Support #NoHijabDay #FreeFromHijab

Support #NoHijabDay #FreeFromHijab! 1st February 2019 Solidarity with Iranian and Saudi Women.

Post a photo of yourself, on social media, with a headscarf hanging from a stick.

Appuyons #NoHijabDay #FreeFromHijab ! 1er février 2019 Solidarité avec les Iraniennes et Saoudiennes.

Poster une photo de vous, sur les réseaux sociaux, avec un foulard suspendu à un bâton.

#NoHijabDay #FreeFromHijabClick to enlarge

#NoHijabDay #FreeFromHijabClick to enlarge

“World Hijab Day” is soft-core propaganda for Islamism. Do not be duped. The hijab is an ambulatory prison for women.

La « Journée du hidjab », c’est la version légère de la propagande islamiste. Ne soyons pas dupes. Le hijab est une prison ambulatoire pour la femme.

Next blog: Three Strategies of Islamists

Pride & Shame in Toronto & London

Islamophilia Infests LGBT Pride Marches

2017-07-20, updated 2017-07-22

A report of how pro-Islamist groups have attempted to censor criticism of Islamic homophobia at two recent LGBT pride marches.

Sommaire en français Comment plusieurs groupes pro-Islamist ont essayé de faire taire la critique de l’homophobie islamique lors de deux récents défilés de la fierté LGBT.

Recently two pride marches — in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and in London, England — have been marred by attempts to censor legitimate criticism of Islam, Islamism and Islamic homophobia.


At the Toronto event on June 25th, a contingent of Iranian gays and other sexual minorities marched to protest the extreme homophobia of the brutal regime which rules their home country. However, they were almost prevented from doing so by a group of so-called “anti-fascists” as can be seen in the video Leftists call Muslim refugees islamophobic at Toronto Pride. I am not sure what group it was, as Antifa Toronto claims that they were not involved. At any rate, as Maryam Namazie reports:

[…] some ‘anti-fascists’ surrounded Iranian refugees and LGBTQ activists and absurdly chanted ‘No Hate at Pride’ – as if defending LGBTQ people in Iran or countries under Islamic rule is ‘hateful’.

Police intervention ensured that they weren’t able to stop the Iranians from joining Pride as the video below shows.

The irony of “anti-fascist” activists accusing an Iranian holding a sign saying “I am Muslim and condemn the persecution of LGBTQ+ in Islamic countries” of “Islamophobia” was clearly lost on them. It’s just another example of how criticism of Islamism or even Islam is conflated with bigotry against Muslims at the expense of dissenters and to the advantage of Islamists.

Source: In Toronto LGBT Iranians were branded as ‘Islamophobes’

This incident is yet another clear example, as if one were needed, of how use of the censorious accusation of “Islamophobia” enables Islamofascism by making it even more difficult to criticize the excesses of political Islam and Islamist theocracies. In particular this harms the people who are already in a difficult position: gays, other sexual minorities, apostates, etc. who are persecuted by Islam.

Last year (2016) Toronto Pride was disrupted by the organization Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesting the presence of police in the march. BLM activists were successful in forcing Pride organizers to ban police participation, so this year a contingent of Toronto police went all the way to New York City to march in their gay pride parade!

When I was very actively involved in the gay movement back in the 1970s (we quaintly called it “Gay Liberation” in those days), even the thought of police actually participating in our march would have been preposterous. The police were there on duty, only for basic security and control, certainly not as participants. Relations between gays and the police were very strained indeed because the police were often very homophobic and barely tolerated our existence. But times have changed greatly since then.

The 2016 incident with BLM may appear unrelated to this year’s attempt to block Iranian refugees and LGBTQ activists. But the two incidents are indeed related. (1) Firstly, if one consults the list of demands on the web site of BLM-Toronto, we see that the demand “END ISLAMOPHOBIA & WHITE SUPREMACY” features prominently. That statement is extremely problematic for two reasons: it declares “Islamophobia” to be something one should fight against, which is nonsense, because there is nothing irrational or objectionable about fearing a dangerous religion such as Islam (or Christianity, or several others). Even worse, the statement lumps “white supremacy” — which indeed is a very dangerous and reprehensible form of racism — in with it. Such an inconsistent and ridiculous demand shows that whoever prepared the list is not even clear about what racism is, because a religion has nothing to do with race. How can we support an ostensibly anti-racist organization which is so evidently incompetent? (2) Secondly, Toronto police were involved in both incidents.

