A controversy arose in Quebec last summer over a proposed law known (in English) as a “Charter of Quebec Values”. The values codified in the new law are secular ones. It would ban the wearing of religious symbols and garments (including the niqab) by employees in public institutions.
Needless to say, Quebec’s culturally enriched community is vociferously unhappy with the planned law. The coalition of Muslims and elite progressives has found itself at odds with the ordinary citizens of Quebec, who are not all that fond of seeing their province rapidly Islamized.
The following video shows excerpts from citizens’ testimony before a national assembly commission in Quebec City. Anglophones will find it refreshing to hear so much political incorrectness voiced in a public forum — no one would be allowed to say anything so “racist” at a congressional hearing in Washington D.C.
Many thanks to Bear and CB Sashenka for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
Below is a CBC report discussing the same testimony:
Pineault-Caron’s secular charter comments raise questions
Quebec ‘values’ charter hearings should not be a platform for racism, says Canadian Muslim Forum
Questions are being raised about the role of commissioners in censoring speakers at the Quebec secular charter hearings, after some recent testimony sparked outrage.
On Thursday, Quebecer Geneviève Caron spoke before a national assembly commission in Quebec City, describing her shock after visiting a mosque in Morocco.
“There were men on all fours on the ground … ‘Come on!’ I said, “Praying on all fours on the ground on little carpets…what the heck is that all about?’”
An excerpt of that testimony was posted on YouTube, and so far has received close to 300,000 hits.
The couple’s daughter, Manon Pineault said her parents are far from racist and believes they were misunderstood.
“There was nothing controversial (in their remarks),” Pineault, who also testified at the hearing, said in an interview from her home in the Quebec City area.
“At a certain point, I thought that maybe they misunderstood what we wanted to express, that maybe they saw it as racism — it’s not racism… We simply gave our opinions, but there’s no racism.”
Pineault said her family is very open to other cultures and her children have friends from different backgrounds.
“My daughter is dating a black man and he’s very well accepted at our house,” she said.
No vetting process for speakers
Luciano Del Negro, the Quebec vice-president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said someone should have stepped in to stop Caron.
“It demeans the whole process,” he told CBC’s Daybreak.
“Certainly one would think that a parliamentary commission begs for more decorum.”
There is no vetting process for the groups and individuals who present at the public hearings. A spokesman for the national assembly said anyone who submitted a brief before the deadline will be given the opportunity to speak, (barring any scheduling difficulties) based on a first come, first serve basis.
CBC Daybreak requested an interview with Bernard Drainville, the minister responsible for the secular charter, to find out why Caron’s testimony was not interrupted.
Drainville’s office refused to comment.
Daybreak also made calls to the offices of all four parties who sit on the commission, but they refused an interview.
Samer Majzoub, president of the Canadian Muslim Forum, said Caron’s testimony may have been shocking, but it didn’t come as a surprise.
“Honestly the whole process of the charter is offensive,” Majzoub said.
He told Daybreak that the hearings should be an opportunity for legislators to get feedback from stakeholders.
“It should not really in any way turn into a platform of antisemitism, Islamaphobia, or racism.” he said.
‘Racist’ mention prompts interruption
Officials did step in earlier last week, when another presenter, Martin Laperrière, called a Montreal columnist a “racist.”
The president of the commission interrupted the proceedings, and said the comment was unacceptable.
Drainville asked Laperrière to withdraw his comment.
