New Quebec Proposal to Restrict Religion is a Farce

September 18, 2013 9:35 am 4 comments

Orthodox Jewish men and their children. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The Premier of Quebec, Pauline Marois, recently put forward a charter of values plan that she intends to bring to the Parliament floor for a vote. The initiative will make it illegal for any provincial employee to wear a Hijab, kipa, etc… on the job. Furthermore, large crucifixes will not be tolerated, but smaller religious symbols will.

The absurdity lies in how the execution of such a law might be enforced – most likely in the same way the Quebec Government presently enforces its language laws, penalizing Quebec merchants and businesses if they dare make an English sign, or a sign in any other language, larger than the French one. Brightness and color count too, although for some reason, all Chinese restaurants seem to have been let off the hook – perhaps the calligraphy is mistaken for artwork?

In addition to the Language Police (who often are armed on the Streets of Montreal with nothing more than a ruler, a pen, and paper to dole out fines) – it is now conceivable that there will be some kind of Religion Police, who will police Quebec teachers and daycare workers to make sure that no Jesus figure or Magen David is any bigger than the law permits. (Note to the government: Perhaps you can combine these two police forces into one and save money!)

Immediately, the initiative raises numerous technical issues that will have to be resolved. For instance, what if a large Star of David is imbedded in a plush mound of male chest hair and is only intermittently visible? On a related note, how will the Jewish “H’ai” symbol be classified? This can potentially violate both the religious symbol law and the language law if it is not accompanied with a French translation: “La Vie.”

These examples are just the tip of what kinds of problems the government might run up against in trying to enforce this law. What do they intend to do on Ash Wednesday? Can’t get much more symbolic than having a Catholic nurse staring down at you with a big grey cross painted on her forehead as she’s about to give you an injection. And what about large crucifixes tattooed on upper chests or yarmulkes on religious men who are fortunate enough to be bald. Will they face prosecution?

Also, will those black fedoras that the Jewish Orthodox men wear be considered a religious symbol or a fashion statement?

And taking this one step further, will it be acceptable for a Jew to cover his head with a Turban, or a Hindu to wear a Kafia? It’s possible that this law can start a whole new trend that will blur the lines of religion, and bring all of mankind closer together. Perhaps that is Madame Marois’ real intention here – to make Quebec a truly integrated multi-cultural society of French Canadian secularists.

(Incidentally, the only people who will be exempt from these directives are elected officials.)

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater 10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    Last month, my one-man show Hoaxocaust! Written and performed by Barry Levey with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran ran in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won an Overall Excellence Award. The play has now been selected to run in the Fringe Encores Series at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center, for four performances which started on Thursday, September 11. Getting the play to the stage was not easy, however. Here are [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Phenomenon: Tel Aviv-based musician and “sampler” extraordinaire, Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) has hit another one out of the park with “Give It Up,” a fully-functioning song in its own right, assembled from hundreds of ameteur and instructional music videos. The Jerusalem-born musical prodigy is best know for his diverse online musical projects. In the latest video, uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 12th, Kutiel thanked most of the musicians and individuals he chose to include in the meticulously-edited clip, which opens with [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    A recently released behind-the-scenes reel of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings shows just how far the director has gone to portray one of the Bible’s most famous narratives. In the clip, which shows scenes involving up to 4,000 extras, the visionary director discusses what drew him to the biblical tale of Moses. “The Moses story was a massive challenge, which I really love. I wanted to explore the complexity of his character and I was stunned by [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    JNS.org – Since 2006, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable and satellite TV network has hosted “The Projected Image,” a month-long showcase examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed on the big screen. At last, after previously covering African Americans, Asians, the LGBT community, Latinos, Native Americans, Arabs, and people with disabilities, the annual series is delving into Jewish film this month. “The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film,” whose first segment aired Sept. 2, runs [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    The sight of young girls in pinafores and young boys wearing peyos – sidelocks – dangling over their ears is a sure sign that you have entered the enigmatic precincts of the Hasidim – the pious ones. Veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger’s new book, THE PIOUS ONES: The World of Hasidim and their Battles with America, takes the reader on a journey into the enclaves where various sects of Jews live a seemingly outmoded way of life in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.