Name a leading figure in English Canada who defends, openly and consistently, the legitimacy of Quebec’s position on secularism.
One, just one.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Behind the whining of the victimized teachers ‘poops’, two confronting mental universes, two conceptions of good society.
And it’s David against Goliath. The opponents of Bill 21 have unlimited resources.
The operation is funded by religious fundamentalists and orchestrated by the largest law firms in Toronto.
This week, David strikes back.
Let’s say that you want your child to develop independent judgment and critical thinking skills.
It is not necessarily hostility to religion.
Rather, it is the idea that he will make his own religious choices when he reaches the age of reason.
It has a name: respect for his freedom of conscience.
Moreover, if the parents have chosen not to send their child to a religious school, precisely because they want something else, is it too much to ask to respect their decision?
Logically, all this means that the teacher does not have to favor one religion over another, neither explicitly nor implicitly.
One fine morning the veiled teacher arrives.
The difference between a hidden religious sign and an exposed religious sign is that the second is meant to be seen, by definition, so to deliberately send a message.
If it wasn’t a message, it would be under clothing or at home.
So what is the hijab if not the open expression of a religious choice?
They really take us for idiots.
Forget about the women sent to the media to fall asleep with their “identity” or their “choice” which has nothing to do with religion.
What is the meaning of the hijab in fundamentalist logic?
Showing her hair, it is said, would be tantamount to exposing her nakedness. To cover them is to be modest so as not to arouse the lust of men other than the husband.
Do you see the conception of man implicit in this view of things?
It is that of an individual dominated by carnal impulses that he might have difficulty controlling, essentially a male in heat.
Insulting and reductive, you say?
If the hijab has no religious significance, if it is only “decorative”, why this stubborn refusal to take it off for a few hours?
The “bon-ententistes”, the “J’aime-pas-la-chicane”, so numerous in Quebec, will say they want a compromise.
The compromise is already in Bill 21, a strict minimum.
Its adversaries do not want any compromise: they want its eradication.
They want absolute freedom to promote a politico-religious program that goes against everything Quebec has been trying to erect for more than half a century.
I have been talking about respect from the start.
The naive or the manipulators will perhaps ask: and respect for the veiled teacher?
Let us recall another obvious fact: school exists for children, not for teachers, free to dress as they want everywhere else.