Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

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. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Music Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    British rock band Coldplay started its set at the Glastonburg Festival on Sunday by broadcasting excerpts of the iconic speech Charlie Chaplin delivered in The Great Dictator, the 1940 political satire in which the famous filmmaker/movie star played a Jewish barber. “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone,” Chaplin begins his address. “I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    JNS.org – The seed for the city of Cleveland’s first professional championship in a major sport in 52 years may have been planted at the Shaw Jewish Community Center on White Pond Drive in Akron, Ohio, nearly 20 years ago. That’s when a tall, lanky kid from Akron named LeBron James walked onto the hardwood court and changed the game of basketball forever. Coach Keith Dambrot, now the head basketball coach at the University of Akron, conducted those sessions that attracted […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    JNS.org – In 2008, Yoram Honig was a producer and director living in Jerusalem, fresh off his first international hit, when the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) came to him with a challenge: build a film industry from scratch in Israel’s capital. “When we started here, was nothing in Jerusalem,” he said during an interview in his office in the Talbiya neighborhood. Now, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, which Honig heads as an arm of the JDA, pumps 9 million shekels […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Book Reviews Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    JNS.org – “Writing is a messy process,” says author Elizabeth Poliner. “People who don’t write fiction would be surprised to see what early drafts could look like.” But readers wouldn’t know “what a mess it was for the longest time,” as the Jewish author puts it, when reading Poliner’s critically acclaimed latest book, As Close to Us as Breathing. The volume garnered Amazon’s “Best Book” designation in March 2016 as well as rave reviews from the New York Times,W Magazine, NPR, […]

    Read more →