The Necessity of Quebec Bill 21

A response to the pseudo-argument
“Quebec Bill 21 does not meet any existing need.”

2021-04-26

In the current context of the proliferation of Islamist ideology, Quebec Bill 21 is necessary.

En français Ce blogue est disponible en version française : La nécessité de la Loi 21

One of the popular pseudo-arguments employed by opponents of Quebec Bill 21 is their claim that such legislation is unnecessary, that it does not meet any real need. This bogus argument can be decoded by considering it in connection with another favourite pseudo-argument of antisecularists: that Bill 21 is somehow “discriminatory” and in particular that it “discriminates” against Muslim women.

But first, we must recognize the context in which we live: the proliferation of Islamist ideology.

To grasp fully the issues at play here, we must understand the objective significance of the Islamic veil. The veil, whether it be a hijab, chador, niqab, burqa, etc., is obviously an emblem of radical Islam, that is, Islamism. It is a political uniform and a tool which Islamism uses to infiltrate our societies, a marker of the territory which Islamists seek to occupy, with the complicity of a certain political “left” sometimes referred to as the “Islamoleft,” as well as other partisans of cultural relativism. The veil is also a very strong symbol of misogyny and sexism, as well as an icon of fundamentalist religious obscurantism.

Not to recognize this obvious fact, this objective reality—to claim, on the contrary, that the veil is just a banal article of clothing—is foolish and inexcusable.

We also know that the religious meaning that promoters of the veil assign to this accoutrement is one of purity. That is to say, the veil is a purity symbol which indicates that the woman wearing it is a good Muslim who deserves paradise and, on the other hand, that the woman who does not wear one (especially a Muslim who does not wear one) is impure and deserves to end up in hell. So this is the “choice” the woman faces: heaven or hell.

This objective reality of the veil is completely independent of the mentality or intention of the woman who wears it: she may wear it by choice and be completely unaware of its political significance; or, she may wear it because she is pressured to do so by family or community; or she may be an intentional supporter of Islamism. None of this changes the fact that the veil is a banner of Islamism.

Thus, given this reality, it is obvious that Bill 21 and similar measures which prohibit the wearing of religious symbols by State employees are absolutely necessary in order to counter this Islamist campaign. And to be fair, in order not to discriminate against a particular religion, these prohibitions must apply to visible symbols of all religions.

Therefore, Quebec Bill 21 is necessary and, in addition, it is designed not to discriminate. Thus, two bogus arguments of anti-secularists are entirely debunked. As for the opponents of Bill 21 who continue to use these pretexts, they are either completely mistaken, or they are crassly dishonest.


Next blog: The “Woke” are Not the Political Left

The “White Supremacism” Scam

2021-03-30

Accusations of “racism” and “white supremacism” have become increasingly meaningless because those who make such accusations have an agenda, an ideology, which has nothing to do with fighting racism.

Sommaire en français Les accusations de « racisme » et de « suprémacisme blanc » sont devenues de plus en plus dénuées de sens parce que ceux qui font de telles accusations ont un programme, une idéologie, qui n’a rien à voir avec la lutte contre le racisme.

The ideology of white supremacism is of course a reality. It was certainly a very serious reality in the U.S.A. during the many decades of legal enslavement of black people in the southern states, when it served as an excuse for that servitude. White supremacism remained a reality for many years more, even after the emancipation proclamation which came into effect on January 1st 1863. Even after blacks gained the right to vote, in theory at least, that right was often denied using various stratagems, such as making voter registration difficult.

After such a long history of extreme anti-black racism, it is certainly reasonable to assume that the ideology of white supremacism survives even today in some parts of the U.S.A. However, identifying it has become more difficult in recent years because of the pseudo-left’s noxious habit of seeing racism and white supremacism everywhere, whether it exists or not.

Furthermore, Canada is not the United States, despite the similarities. And Quebec is certainly not the United States, the similarities being less pronounced. On the Canadian side of the border, slavery was much less extensive, it was never a major aspect of the economy, it was prohibited earlier and it did not involve blacks exclusively. Racism in Canada may target various groups, but racism against First Nations persons is probably more serious than racism against blacks.

British Supremacism

One aspect of the Canadian situation which is very different from the American is the importance here of anti-Francophone prejudice. It is reasonable to assume that racist attitudes against groups originally from Europe are much less pronounced that those against non-European groups. Nevertheless, we must not forget that one of the original sources of anti-Francophone racism in Canada, especially in the early years of Canadian history, was the phenomenon of frequent intermarriage between North American natives and the French, so there is a link between these two racisms.