When so-called “anti-racist” and “anti-fascist” groups take actions which are more regressive than those of the police, then it is time for the leaders and members of those groups to undertake some serious reflection.

In both incidents, a group denouncing “Islamophobia” and thus showing its affinity with the regressive pro-Islamist “left” disrupted or attempted to disrupt the event. In both incidents, Toronto police took a position which was ironically more progressive than that of either BLM or the “antifas.” In the first incident police wanted to march for gay rights but were prevented. In the second they intervened and allowed the Iranians to march for gay rights. When so-called “anti-racist” and “anti-fascist” groups take actions which are more regressive than those of the police, then it is time for the leaders and members of those groups to undertake some serious reflection.


Meanwhile, across the pond in London, events transpired which somewhat resembled those in Toronto two weeks earlier. The group Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain marched in the July 8th Pride parade carrying banners with slogans such as “ALLAH IS GAY,” “FUCK ISLAMIC HOMOPHOBIA,” and my personal favourite “WE’RE HERE, WE’RE KAFFIR, GET USED TO IT.” (The term “kaffir” or “kafir” means a non-Muslim or an apostate of Islam.) It was a great success, as can be seen in the video The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) participates in Pride and in the report on the CEMB web site. CEMB’s participation was not blocked, although “police initially tried to remove placards with the slogan ‘Allah is Gay’ because of complaints of ‘offence’.”

More negative reactions came quickly in the aftermath of the march. The East London Mosque was so upset that it filed a formal complaint with Pride festival organizers. They of course denounced CEMB’s participation as “Islamophobic” and they criticized placards naming the Mosque as promoting homophobia. And they were particularly irate about the “ALLAH IS GAY” slogan.

Now, the slogan “Allah is gay” is of course meaningless, because Allah is a fictional character. It is like saying, “Superman likes blueberries” or “Thor is left-handed.” Nevertheless, it is a very useful slogan because it exposes homophobia. Indeed, the very fact that the East London Mosque was so offended by it means that they are homophobic, because they consider that calling their god gay is shameful. But in reality, it is the other way around. It is insulting to gays to be associated with such a distasteful character as Allah. But we know he is fictional, so we are not offended. And even if he were real, that would not justify censorship of the slogan.

The mosque accused CEMB of inciting hatred of Muslims, which of course they were not at all doing. CEMB was simply denouncing homophobia — and sometimes very violent and even deadly homophobia — based on Islam and enforced by theocratic regimes. As Maryam Namazie, speaking for CEMB in an email, declared:

the very reason CEMB was at Pride was to combat hate and to highlight the 13 states under Islamic rule that kill gay men (14 if we include Daesh-held territories). We included placards on the East London mosque to bring attention to the fact that there are mosques here in Britain that promote the death penalty for homosexuality and apostasy.

As ex-Muslims, we are at risk from hate preachers that speak at some mosques and universities; our gay members are at an increased risk.

The East London Mosque has a long history of hosting hate preachers who incite against blasphemers, apostates and homosexuals so we felt naming and shaming them was very apt.

Unfortunately, Pride organizers have so far reacted badly, denouncing CEMB. In the words of a spokesperson:

“All volunteers, staff and parade groups agree that Pride celebrates diversity and will not tolerate any discrimination of any kind. While our parade has always been a home to protest, which often means conflicting points of view, Pride must always be a movement of acceptance, diversity and unity. We will not tolerate Islamophobia.”

Evidently, the organizers do not accept a diversity of opinion and have bought into the dishonest propaganda of those who use accusations of “Islamophobia” as a form of bullying to silence legitimate criticism of Islamic ideology.

But CEMB has fought back rapidly, declaring that ‘They are trying to silence us’. Speaking for CEMB, Maryam Namazie said:

“Why are signs critical of Islam (a belief) and Islamism (a far-right political movement) ‘anti-Muslim’?” Muslims are people, with as many different opinions as anyone else. They are not a homogeneous group but individuals. Some will agree with us, others won’t. In fact, several Muslims visiting from Bangladesh joined us. The incredible support we received from minorities in the crowd cheering us on is a reflection of that. Not everyone was offended. And offence can never be a reason to censor and silence dissent.”

“[…] the climate we live in where bullies and homophobes are rewarded and victims blamed.”

