner tables and Internet chat boards in this country, Canadian politicians have been reluctant to weigh in.
Quebec is an exception to that rule.
Though the law makes no overt reference to any particular religion, Muslim leaders say it's hard not to feel singled out.
Salam Elmenyawi of the MCM questioned the need to legislate against such a small minority of the population.
"It is a knee-jerk reaction to the opposition and vote-grabbing more than anything else," he said, adding the law was unlikely to encourage integration of Muslim immigrants.
The move was more favourably received in some quarters of the legal community, where it was praised as "smart policy."
[Edited by SuperSkyline89, 3/29/2010 5:44:58 AM]
Nor should it be allowed to either.
You can't take away a part of a persons culture/religion like that.
I personally think anything specifically aimed toward equalizing everyone should be required, and if I had the power to I'd "fix" the voting.
Not to be harsh or anything, but across Africa and the Middle-East, they do some nasty things to women who don't cover their faces, all because "Women are to be out of sight and out of mind" when not in their kitchen obeying their husband's every whim. Heck, they do nasty things to little girls and women just because they can, like sewing them shut to "prevent promiscuity and disease", leading to death by Toxic Shock Syndrome during their menstrual cycles.
Society needs to promote equality SPECIFICALLY at the cost to religious "freedom" if said "Freedom" is the "Freedom" to intentionally segregate and harm anyone, especially women and minorities.
That's just my two cents.
Doesn't come as much surprise they have spent most of their life been told that's the way women have to dress and they soon become oblivious to their own oppression.
And Foxxie, Elite, I think I will have to disagree with you on the issue of the idea that Muslim women have been brainwashed into concealing their faces and bodies. This sector of debate about Muslims is so hotly contested that I've reached a point where any testimony given by someone who doesn't live that kind of lifestyle, let alone never met someone who has, is garbage. This is not a slight against either of you, but I've done some digging, and found out that far from being forced to wear them wherever they go, many Muslim women, even outside Muslim-dominated societies, choose to wear them anyhow. Some say they like them, some say it's habit, some say it's and integral part of their lifestyle and individuality.
[Edited by AdmiralThrawn, 3/28/2010 2:34:09 PM]