The news stories coming out of the Commission on Reasonable Accomodation (or whatever it’s official name is) have really been eye-opening. It’s no secret that we have paranoid xenophobes here. But this commission, going around the province (starting with small rural towns and ending in Montreal) seems to be legitimizing it.
Suddenly, it’s no longer taboo to express an irrational, paranoid fear of immigrants flooding in to take over your country. To suggest that a few dozen quiet immigrants with cloth over their faces settling in a town hundreds of kilometres away is going to somehow radically alter the way of life in a place that is 96% Catholic might have once been considered ignorant racism. But now that the commission is coming along, it’s giving these lunatics a forum in which to express their paranoia.
Tonight in a park, as I watched a free movie screening, one of the spectators shouted at the end, complaining that the film was not in French and that Quebec is a French-only province. The man was clearly off his rocker, and the crowd stayed silent in response. The young moderator of the evening, in an attempt at diplomacy, repeated an invitation to a post-screening party in the province’s official language, but the man was still yelling as she spoke in his tongue. He wasn’t interested in accomodation, he just wanted to yell.
Now if that same man were to walk into a commission hearing room and give those opinions into a microphone, suddenly it would become news. It would get into the newspapers, and would require acknowledgment and analysis.
I realize I’m generalizing here, but normal people have better things to do with their lives than attend these hearings. It’s the unemployed crazies who want someone to blame for their crappy lives that come to these town halls and blame immigrants they’ve never seen or met.
Perhaps there’s no alternative to this. We’re dealing with questions of morality, and that requires public consultation. But it still irks me that we’re giving an open mic to racist, xenophobic extremists and pretending like their opinions are justified.
I think your absolutley right, the Bouchard Taylor commision is simply a forum to voice xenophobia and fear, the mandate of the commision is too weak to do anything else. Also, holding meetings in Saguenay, Abitibi and other farflung towns with little experience in Immigration, but plenty in clinging onto the past, probably wasn’t the best choice for a frank and open discussion on the way immigrants and their cultures are to be in Quebec society.
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Yes, the commission is a forum that allows open expression for all.
It’s sad that the recent global events (Islamic extremist mayhem) is forcing the population to largely express xenophobia, especially any potential terrorist fallout in our communities.
But can you blame them?
Canadian society is not extremist, and it is quite possibly innocent (or should I say ignorant) of the current reality of the world.
Immigrants from all corners of the globe have arrived on our shores, but it isn’t the diverse culture that is causing problems: it is religion.
Whether you like it or not, the current world climate regarding a certain religion (islam) is clearly scaring the world, but could this fear be a true justification of a oncoming clash of religions?
I believe that we who do care about this country absolutely reject any kind of extremism, and will not tolerate any kind of extremism (this is a “good intolerance”!)
Our society is doing fine without having to extend reasonabale accommodations, especially to seemingly loving and peaceful people, the same which persecute Christians and Jews throughout the world at a convenient opportunity.
Yes, our society is built on tolerance, but there is clear and present evidence that other societies (Middle East, certain parts of Asia) are not tolerant, and traces of these intolerances are showing up in our society.
Get a Jew or a Christian to ask for reasonable accommodation in their respective islamic country…they will face persecution. Here, we simply bend over…
In case there’s any doubt, here’s a nice preface to what can come to us if we are not vigilant in protecting our freedoms from intolerant newcomers to our society: go to You Tube, key in Islamic Justice, and enjoy the various features, especially about the child whose punishment was to run over his arm with a car, execution of a 16 year old girl from the “moral police”, and other goodies…
Folks, let’s not be gullible!
Bouchard-Taylor? a bunch of rejects if you ask me. Who are you? who made you experts in culture! Give me my city back and i will show you where to go.
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