As for the East London Mosque:

“The fact that […] their complaint is taken seriously by Pride speaks volumes about the climate we live in where bullies and homophobes are rewarded and victims blamed. The real problem for them is that we are ex-Muslims. We are not allowed to speak or show ourselves or challenge views that degrade and denigrate us.”

Apostasy is a Human Right!

Bravo to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and to Iranian and other Muslim refugees who support LGBT rights! And shame on all those who attempt to silence criticism of Islam or Islamism! Freedom for Muslim gays and other sexual minorities and freedom for ex-Muslims whose only “crime” is to exercise their freedom of conscience!

Next blog: Quebec’s Right to Self-Determination

More Dubious Words


In a previous blog Dubious Words I presented several words and expressions which should be used with caution, or never used at all, and which should be met with suspicion when used by others, the worst being “Islamophobia.” In this blog I present several more expressions whose meaning has been corrupted by bad usage, usually by what has become known as the “regressive left.”

Sommaire en français Dans un blogue précédent Dubious Words j’ai présenté plusieurs expressions douteuses, qu’il faudrait éviter ou utiliser avec précaution, et qui devraient inspirer de la méfiance si utilisées par les autres, la pire étant la soi-disant « islamophobie ». Dans le présent blogue je présente encore plusieurs termes dont le sens a été corrompu par une surutilisation et par le galvaudage, surtout par ce que l’on appelle courramment la « gauche régressive ».

Clash of Civilizations

The origin of this expression is the title of a 1993 article in the magazine Foreign Affairs and a subsequent book, both by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington who hypothesized that “people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world.” (See the Wikipedia article Clash of Civilizations or in French Le Choc des civilisations.)

This expression has come to be used—typically by regressive leftists and Islamophiliacs—to denigrate anyone who sees Islam or Islamism (a subset of Islam) as threats. In other words, it is used by those who, through intellectual sloth or political cowardice or whatever reason, refuse to criticize political Islam, in order to bully and dismiss those who do dare to criticize it. It has become another weapon in the arsenal of the regressive left, along with “Islamophobia,” “xenophobia,” “racism” and similar terms. To say that someone is a proponent of the clash of civilizations is basically a euphemism for calling them a racist or a xenophobe.

It is interesting to note the role which essentialism plays here. To say that someone has a “clash of civilizations” mentality is akin to accusing them of seeing Muslims as essentially dangerous and backward, unable to adapt to modernity. And yet regressive leftists themselves display a similar essentialist attitude, but they draw the opposite conclusion: Muslims (which they conflate with Islamists) cannot adapt; therefore we must accommodate them (for example by allowing the veil everywhere).


In recent years, this term has been used in an increasingly pejorative sense, identifying it with right-wing or extreme right-wing movements, likes hordes of angry degenerates enthralled by dangerous and manipulative demagogues. This demonizes people in general. Demonization is rarely if ever appropriate because it stifles reflexion and debate about the causes of the behaviour being demonized.

In and of itself, populism is neither good nor bad, neither left nor right politically. It simply means appealing to the interests or perceived interests of the common people. That appeal may be either left-wing or right-wing or neither. Populism may appeal to the best in people—a desire for justice and equality, for example—or it may exploit baser instincts, or it may be somewhere between these two poles.

Populism, like diversity, like tolerance, is neither virtue nor vice. It can only be judged in context.


This word is vastly overused. Accusing one’s political adversaries of being fascists or, worse, nazis (i.e. extreme fascists) is an all-too-frequent form of abuse. Regressive leftists exploit this term in order to target anyone who does not share their uncritical attitude towards Islamism and Islam. According to historian Roger Griffin who has specialized in this area, fascism is a modern political ideology which favours an ultranationalist revolution in order to restore the nation to some (probably imaginary) glorious past. Although Donald Trump’s program meets these criteria partially, he is nevertheless NOT a fascist because the revolutionary aspect is missing.

This raises the question of radical, political Islam. Is the term “Islamofascism” reasonable? The late Christopher Hitchens certainly thought so in his 2007 article Defending Islamofascism. It’s a valid term. Here’s why. So does Hamed Abdel-samad, author of the book Islamic Fascism. However Griffin prefers a stricter definition: in his opinion, the term “Islamofascism” is inaccurate for two reasons: (1) it refers to Islam while it should refer to Islamism; and (2) fascism refers to a modern movement based on nationalism more than religion whereas Islamism is an early medieval religious ideology unrelated to nationalism. The first point is indisputable, whereas the second leaves room for debate.

