Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Funny" title, serious topic.

Town to immigrants: you can't kill women

By David Ljunggren Wed Jan 31, 8:45 AM ET

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Immigrants wishing to live in the small Canadian town of Herouxville, Quebec, must not stone women to death in public, burn them alive or throw acid on them, according to an extraordinary set of rules released by the local council.

The declaration, published on the town's Web site, has deepened tensions in the predominantly French-speaking province over how tolerant Quebecers should be toward the customs and traditions of immigrants.

"We wish to inform these new arrivals that the way of life which they abandoned when they left their countries of origin cannot be recreated here," said the declaration, which makes clear women are allowed to drive, vote, dance, write checks, dress how they want, work and own property.

"Therefore we consider it completely outside these norms to ... kill women by stoning them in public, burning them alive, burning them with acid, circumcising them etc."

No one on the town council was available for comment on Tuesday. Herouxville, which has 1,300 inhabitants, is about 160 km (100 miles) northeast of Montreal.

Andre Drouin, the councilor who devised the declaration, told the National Post newspaper that the town was not racist.

"We invite people from all nationalities, all languages, all sexual orientations, whatever, to come live with us, but we want them to know ahead of time how we live," he said.

The declaration is part of a wider debate over "reasonable accommodation," or how far Quebecers should be prepared to change their customs so as not to offend immigrants. Figures from the 2001 census show that around 10 percent of Quebec's 7.5 million population were born outside Canada.

Earlier this month the Journal de Montreal newspaper published a poll of Quebecers showing that 59 percent admitted to harboring some kind of racist feelings...


So if a religious family forbids their daughter from wearing clothes of a certain type, will child services come take her away?

Canada, being much closer to the European tradition than an American one, is clearly siding with conforming to rampant secularism in the war between Islamitization and the newly forming social and philosophical trend of "conformity."

The first salvos are now being fired in this war, unheeded by the public at large. And I just want to say that frankly, I have to come down on the side of the secularists on this issue - forcing women to live in a medieval paradigm is a violation of their rights. Women are not property and should not be treated like property. But I have to admit I feel uneasy about where this slope ends - as should we all. The baby is going to be thrown out with the bath water, because the line between appropriate freedom of religious expression and protection of individual human rights is a very fine line indeed.

No one should be forced to adhere to a religious custom against their will, that's a no-brainer.

But how do you know when you have passed from willingness to being socially coerced by your family and community? It's a hard line to draw, class, therefore it will be drawn badly. And the problem will not be consenting adults - it will be the government intruding into how your children may be raised, because religious indoctrination starts at home. In the interest of "protecting" children from abusive and coercive religious practices, how far will the state go? It's hard to say now, but this article is just more evidence that the backlash against "tolerance" and "multi-culturalism" is growing fast in the face of the backward and barbaric activities of certain religious cults.

And yes, that includes ultra-orthodox Judaism - not just Islam. Any group that is perceived to be on the wrong side of science and modernism can expect to be persecuted. It's only a matter of time.

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