2016-09-20, updated 2016-09-21
A (non-exhaustive) list of seven challenges which Canadian secularists must meet in order to promote a state which is truly independent of religious interference.
Sommaire en français
Une liste (non exhaustive) de sept défis que les partisans de la laïcité doivent relever afin de prôner un État véritablement indépendant et libre d’ingérence religieuse. Ces défis sont :
- Prôner l’abolition de la monarchie
- Abandonner le multiculturalisme (communautarisme)
- S’opposer à tous les intégrismes, y compris l’islamique, et pas seulement le chrétien
- Reconnaître que certains codes vestimentaires sont nécessaires pour la laïcité
- Respecter le choix du Québec en matière de laïcité
- Laisser tomber votre puéril engouement pour Saint Justin Trudeau
- Rejeter l’influence de la gauche régressive
CANADIAN SECULARISTS MUST:
- PROMOTE ABOLITION OF THE MONARCHY.
The monarchy is a religious institution, incompatible with fundamental human rights.
The fact that Canada’s head of state must be of a particular religion is bad enough, but it is only a symptom of the underlying problem: the monarchy is essentially a religious institution, in which the king or queen rules by “divine right,” i.e. a mandate from an imaginary divinity. The fact that Canada’s monarchy is constitutional does not change that situation; it simply makes the monarchy non-absolute. Similarly, so-called “moderate” Christian churches avoid some of the worst excesses of fundamentalist churches, but they are still Christian.
Furthermore, hereditary transmission of the title of head of state violates the principle of equality which is fundamental to human rights and secularism. Finally, the bizarre circumstance that Canada’s monarch is a foreigner—and the head of state of a foreign country—tends to favour those whose ethnic background is from that country and to undervalue all others.
- ABANDON MULTICULTURALISM.
Multiculturalism = communitarianism = cultural relativism = ethno-religious determinism = religious essentialism = soft racism = an electoral strategy of unscrupulous politicians
I have criticized multiculturalism in previous blogs and articles and many other writers have pointed out the flaws in this nice-sounding but retrograde concept. In particular the Canadian Multiculturalism Act must be repealed or at least modified substantively so that it can no longer be used to favour the more religious (including fundamentalists and worse) over the less religious and the non-religious.
- OPPOSE ALL RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISMS, INCLUDING ISLAMIC.
Christianity is not the only crappy religion. Islam is just as dangerous—and currently it is arguably even worse (which does not imply that we can stop criticizing Christianity for now). Sikh, Hindu, Judaic and other fundamentalisms are also dangerous.
In particular, we must resist the Islamist ploy, so commonly used to manipulate well-meaning fools, of playing the victim, of exaggerating the seriousness of anti-Muslim acts. In Canada, hate crime statistics indicate that the most frequent targets of such acts continue to be blacks and Jews.
Although is it obviously unfair to blame all Muslims for the actions of Islamist terrorism, all Muslims, including so-called moderates, nevertheless have a responsibility to confront the reality of that terrorism—i.e. the fact that the coran and other core documents of Muslim tradition contain much hate propaganda and many calls for deadly violence—and to distance themselves definitively from it. The fact that the torah and the bible also contain similar content does not mitigate Muslims’ responsibility; it simply means that Christians and Jews also have responsibilities.
As the journalist Joseph Facal puts it, not all Muslims are guilty but all are responsible. Adopting the posture of a victim is a strategy for shirking those responsibilities. (“enfermement dans une posture victimaire qui conduit à se défiler devant ses propres responsabilités.”)
- RECOGNIZE THAT SECULARISM REQUIRES DRESS CODES.
Or do you want police and judges to wear collanders and niqabs?
It is unacceptable for public servants—especially those with coercive power such as police, judges and prison guards—to display blatant symbols of religious or political affiliation while on duty. To allow such aberrant behaviour has nothing to do with “rights”—rather it amounts to granting a privilege to the wearers of such symbols and to their religion or ideology, a privilege which compromises everyone else’s freedom of conscience.
Face-coverings are even worse, as they are impediments to security and communication, among other issues. They should be forbidden for all users of public services, not just state employees on duty.
- RESPECT QUEBEC’S CHOICES.
The Québécois have every right to choose laïcité without being vilified for it.
During the debate over Quebec’s proposed Charter of Secularism in 2013-2014, opposition to the Charter from Canada outside Quebec was ferocious and based largely on ethnic bigotry against Quebeckers, bigotry which is often called “racism” (although inaccurate here, because French-speaking Québécois constitute a nation, not a “race”). When the PQ goverment was defeated in the provincial election of April 2014 and the Charter thus died, the defeat was because voters rejected the PQ’s sovereignty option, not secularism. Polls show that secularism remains very popular among Quebeckers, and their secularism is more in line with the modern republican tradition of laïcité which is obviously superior to the lame 17th-century Lockean pseudo-secular tradition which is dominant in English-speaking countries and remains so, largely as a result of anglo-ethnocentrism.
(This tension was also very evident during the recent burkini controversy. More on that in a future blog.)
- ABANDON YOUR CHILDISH INFATUATION WITH SAINT JUSTIN TRUDEAU.
Justin Trudeau is as anti-secular and as shallow as Pope Franky. Like the pope, his strength is in dishonest self-marketing.
Trudeau opportunistically courts the votes of various religious communities by flirting with very dubious Islamists (with ideological affinities to the Muslim Brotherhood) and with fundamentalist Sikhs.
Trudeau insults gays and women by marching in gay parades and claiming to be a feminist while continuing to be very chummy with religious fanatics who practice gender segregation and oppose gay rights and gender equality.
Trudeau slanders secularists by lumping us all in the same category as a bigoted con-artist like Donald Trump.
To criticize Trudeau does not imply support for his adversaries and enemies. That would be falling into the trap of what I call the “binary fallacy” and which Wikipedia calls “False dilemma”.
- REJECT THE REGRESSIVE LEFT.
The regressive left uses specious accusations of “intolerance,” “xenophobia,” “islamophobia,” etc. to deflect or silence legitimate criticism of religions and multiculturalism.
Secularists must explicitly reject the odious influence of the regressive left which Wikipedia describes as “a section of left-wing politics which is accused of paradoxically holding reactionary views due to tolerance of illiberal principles and ideologies (such as extremist Islamism) for the sake of multiculturalism and cultural relativism.” This accusation is certainly valid in light of the behaviour of many leftist and centrist Canadian politicians, the most noteworthy being Justin Trudeau who, for electoral advantage, regularly panders to various religious communities (such as Islamist and Sikh) which tend to be of the fundamentalist variety.
It is shameful how Trudeau and his ilk present the wearing of the Islamic veil as some sort of victory for women’s rights when in reality it is precisely the opposite. Remember the admonition of Mona Eltahawy, author of “Headscarves and Hymens”: western women who wear the veil contribute to the subservience of women elsewhere in the world for whom wearing the veil is an obligation.
Next blog: False Memes from the Burkini Wars