Friday, March 26, 2010

Quebec and the Niqab

A cultural fissure between the French- and English-Canadian elites has been opened up very recently as Quebec has decided to intorduce a bill that seems to say that women who will not doff their face- or head-coverings will be denied government services. Even our opposition federal leader seems to support this!
Now viscerally I love this but holy cow I am really a classical liberal at heart and cannot find any justification for this choice, no matter how little I like them and people who will be lobbying against it.
The last thing I want in the world is my provincial government telling me how to dress. I rather like my infantile choice to try to continue to look like the me of 40 years ago, though I am sure the effort is failing.
I also grant, as one who lives in a neighborhood with much Somali immigration, that there are many people who look totally ridiculous to me walking around in fabric garbage bags, but that is their choice. About the only reason I can see to ask them NOT to get out of the bags is when they walk into a bank or maybe a store, but the Quebec law is not about that.
So I am baffled to a degree.
My personal preference - run the risk in the banks and stores, and let the garbage-bag ladies keep wandering until they become bored with their rather silly and utterly pointless difference. I suspect the community impressed by their chosen ugliness is small enough they'll give up.
The Quebecers have their point but how precisely and where can they draw a line?


At 7:56 PM, Blogger rondi adamson said...

The you of 40 years ago didn't cover your face. Nor does the you of now. That is the problem with the niqab and the burka. I would never want, say, a headscarf or hijab wearing woman to not get government services. I see a big difference when you don't show your face.

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

I think you are telling me I do not understand the law so I will wait amd think some more.


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