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Secularism Of Bill 21 Violates Quebec’s Christian Historical Identity

by Rémi Tremblay, Fédération des Québécois de Souche

Do you agree with multiculturalists that only “racist” Christian symbols should be banned, not “progressive” Moslem and Sikh symbols because they are “essential” for a “diverse education”?

It is a real “ethnic cleansing” that the Quebec government is currently orchestrating if we are to believe the Hampstead mayor Bill Steinberg. But an external observer will not see any concentration camps being built, clerics preparing hit lists or soldiers forcing the population to register and be sorted out. No, the mayor of the small wealthy Montreal borough has since admitted it; there is no violence involved, but nevertheless in his opinion it will still be a “pacific ethnic cleansing”.


The bill that made Steinberg throw these ludicrous accusations at the François Legault government is Bill 21, the secularism bill that aims to ban government employees holding some kind of authority from wearing religious symbols while on duty. According to this bill, new employees — because those already working will benefit from an exemption — will not be allowed to wear any religious symbols at work. Any religious symbols. So that includes a cross, a niqab, a turban or a kippah.

It is needless to repeat that those religious symbols are not banned from public space and that only some state employees are affected and then only when they are at work. In the same vein as the very balanced Steinberg, intercultural philosopher Gérard Bouchard called the move “radical” and the paragon of multiculturalism Justin Trudeau labeled it “discriminatory.” Words have lost any meaning and the current “crisis” and hyperboles are just fuelling the fire.

When they penned their legislation project, François Legault and his cabinet had tried to avoid any controversy by not granting any exception, even to the Catholics who actually founded New France and permitted French Canadians to thrive as a distinct people under the British who wished to assimilate them. Without any respect for Quebecers’ heritage, the Cross is also forbidden in government’s offices, in order to be equal and fair to all.

But the sacrifice of our cultural heritage on the altar of diversity has not satisfied the always demanding minorities who still perceive — or pretend to perceive — the move as a discriminatory policy. Give them an inch, and they will ask for a mile. For the moment.

The different religious lobbies, from the B’nai Brith to Muslim organizations, have condemned the new bill and vowed to fight it in different ways. The usually opposed communities found at last a common ground. The B’nai Brith will challenge the law in court, while other religious groups have adopted a more activist strategy. Thousands demonstrated in Montreal on April 7th under the leadership of the Islamic radical Adil Charkaoui — once investigated for his links to terrorism by federal authorities — to protest the bill.

To them all, may they live in homogenous wealthy Anglophone enclaves and attend synagogue service or live in more diverse neighborhoods and go to the mosque. It is of little importance to these powerful pressure groups that a clear majority not only supports the ban, but would extend it to other fields.

Polls have shown that 74% approve such a ban for judges and policemen and 69% for the teachers and school employees. And some 67% would go further and apply the law to other government employees. And, only a third of Quebecers support granting an exception to those already on public payroll. The Canadian commentator Ezra Levant, who is to my knowledge the only Anglophone who has yet publicly supported the law, called it “the most popular law to be introduced in Quebec in a generation.”

According to Trudeau, Islam is a “progressive religion” consistent with Canadian multiculturalism” whereas Christianity is a religion of “Canada’s racist past”

But for the apostles of diversity, democracy is not a question of numbers and majorities; it is first and foremost a system that allows minorities to do as they wish without being bothered. Flanked by other politicians whom Levant labeled as “left-wing Jews, from Montreal’s Anglophone enclave, living in their little ethnic bubble,” the Liberal MP Anthony Housefather explained seriously that “the real test of a politician is not whether you support a law because it’s popular, it’s when you support, or don’t support something that is popular because what you’re doing is the right thing.” Liberals went along the same road, accusing their political opponents of being “electoralist”, a term not too far removed in meaning from “populist,” that implies that the government is trying to do what the majority wants in order to be re-elected.

Isn’t that the whole point of parliamentary democracy?