…in Canada the more appropriate expression would be British supremacism..

To summarize, white supremacism may exist anywhere, but in Canada the more appropriate expression would be British supremacism. Even in the USA, white supremacism is much less prevalent than it was only decades ago.

You have no doubt heard about the University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran who recently became notorious for his remarks on Twitter calling Quebec the “Alabama of the north” and asserting that the province’s culture is racist and its government white supremacist. These remarks by Attaran, based on two isolated incidents of racism in Quebec, are themselves racist, i.e. anti-Québécois bigotry.

Hitching a Ride

Attaran’s anti-Québécois comments […] are just another installment in that propaganda.

Of course, we have heard a lot of anti-Québécois bigotry in recent years, It reached a fever-pitch in 2013-2014 when the PQ government of the time proposed a Charter of Secularism, calmed down a little when the PQ lost power, then rose again to an even hotter fever pitch in 2018 when the newly-elected CAQ promised to pass secular legislation and then did just that in June 2019. The anti-Quebec propaganda machine has not let up since then. There is an objective alliance between the anti-Enlightment pseudo-left (which I call the post-left) and political Islam which both oppose secularism fanatically and obsessively. Both essentialize (i.e. racialize) religious affiliation, thus conflating race and religion, which allows Islamism to hitch a ride on the coattails of the so-called “antiracist” movement.

Attaran’s anti-Québécois comments, even if Attaran made no reference to religion, are just another installment in that propaganda.

…recognizing “systemic racism” would allow Islamists to weaponize that concept and use it against secularism, i.e. against Bill 21.

For several months, Quebec premier François Legault has been under a lot of pressure to recognize the existence of so-called “systemic racism” in the province. He has resisted that pressure, refusing to acknowledge such a thing. Legault recognizes of course that racism exists in Quebec as it does everywhere, and he has expressed his commitment to fighting against it. But the expression is an ill-defined concept which contributes nothing to that fight. In fact, if racism is labelled “systemic” then individuals cannot be held fully responsible for their racist actions, if any, thus undermining that fight. Furthermore, it is obvious that “systemic racism” is a vague buzzword of both the post-left and Islamism, and that to recognize its existence would simply be a genuflexion in their direction, a gesture of submission to their retrograde ideologies. It is also obvious that recognizing “systemic racism” would allow Islamists to weaponize that concept and use it against secularism, i.e. against Bill 21. I congratulate premier Legault for his determination in refusing to capitulate.

Defamatory Accusations

Recently I was expelled from the Facebook group The Four Horsemen of the Anti-Apocalypse after posting a blog about the Swiss referendum which approved a ban on face-coverings, including Islamic full veils. I supported the ban and criticized Islamism’s promotion of the veil. In response to my posting, one very imaginative (and very “woke”) group member accused me of being “racist”, “alt-right” and “White Supremacist”!! I objected strongly, calling the accusations slanderous and insane. A group moderator then expelled me for being “rude” and having a “chip on your shoulder”!! (Indeed, that chip is exactly where it should be, because such accusations are completely unacceptable.) To summarize, I was expelled for supporting a restriction on Islamist proselytism.

If the moderator had had any sense of ethics, he would have expelled the person making defamatory accusations, not me. Ironically, the moderator was also angry at me for saying that many people in the group get pissed off at any criticism of Islam and that the moderators sometimes censor such criticism. He then proved I was right on both counts by expelling me.

Anyway, the above example is hardly exceptional, because the post-left “woke” mentality has infested so much of our society—and not just social media—that such manipulations occur with alarming frequency. Given the de facto alliance between the post-left and political Islam, accusations of “white supremacism” and similar slanders are becoming standard Islamist propaganda. I have described two examples above, one involving a U. of Ottawa professor, the other a personal experience. Accusations of “systemic racism” serve a similar purpose.

Crying Wolf

With the post-leftists and Islamists crying wolf all the time, such accusations are taken less and less seriously.

In other words, “White Supremacism” has become a scam, a specious accusation used by post-leftists and Islamists to defame and ultimately silence their critics. This is a toxic situation for several reasons: it stifles debate, it prevents necessary criticism of a very dangerous politico-religious movement, Islamism, and, finally it make it more difficult to recognize real instances of white supremacism. With the post-leftists and Islamists crying wolf all the time, such accusations are taken less and less seriously. If everybody is a white supremacist, then nobody is.


Next blog: La nécessité de la Loi 21

Passive Proselytism

2020-12-16

The wearing of religious symbols by civil servants and teachers on duty is a form of unacceptable religious advertising and an undeserved privilege granted to believers.