The commission resumes Tuesday.
|00:00||Well I don’t know if any of you went to a mosque in…|
|00:04||Morocco, no well not me…|
|00:08||well maybe if you do not push your affairs far enough…|
|00:12||it can get to that point. Well we came in. We arrived…|
|00:16||to enter the mosque…|
|00:20||and to start, we took our tickets and after that we were told…|
|00:24||“you must take off your shoes”. Why take off your shoes?|
|00:28||But prior to arriving we had seen…|
|00:32||the men and women with a small carpet rolled under their arms…|
|00:36||that were coming in anyways…|
|00:40||A guy decided “we take off our shoes and we go”|
|00:44||We came here to visit so we visit. We hope…|
|00:48||We took off our shoes. We gave them our shoes, We went in…|
|00:52||and then… in any case it was like here (in this room, the Quebec legislature)|
|00:56||a great big carpet. And at some point I said…|
|01:00||“what is happening?” Their were some men on all fours on the floor…|
|01:04||I asked “What are they doing there?”|
|01:08||Then the guide says “They’re praying.” “What?”|
|01:12||They are praying on all fours on the ground on a small carpet.|
|01:16||What is that business about? But we continue the tour…|
|01:20||and there was a big curtain. And I looked, but there were just…|
|01:24||men. In the back of the curtain there just women. The women were also on all fours…|
|01:29||and they were praying, but I was…|
|01:33||affected by this…|
|01:37||to have seen this. I was not getting over it.|
|01:41||I went back on the bus and said, “Is that possible?”|
|01:45||“To pray on all fours on a carpet?”|
|01:49||In Morocco, in Tangier,|
|01:53||I was in a souk (market) choosing souvenirs when I was searched…|
|01:57||on the right side. I thought it was my wife but…|
|02:01||I am searched on the left side. I look and see two people with (disguises)|
|02:05||on their heads. I pushed them and they ran away…|
|02:09||Who was under these disguises? Women? Men? I don’t know…|
|02:13||But what I do know, it is unthinkable to allow people to…|
|02:17||walk around Quebec on the streets, in public places…|
|02:21||in fact it shouldn’t be allowed anywhere except residences or private areas…|
|02:25||with such disguises. In Istanbul…|
|02:29||A beautiful city, but the minarets spread out throughout the city…|
|02:33||where the criers make their chants and calls many times a day…|
|02:37||day and night is very disturbing…|
|02:41||Approximately 20 years ago, I walked alone on the streets of Montreal safely…|
|02:45||but not anymore because street gangs have taken control…|
|02:49||and now certain groups and political leaders with the goal…|
|02:53||of being elected or being re-elected are willing to make us go backwards by a thousand years…|
|02:57||or more with religious wars…|
|03:01||Is it possible…|
|03:05||that the cult of the solar temple is back?|
|03:10||If a person with a (face-covering) has the right to walk around in public and even…|
|03:14||vote during elections, then why would I not have the same rights? The manner…|
|03:18||in which you orient this, yes at the level of government, they will not have…|
|03:22||the right to camouflage themselves completely, but they will…|
|03:26||take to the streets of Montreal with that. I am not racist at all…|
|03:30||In my trips, like I said, we took part in everything…|
|03:34||We took part with the group, we tried to talk, but they want…|
|03:38||us to be obligated to follow the rules of their country.|
|03:42||At home, we refuse that our children walk around…|
|03:46||with a knife, we refuse that women be beaten, we refuse slavery…|
|03:50||we refuse that our children and even us adults…|
|03:54||in the churches, that we have toques and hats and (disguises)|
|03:58||We must follow the rules…|
|04:02||Do you have anything else Mr. Pineault? There is some time left over and I want you…|
|04:06||to have time to go to the end of your thoughts. yes…|
|04:10||I will let the colleagues from the other parties ask questions. Yes…|
|04:14||Mr. Coderre, when he went to Afghanistan, apparently there was…|
|04:18||a good body-guard to protect him…|
|04:22||But we get to Montreal and he wants to permit…|
|04:26||it could help Al-Qaeda, it can be anything…|
|04:30||administer these plans. It’s necessary to plan these things.|
|04:34||But now Mr. Coderre wants to have all these people…|
|04:38||with what will he be protected? He is no longer in Afghanistan?|
|04:42||(and in Afghanistan) like I said I am sure 3 or 4…|
|04:46||more murders in Montreal since 2000…|
|04:50||then deaths in Afghanistan from our bunch. That’s it.
Hat tip for the CBC article: JP.
For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.