ADL Accuses Quebec Candidate of Anti-Semitism for ‘Kosher Tax’ Claim

April 1, 2014 10:35 am 1 comment
A diagram from the charter of Quebec values illustrating banned religious symbols for public employees. Photo: Screenshot / www.nosvaleurs.gouv.qc.ca.

A diagram from the charter of Quebec values. Photo: Screenshot.

The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday accused Louise Mailloux, a candidate for the province’s National Assembly, of anti-Semitism after learning about her ”religiously intolerant statements” regarding a “kosher tax” she accused Canada’s Jews of levying on their countrymen.

The ADL said it was also concerned that no Canadian authorities had yet stepped up to condemn Mailloux’s statements, at a time when a debate over religious identity roars in Quebec after the Canadian province has made many feel ”that their religious freedom is coming under attack” by a proposed bill that would restrict all outward signs of religion, with the exception of a Christian cross, for public employees.

The ADL said the “notion of a ‘kosher tax’ is a decades-old extremist conspiracy theory claiming that kosher certification on food product labels forces consumers to pay extra for the financial benefit of religious individuals and institutions.  In actuality, the cost to the consumer for this service is a miniscule fraction of the total overhead production.”

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said, “The silence of Quebec’s political leadership in the face of Mailloux’s overt, unabashed, anti-Semitic and anti-religious slander speaks volumes and is particularly alarming given the sense many in Quebec have that their religious freedom and accommodation are under attack by the proposed ‘Charter of Values’ being promoted by the Parti Québécois.”

“Unfortunately, the failure of leadership to stand up to this hatred has only aggravated an already tense atmosphere, in which Jews and other religious minorities feel their religious freedoms and rights are being questioned and threatened,” Foxman said.

Mailloux, a philosophy professor and PQ candidate in the upcoming April 7 provincial elections, told reporters that she stood by what she said about the “kosher tax” as creating a financial benefit for the Jewish community. She referred to kosher and halal certification as “theft” and a “religious tax” directly paid to religious institutions.

After some pressure, Mailloux issued a statement that did not retract the assertions, but in which said that she “never wanted to offend or hurt anyone. If that has happened, I very sincerely apologize.”

The head of the PQ, Pauline Marois, defended Mailloux, saying “Her writings are eloquent, I respect her point of view.”

The ADL said that in September 2013, the PQ proposed Bill 60, a “Charter of Values,” which would ban public employees in the province from wearing “overt and conspicuous” religious garb and large religious jewelry, including kippot, hijabs, niqabs, and turbans.  Supporters of the bill claim that just as state employees are mandated to be “politically neutral” in the workplace, they should also be “religiously neutral.” The bill would affect all public employees including educators, hospital employees, and day care workers. Many minority groups, including the Jewish community, have expressed strong opposition to Bill 60 as a violation of religious freedom.

1 Comment

  • Jean Ouellette

    You are absolutely right. I am not sure this verdict will reach any of the Québec politicians

Leave a Reply

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


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Blogs 10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    Ten major film studios are currently in production on projects that promote a decidedly pro-Israeli narrative. In famously liberal Hollywood, such a development has left mouths agape and set tongues a wagging. Since the Jewish State began defending itself from the thousands of rockets that Hamas has hurled at it – as well as ongoing terror attacks and murders, the overwhelming number of Tinseltown’s producers, directors, actors, and studio moguls have remained indifferent to the plight of millions of Israeli [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Sports So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    Israeli Judoka Yarden Gerbi (63kg), 25, of Netanya, on Thursday lost the final round at the Judo World Cup, and her world title to Clarisse Agbegnenou of France, at a match held in Russia. “I have mixed feelings,” Gerbi told Israeli Army radio. But, “I shouldn’t assume that I’d win the world Judo championship twice in a row,” she admitted. Gerbi won gold in Rio De Janeiro last year. “When I made my decision, I knew it was going to [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    “Jews Out!” was just the name of a child’s game that three little girls played in World War II Europe. But all is not as it seems because the three girls were Jewish, but hiding their true identities. In award-winning author R. D. Rosen’s riveting non-fiction work, Such Good Girls, “Jews Out!” wasn’t a game; it was a struggle for survival. The girls, Sophie, Flora, and Carla, grew up at a time and a place that did not allow them [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    JNS.org – “He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” wrote Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994, following the Oct. 20 passing of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Twenty years later, more robust accounts of Carlebach’s life have come to the surface. Earlier this year, Natan Ophir published the book Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Life, Mission & Legacy. This past summer, Rabbi Shlomo Katz’s The Soul of Jerusalem hit the shelves. But even the authors will admit [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    As Hamas loses its grip on power in the Gaza Strip as a result of war, poverty and disillusionment, the Islamist terrorist group has developed an ingenious way to raise the moral of the 1.7 million Palestinian Arabs it was elected to serve. While currently focused on delivering a rocket into every Israeli home, Hamas has not left its own people behind. To gently wipe away the tears of children strategically placed inside kindergartens as human shields, the Hamas Interior Ministry has [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    In a strong statement that challenges the historic divide between Christianity and Judaism, Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Inside every Christian is a Jew.” But if you look at Renaissance artworks that depict Jesus, you will not find any evidence of a Jew inside the Christianized Jesus — even though the Gospels in the New Testament tell us that Jesus was Jewish to the core. Getting that point across to the public is a daunting task, as I learned in interviews I [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.