Sommaire en français Le port de signes religieux par les fonctionnaires et enseignant(e)s au travail est une forme de publicité religieuse inacceptable et un privilège indu accordé aux croyant(e)s. Voir mon blogue précédent Le prosélytisme passif.

The recent (2020-12-08) press release from Atheist Freethinkers gives the following explanation of the importance of banning State employees from wearing religious symbols:

[…] to allow civil servants and schoolteachers to indulge in ideological displays while on the job, simply because their ideology is religious, constitutes an unjustifiable privilege for religions. The consequences of this privilege are (1) an infringement on the freedom of conscience of users of social services and students in public schools, by exposing them to passive proselytism and indoctrination which these partisan religious manifestations exemplify; and (2) […]

One of the strategies of opponents of Bill 21, that is, anti-secularists, is to deny that passive proselytism even exists. To deny the reality of this phenomenon is very dishonest and in extremely bad faith. This is obvious.

When we are exposed to advertising on television, or in a print magazine, or on a billboard, we are being targeted by passive proselytism of the commercial variety. No-one can deny the effectiveness of this proselytism—and even less so its very existence! Businesses spend millions of dollars on such publicity—because it works.

If we allow civil servants in the public service or in schools to wear and display religious symbols while on the job, then we are dealing with passive proselytism of the religious type. Just replace the kippah, crucifix or hijab with a large promotion for McDonald’s or any other product for sale, displayed on the clothing of the civil servant, and the result is an advertisment which is obviously unacceptable. The kippah, crucifix and hijab similarly constitute unacceptable publicity in this context.

the purpose of religious proselytism is not necessarily to convert anyone, just as the goal of commercial advertising is not always to sell a product directly.

We must keep in mind that the purpose of religious proselytism is not necessarily to convert anyone, just as the goal of commercial advertising is not always to sell a product directly. Instead, the purpose is often to promote a particular brand or ideology, to normalize or trivialize the presence of that brand, so that it will be accepted and recognized by the public who are exposed to it.

In fact, a common practice among anti-secularists is to insist on a very narrow definition of the word proselytism, limiting it to mean the intention of converting others to the religion of the symbol worn. This is usually followed by a demand that quantitative studies be used to prove that such symbols do indeed have a proselytic effect. This is completely illogical.

In November 2020, Patrick Taillon testified before Quebec Superior Court as an expert witness for the Attorney-General of Quebec (AGQ) in the case Hak versus AGQ. In a radio interview with Antoine Robitaille, Taillon explains that, in 2015 when the Supreme Court of Canada endorsed the ban on prayers at municipal council meetings of the city of Saguenay, there was no requirement for quantitative studies of the effect of prayers on those persons who attended the meetings. The Court similarly did not require that the atheist complainant prove that the prayer could have converted him to Christianity. The wearing of religious symbols by agents of the State constitutes a similar situation. It is not necessary to prove explicitly that religious symbols have an effect on those exposed to them, especially if those persons are children.

[…] internal religious proselytism—that is, proselytism targeted at people of the same religion as the wearer of the symbol.

It is also important to recognize the importance of internal religious proselytism—that is, proselytism targeted at people of the same religion as the wearer of the symbol. This is generally the purpose of the Islamic veil, to send the message that the woman wearing it is a good, pure Muslim, while those Muslim women who do not wear the veil are bad, impure Muslims who deserve to end up in hell and should therefore adopt the veil in order to avoid that fate.

To allow teachers to wear religious symbols is tantamount to violating the right of pupils to an education free of indoctrination, in an environment free from proselytism. No quantitative study is required. The principle of secularism—in particular the principle of separation between religion and State—is sufficient to justify a ban.

the burden of proof is on such anti-secularists.

If the opponents of Bill 21 wish to grant religious believers the privilege of being allowed to engage in religious advertising while on the job, the burden of proof is on such anti-secularists. It is they who must provide proof of their claim that pupils will be unaffected.

Bill 21 establishes a reasonable compromise between the rights of State employees on the one hand and the rights of students and users of civil services on the ther hand.


Next blog: The Swiss Face-Covering Ban is About Deterring Religious Fanaticism

Racialism versus Secularism

Racialising Religious Affiliation to Oppose Secularism

2020-07-21

A few excepts from my long article The Battle Raging Between Racialism and Secularism published recently in Topical Magazine. The article criticizes the tendency of today’s so-called “antiracist” activists towards racialism and towards racialising religious affiliation as an anti-secularism strategy. The text presents several definitions in order to set the terms of the debate, followed by numerous examples of the racialisation of religious affiliation in France, in the United States and finally in Canada, with particular attention to the opponents of Quebec Bill 21.