Despite its shortcomings, the use of “Islamofascism” has at least one major advantage: it defies the regressive left’s attempts to monopolize the term “fascism” for its own tendentious purposes!

Values (or lack thereof)

The question of values was raised during the 2013-2014 debate over the Charter of Secularism proposed by the previous Quebec government. The preliminary name of that legislation, before the final text was released, was the Charter of Quebec Values and the use of the word “values” was denounced by critics of the Charter, as if there could be something wrong with having societal values. Indeed, some opponents of the Charter continue to refer to it by its preliminary name, rather than its official name “Charter affirming the values of secularism and religious neutrality of the state and equality between women and men and governing accommodation requests” for the obvious reason that they want to continue to bash the concept of Quebec values.

More recently, Conservative Party leadership candidate Kellie Leitch has attracted a lot of flack for her proposal to screen would-be immigrants and refugees for “anti-Canadian values.” Leitch was soundly criticized for what many saw as a repeat of her promotion, during the 2015 election campaign, of a Conservative proposal to establish a tip line for so-called “barbaric cultural practices.” Both Leitch’s Canadian values and the Quebec values of the Charter of Secularism were criticized as right-wing measures, whereas in reality the Quebec Charter was motivated by Enlightenment values traditionally defended by the left (but currently abandoned by parts of the left). In both cases, criticism came mainly from Islamophiliacs, i.e. those who impose a taboo on criticism of Islam or Islamism.

Finally, Justin Trudeau, Canada’s most famous bimbo and, coincidentally, its Prime Minister, added his own particularly vapid point of view to this debate when, in a December 2015 New York Times article Trudeau’s Canada, Again he opined that “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada” and that Canada is “the first postnational state.” Canada, the uncountry.

Cutting through the bullshit, we need to get real. There is nothing wrong with having societal values. There is nothing wrong with having a core identity. The question is: What values? What identity? Where do those values come from and how are they manifested? When the mere mention of the question of values leads to passionate opposition and knee-jerk vilification, then reasoned debate becomes impossible. In my opinion, a lack of values or a lack of core identity is no vision for a country.

Next blog: Fools Against “Islamophobia”

Words to Cultivate

Some Useful Vocabulary for Atheists, Freethinkers and other Critics of Religion

2016-05-04, Updated 2016-08-04

A list of terms which, I would suggest, could and should be used regularly—wherever they are appropriate of course—by atheists, freethinkers and critics of religion in general. Some of these expressions are neologisms, i. e. recently coined, while others are not new but have been under-utilised.

Sommaire en français Une petite liste de termes — à l’intention des athées, des libres penseurs et des critiques de religions en général — que je suggère pour usage courant. Quelques-uns sont des néologismes, c’est-à-dire récemment inventés, tandis que d’autres sont des termes existants mais sous-utilisés actuellement.

the irrational fear of atheism or of atheists. The suffix -phobia is indeed appropriate here because this fear is clearly unfounded and irrational, being based on the religious myth that one must believe in a fictional daddy-cop-dictator in the sky in order to behave ethically. (Contrast this with the dubious term Islamophobia which must be avoided for several reasons, in particular because fearing Islam is not necessarily irrational.) See also moralistic creationism below. This prejudice is extremely widespread. See: definition of atheophobia and Atheophobia, A Prejudice Thousands of Years Old.
basically a synonym of “religious belief.” Examples: — According to Christian mythology, Jesus was the son of “God.” — According to Muslim mythology, Mohammed was the last prophet of “God.”
ethno-religious determinism
the true meaning of the extremely loaded word “multiculturalism” (which long ago used to mean “cultural diversity” but has since evolved into a very tendentious—and anti-secular—ideology). Approximate synonym: religious essentialism
freedom of conscience
this includes both freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion (which in turn includes the freedom of apostasy, i.e. the freedom to leave a religion), as well as freedom of opinion and of thought. Freedom of conscience is fundamental, while the other freedoms are necessary consequences of it.
freedom of apostasy
a necessary consequence of freedom of conscience. If you do not recognise the right to apostasy, i.e. the right to leave a religion, then you are a religious bigot. There is neither freedom of religion nor freedom of conscience without the right to apostatize.
Belief in belief. Examples: — the silly idea that religious beliefs should be respected. — the essentialist notion (closely related to “multiculturalism”) that religious affiliation is somehow innate and immutable. See: definition of metabelief.
moralistic creationism
The belief that morality comes from “God,” whatever the hell that is. Moralistic creationism is the basis of classic atheophobia. See The Moralistic Foundations of Creationism and Theism As Hate Propaganda.
Attitude of unthinking, uncritical deference towards the religion of Islam, thus affording it preferential treatment compared to other religions such as Christianity.
A near-synonym of “Islamophilia” but stronger. Literally, the attitude of idolizing or worshipping Islam.
false obligation
Religious obligations are always false, that is, not in fact obligations, because any religious behaviour—such as attendance at religious events or wearing religious symbols or clothing—is either freely chosen, thus not obligatory, or imposed (i.e. coerced) by other humans, thus a form of abuse. A combination of the two situations is of course possible. See The Myth of Religious Obligations. Example: A woman who wears the niqab is either doing it freely, by choice, of her own free will, or she is being coerced by her relatives or community to do so (and is thus a victim of abuse because she is denied her freedom of conscience), or some combination of the two.

