- Posted September 7, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
Multiculturalism and Violence
For the first time a political leader in Canada has admitted that the God of multiculturalism has failed and is in fact the antithesis of what is essentially nationalistic.
Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard says he was astonished when he read the remarks by Marois in a newspaper interview and asserts they are unworthy of a head of government. “I almost could not believe it,” an incredulous Couillard said in an interview with The Canadian Press on Friday. “I had to read it two or three times to be sure.”
In her interview, Marois conceded that the France’s model of secularism “isn’t perfect,” Montreal’s Le Devoir reported, but Marois said that “in England, they’re knocking each other over the head and throwing bombs because of multiculturalism and nobody knowing any more who they are in that society.”
How justified is Marois when she said that wearing a hijab can be seen as a “form of submission,” and said she feared daycare workers in positions of authority could incite kids to practice religion. This is an aspect that has often been ignored and I must appreciate Madam Premiers.s perceptive comment that has never been even deemed relevant.
She made the remarks in an interview here she spoke about the proposed Charter of Quebec Values to be tabled in the legislature.
While the details of the charter are as yet not known fully, elements leaked to the media suggest people working in the public service could be banned from wearing religious symbols such as the hijab.And i do welcome the ban on such symbols that have the capability of being dangerous or demeaning.
The need to overhaul immigration-integration policies are also a matter for debate.
The global Migrant Integration Policy Index suggests the U.K. has actually been mildly more successful than France at integrating immigrants — and that Canada has been far more successful than either.
Its latest study places Canada at No. 3 in the world, after Sweden and Portugal. That is vastly ahead of Britain and France, which are fairly close in ranking. The index, which is produced by think-tanks, research institutes and non-government organizations in Britain, tracks integration from 31 offices across Europe, Canada and the United States.
Marois said in the interview that she could phase her charter in slowly, and did not rule out exempting certain institutions like universities and hospitals. The government is expected to release a discussion paper next week, which would be a precursor to legislation.
That suggests the issue could be dragged out beyond the life of the PQ minority government — and used as an issue in an election campaign.
But Couillard said Marois’ comments are unacceptable for someone who leads a government and who is supposed to unite people.
“To link or associate multiculturalism with violence, particularly interracial violence — I think she should immediately rectify or apologize because this is a very serious way to talk about the communities,” Couillard said. “It’s terrible to say things like that.”
Despite the negative reaction to her comments, Marois told Le Devoir it wasn’t her objective to provoke.
Marois’ charter proposal has majority public support, according to opinion polls, however it has drawn some criticism from commentators normally friendly to the PQ.
Former Bloc Quebecois federal MP Raymond Gravel, in an open letter, described the idea as “worthy of a dictatorship.”
One column in Le Devoir newspaper suggested that the PQ might make some short-term electoral gains at the expense of its long-term strategic goal: convincing Quebec immigrants to support independence.
It suggested that because demographic growth in the province will come from minorities, and that many of those newcomers are arriving from French-speaking, Muslim, North Africa, it would be suicidal for the PQ to alienate them.
“Of course, if the PQ has stopped caring about trying to achieve independence,” Michel David wrote, “that’s a whole other story.”
The Liberals, meanwhile, have argued that the PQ is dragging out this hot-button debate to distract from an issue more Quebecers might care about: a lagging economy.
In fact, politicians outside Quebec have tied the charter issue to the economy as well. The premier of Ontario and mayor of Calgary have essentially invited minority workers, like doctors, upset at the PQ policy to move to their jurisdictions.
Some members of cultural communities, quoted in Quebec media reports, have said that’s exactly what they would do if the charter is introduced as it was described in the leaked draft.
The province has already seen its demographic clout shrink within Canada in recent decades as Quebec retains a smaller share of immigrants than some other provinces.
But the relevance of Madam Premier’s comment can in no way be minimised. The conflict in the cultures does spoil the peaceful environment of the country; especially since the possibility of expansionist cultures and the national culture co-existing is not always there. The expansionist culture might lie low and even pose to be accepting all the parameters of the national values; but it would be a passing phase as is evident in France and UK to a great extent and in the Scandinavian countries to a greater extent. Wherever the expansionist culture has adherents either in majority or even in significant minority the violence is outcome. It is time that Canada learns the lesson from the European Countries’ experience and save itself from the scrooge of multiculturalism. I shall like to kick it away in the words of Shakespeare: “Thou art Siren/ Hawk in the garb of dove? begone from here?I kick thy love.”