Sommaire en français Quelques extraits de mon article, assez long, intitulé The Battle Raging Between Racialism and Secularism (La bataille farouche entre le racialisme et la laïcité) paru récemment dans la revue en ligne Topical Magazine. Il s’agit d’une critique de la tendance, chez les militants soi-disant « antiracistes » actuels, à verser dans le racialisme et à racialiser l’appartenance religieuse afin de lutter contre la laïcité. Le texte présente plusieurs définitions afin de préciser les termes du débat, suivies de nombreux exemples de la racialisation de l’appartenance religieuse en France, aux États-Unis et finalement au Canada, en particulier chez les adversaires de la Loi 21 québécoise.

…ethnicity, like race, refers principally to a person’s innate, immutable characteristics. Religion, on the other hand, is an ideology, a collection of ideas, beliefs and practices. Ethnicity is a personal identity, whereas religion is an opinion and an option. The distinction is crucial. To change one’s “race” is impossible. To change one’s religion may be easy or difficult, depending on one’s degree of indoctrination, but it is certainly not impossible. It may be as uncomplicated as changing one’s mind.

If religious affiliation is elevated to the status of ethnicity, then it becomes viewed as practically unchangeable, fixed for the person’s lifetime, making the individual a prisoner of the religion in which he or she was born and raised. Conflating race or ethnicity with religion implies the negation of freedom of conscience. It also opens the door to social—or even legal—censorship of criticism of religion, because if a religion is a “race” then is not criticising religion a form of “racism”?

Religious apologists tend to love the idea of conflating “race” or ethnicity and religion, because such conflation is a perfect tool for deflecting criticism of their religion. However, they need to think seriously about the implications. If we accept seriously the idea that anti-religious sentiment is indeed a form of “racism” then the three Abrahamic monotheisms—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—become, for this very reason, explicitly and unequivocally racist. Judaism asserts that the Jewish people is chosen by Jehovah and tough luck for everyone else. Christianity holds that those who fail to accept Christ are doomed to an eternity of punishment in hell. As for Islam, its holy book the Quran repeatedly expresses violent hostility towards non-Muslims and, in some contexts, enjoins Muslims to kill them. Adherents of these three religions would do well to reflect on this before embracing the religion-equals-race fraud.

It is important to preserve the biological meaning of the word “race” in order to prevent the apologists of certain ideologies from hijacking the concept for their own dubious purposes.

The racialisation of religious affiliation and the specious accusations of “racism” which it facilitates are hallmarks of racialism and probably the most important and toxic propaganda weapons of the fiercest opponents of secularism. These opponents are currently on the warpath in several countries. Let us consider a few examples.

Bill 21 is eminently sensible and moderate legislation. It is a matter of professional ethics. A representative of the State, while on the job, should not display partisan political or religious symbols. To allow the wearing of such symbols by State employees represents an unwarranted and unacceptable privilege accorded to the ideology which the symbol promotes. Several nations—France and parts of Switzerland, Belgium and Germany—also ban the overt display of religious symbols worn by some or all State employees. Bill 21 also bans face-coverings worn when providing or receiving government services, which is also the case for many European and African countries, some of which are Muslim-majority countries.

…one particularly creative opponent of Bill 21 links the bill to anti-black and anti-indigenous racism and asserts that it could very well lead to genocide… In light of the examples listed above, to say that Bill 21 meets with a hostile reaction is an understatement. The reaction has been hysterical, fanatical and patently insane.

This disinformation was repeated by many mainstream media as if it were fact, thus establishing a false link between an act of violence directed at a particular religious community and an extreme form of racism. Proponents of racialism and their Islamist allies pushed for M-103 as a result. Furthermore, that motion led to the formation of a parliamentary committee whose recommendations would open the door to allowing federal funds destined for anti-racism programmes to be misdirected into defending religious minorities and, through them, the religions themselves.

Racialism and the racialisation of religious affiliation are both profoundly dishonest and a considerable step backwards towards religious obscurantism and tribalism. It amounts to jettisoning freedom of conscience and abandoning universalism by labelling each individual indelibly with an attribute—i.e. religious affiliation—which is no more significant than an opinion, an opinion which not only may change, but which must be allowed to be changeable if we are to respect the individual’s fundamental human rights.

Read the full article.


Next blog: Lettre aux médias pour dénoncer le Conseil québécois LGBT