Next blog: Dubious Words

Secularists Have Nothing to Celebrate

2015-10-26 @ 21:30

The recent electoral defeat of the Harper Conservatives is good news, but the election of the Trudeau Liberals is not. Indeed, for secularists, the new government is even worse than the previous because it is obsessively attached to the anti-secular ideology of multiculturalism.

Sommaire en français La récente défaite électorale du Parti Conservateur de Stephen Harper est une bonne nouvelle, mais l’élection des Libéraux de Justin Trudeau n’en est pas une. Au fait, du point de vue de la laïcité, le nouveau gouvernement est pire que le précedent, car attelé de manière obsessionnelle à l’idéologie antilaïque du multiculturalisme.

On election night last Monday, October 19th 2015, Canadians received some good news and some bad news. The good news: the odious Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) went down to defeat. The bad news: the dubious Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) led by Justin Trudeau has taken power, the LPC, the party notorious for its corruption scandals, led by the very son of the inventor of Canadian multiculturalism.

Thus the leader and party who seem to think that all Muslims are terrorists has been replaced by the leader and party who apparently consider all Muslims—even the fundamentalists—to be warm, fuzzy and innocuous, or, if they are not, it is our fault for not being sufficiently nice to them. The closed-minded neanderthals of the Harper Conservatives have been replaced by the air-headed accommodationists of the Trudeau Liberals. A traditionalist party, representative of some of the most backward evangelical Christians, has been replaced by a multiculturalist party which flirts with Islamist fundamentalists.

This is not good news. We now have a government which takes the position that wearing a face-covering anywhere and everywhere, even during an official state ceremony, such as a citizenship ceremony, is a “right.” And why is such a ridiculous privilege considered to be a “right?” BECAUSE RELIGION. This is the antithesis of secularism. Religious freedom, already greatly privileged in the past, has been elevated to a status above all other freedoms, trumping even the most basic considerations such as communication, gender equality and security.

The closed-minded neanderthals of the Harper Conservatives have been replaced by the air-headed accommodationists of the Trudeau Liberals.

We now have a government led by an islamophiliac, totally besotted with the ideology of Canadian multiculturalism which is indistinguishable from cultural relativism, an ideology which shields itself from criticism by accusing anyone who disagrees with it of “xenophobia”, “intolerance” and even “racism.” We now have a government which, ironically, shares with the previous government the inability to distinguish between ordinary citizens who just happen to be Muslim on the one hand, and, on the other hand, Islamist fundamentalists who constitute a clear and present danger to our security and democracy—the difference being that the previous government apparently considered them all suspect while the newly elected government considers them all hunky-dory.

From the point of view of secularism, the Liberals are worse than the Conservatives. At least the Conservatives attempted to ban the niqab at citizenship ceremonies, although they did so in a way that was destined to fail, i.e. by a mere ministerial directive followed by legal appeals when federal courts invalidated that directive, when in fact what is needed is a modification of several laws, starting with Citizenship Act. At the eleventh hour, only days before the election, the Conservatives floated the idea of banning face-coverings in the public service if they were re-elected, an obviously good idea which any secularist would support. And yet the Conservatives are no proponents of secularism: they were merely opportunists exploiting the citizenry’s legitimate concerns about Islamist radicalism and doing so in ways that converged conveniently with their Christian hostility towards a competing religion.