The far left loonies accused the government of hypocritical motives. For once, anti-racists are somehow right: most people want to ban foreign religious symbols, not Catholic ones. And it is totally normal in a nation — Quebec having been recognized as such by then prime minister Stephen Harper in 2006 — that owes so much to the Catholic Church. And this is exactly what Legault should have done: assert our right to celebrate our religious, cultural and historical heritage, and demand of immigrants that they adopt some new habits if they are to work for the government. But where they are wrong is that hypocrisy does imply a veiled intent, which is far from being the case of average citizens who openly state that Catholics should have the right to wear their cross, for cultural and historical reasons. It is totally legitimate and Legault could have easily adopted this policy. After all, in non-Western countries, it is how it is done. Religion is not banned from countries like Saudi Arabia: only Christian symbols and preaching are and we never see Adil Charkaoui or Gérard Bouchard denounce this way of doing things.

But Legault could not live with such a double standard and, considering deep inside that newcomers should be treated exactly the same as the founding people, he decided to impose this law on everyone, including Old Stock Quebecers who will now be banned from wearing a cross under their shirt if they are to work in universities, colleges and schools that were founded by clerics and still bear Catholic names. What an insult to New France’s pioneers!

So the multiculturalists are indeed right when they point out the double standard expressed by the majority. But they are wrong in assuming that Legault adopted this position. He has chosen the compromise rather than imposing the people’s will and doing what is right in order to preserve our identity.

Interestingly, the opponents of the bill were very enthusiastic when the MPs voted unanimously — on the very day Bill 21 was presented — to remove the cross from the House of Commons in Quebec City. The removal of this cultural and historical symbol was opposed by a majority of 63% of Quebecers — a number that includes immigrants and minorities and that rises to 68% outside the very diverse city of Montreal. And not one MP stood up to defend the majority’s will. Not one MP stood up to defend our heritage.

And François Legault and his MPs, who had vowed to keep this symbol where it was, betrayed their promise without any hesitation. The population had no possibility of getting mobilized as the news of the removal was only announced after it was actually voted on in the National Assembly.

So the real hypocrites are those who applauded when the crosses were removed from town halls and the parliament building, but opposed the decision that minorities should also remove their own religious symbols. “The crosses gotta go, but banning niqab is racist,” they say.

Dixieland removed its Confederate statues. Canada denied its heroes and now Quebec, which considered itself distinct and unique, is following the example of its neighbors by removing the cross, not only from the House of Commons but in many town halls as well. We have just been slower in getting on the PC train.

It is exactly what former Front National president Jean-Marie Le Pen warned us about when he wrote in his recent memoirs Fils de la Nation that “The Great Replacement of our people goes along and pretends to be justified by the replacement of our history.”

We are erasing our heritage in order to accommodate newcomers who can and are actually encouraged to show pride in their heritage.

One lesson that must be learned — and it should be clear to everyone — is that Legault gained nothing from removing the Cross. It was a gesture that only encouraged his opponents to be fiercer by showing his weakness and refusal to be politically incorrect. Faced with the replacement of our people, our culture and our identity, it is not half-solutions and compromises that are needed but firm stands.

Trudeau feels a deep emotional attachment with Islam, but finds Christianity “homophobic” and “racist”.

And opposition will not only be a matter of words. As mentioned before, the religious lobbies will go to court to defeat the new legislation. On top, Justin Trudeau has declared he would do everything in his power to block the adoption of the bill. In order to make the restrictions on “religious freedom” valid, François Legault needs to invoke the notwithstanding clause that allows a province not to apply the Charter of rights and freedoms for a specific law.

Because the niqab ban does go against Trudeau’s vision of a “postnational state” with “no core identity”, but also because the Charter is part of Trudeau senior’s legacy, the Liberal prime minister will do everything in his power to ensure the legislation is not implemented.

Legault may very well lose this battle, and then, the Cross will have been taken down, but not the Muslim veil, which is the controversial religious symbol targeted by this law. Just like immigration is a false remedy to an aging population, as Benoît Dubreuil and Guillaume Marois proved in Le remède imaginaire, secularism is a bad remedy for fighting the rise of Islam.

Because, let’s face it, it is mainly the process of Islamisation that is targeted here by this law.

And in the end, it is all a matter of mass immigration. Those problems, like the growing presence of Islam and the need to impose secularism, are consequences of the open border policies that allow tens of thousands of newcomers to settle in Quebec year after year. True, François Legault decreased the quotas by 20%, but it is still a tremendous number that does not make Quebec a better place to live and will eventually lead to our own displacement. It seems that Quebec politicians from both sides of this issue have forgotten that politics should be dictated by the will of the people in order to achieve the greater good for our own people.

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