Sunday, February 04, 2007

A-propo this, here is a timely article in Canada Free Press about Quebec's failed multiculturalism its deep-seated hypocorisy about it. Diamond-sharpened words from Beryl Wajsman about double standards and political confusion:

Ground zero for all this is of course the small Mauricie town of Herouxville that passed a municipal "charter" that included affirmations, among others, that women will not be stoned; faces will not be veiled; and the word Christmas will continue to be used. Immigrants are welcome but they must adapt to Quebec "values".

Taken alone, and superficially, this minor outcry would almost seem an exercise in sarcastic repudiation of political correctness and the ever-growing parochial demands of Islam worldwide. Indeed, many American media sources reported on Herouxville as an example of Quebec standing shoulder-to-shoulder with western liberal pluralism and the threat it now faces. After all, if this represents a defence of Quebec "values" then Quebec must truly have succeeded in its "Revolution tranquille", its quiet revolution, and accepted fidelity to free thought; separation of state and faith and repudiation of its pre-1960 xenophobia of "sang et langue", blood and language. But therein lays the rub.

This debate is not, and should not be, about accommodating the cacophony of growing demands by every group under the sun. Ever-increasing demands based on race or creed or religion are inherently "unreasonable" and no liberal society based on universal principles can "accommodate" every diversity and stand for anything meaningful. The true debate that is needed is about the ability of Quebec to acculturate itself to liberal universal principles and stop making the same unreasonable particularist demands on the body politic of Canada and on its non-Francophone citizens. All the current talk in Quebec today about "reasonableness" and "values" is just a smokescreen to avoid that debate and to deflect from the daily reality that Quebec is on a road back to the future. Back to a revived "grande noirceur


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