But the position adopted by both the Trudeau Liberals and the Mulcair NDP was even worse: they agreed with the court decision striking down any ban on face-coverings, and supported the idea that wearing the niqab must be allowed, apparently anywhere and everywhere. If the niqab may be worn at citizenship ceremonies, then how can judges or police be prevented from wearing such face-coverings while on the job? Any hope of a secular public service is completely destroyed if this court decision is allowed to stand. And under the newly-elected Liberals, it will stand.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not saddened that the Harper Conservatives have gone down to defeat! Any government which shows such contempt for basic science deserves to be summarily kicked out of office. Any government which appoints an apparent creationist to a major position—as it did in appointing Gary Goodyear to the post of Minister of State for Science and Technology—merits our rejection.

Thus, as much as I respect and indeed admire both Ayaan Hirsi Ali, celebrated author of Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now and the memoire Infidel, and Tarek Fatah, writer and founder of the secularist Muslim Canadian Congress, I could not agree with their call for Canadians to vote for Harper. Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote in a tweet sent out on election day, “Dear Canadians, If you are in doubt before the polls close please vote for Stephen Harper. He is the strongest on fighting radical Islam.” whereas Tarek Fatah indicated in a Facebook post, shortly before the election date, that he would be voting Conservative for similar reasons.

Although Christian evangelical fundamentalism in Canada—which is a major underpinning of the Conservative Party—is not as retrograde as international Islamism, nevertheless both are resolutely obscurantist and anti-science fundamentalisms. Neither has any qualms about utilising the fruits of science, i.e. modern technology, when those fruits can be exploited to serve their agenda.

Broadly speaking, there are three general approaches to the question of religion and the affairs of the state. These are:

  1. Traditionalism, which promotes the continued dominance of the traditional majority religion (in Canada: Christianity), allowing it considerable privilege and influence on laws and state affairs.
  2. Multiculturalism, or ethnoreligious determinism, which broadens traditionalism by extending religious privileges to a plurality of religions, giving each religion an influence either equal to the others or weighted according to its demographic importance.
  3. Secularism, which opposes all religious privileges and and promotes universal human rights, in particular freedom of conscience, and involves complete separation between religion and state, so that the state is autonomous and independent of religious influence.

Zunera Ishaq […] exploited Canadian multiculturalism in order to promote an essential tenet of Islamic fundamentalism, the segregation of women. Ishaq is what I would call a “legal jihadi,” i.e. a fighter for Islamism who uses strictly legal means […] her objective role as a promoter of Islamist values is patent.

Both the traditionalism of the Conservatives and the multiculturalism of the Liberals are anti-secular ideologies. However, multiculturalism, although more modern, is also more dangerous because it is currently the dominant ideology in Canada and in other countries. Indeed, even the traditionalists (like Catholics, Islamists, etc.) rely increasingly on multiculturalism to disseminate their ideologies because traditionalism is out of fashion and often cannot be imposed directly as it was in the past. That is exactly what the niqab-wearer Zunera Ishaq did when she exploited Canadian multiculturalism in order to promote an essential tenet of Islamic fundamentalism, the segregation of women. Ishaq is what I would call a “legal jihadi,” i.e. a fighter for Islamism who uses strictly legal means because extra-legal means are not yet feasible. Although Ishaq has apparently been linked to radical Islamist organizations, even in the absence of such ties her objective role as a promoter of Islamist values is patent.

Multiculturalism is much easier to sell than traditionalism, especially as it often masquerades as a form of pseudo-secularism (c.f. so-called “laïcité ouverte”). Furthermore, multiculturalism also masquerades as a solution for racism, when in reality it tends to preserve and deepen divisions by identifying each individual with the ethno-religious community into which he or she was born.

The victory of the Trudeau Liberals (and the poor showing of the NDP) is probably much more attributable to anti-Harper sentiment than to any love for the winning party. Do not forget that BOTH hatred for Harper AND opposition to the niqab (and disgust for Trudeau’s and Mulcair’s opposition to any ban) were very strong in Quebec during the campaign. In fact, polls indicated that the majority of Canadians, not just Quebecers, favored a niqab ban, and yet Harper was still defeated despite his opportunistic exploitation of that issue.

Next blog: Secularism: Lockean and Republican