The question is where do we draw the line?
From the National Post.
Among French thinkers, a growing consensus against the veil
John Turley-Ewart, National Post
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2007
PARIS -The Quebec Council on the Status of Women, which advises the provincial government on women's issues, wants the province to prohibit civil servants and teachers from wearing visible religious signs at work -- a suggestion aimed directly at the hijab, as well as the total face covering veil known as the niqab, worn by some Muslim women. Alia Hogben, executive director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, was appalled. Earlier this week, she declared: "I don't know why they keep going after Muslim women ? If you go to the argument that a woman has the right to dress as she chooses, a state should not be telling people how to dress."
Note - She's actually right. If we Canadians truly accepted multiculturalism (we really don’t actually, it is a policy forced upon us by our intellectual and social betters) then the hijab and the niqab wouldn't be an issue but apparently it is. It appears some groups, some that we may consider "progressive" in the liberal sense of the word, are opposed to Muslim women wearing such a dress. They claim it subjugates women to a secondary status and therefore feminists and other lefty types need to liberate them which I guess means having them show more skin then just their faces. But what right do they have to do that if multiculturalism is official policy? They have no right. As much as the left has a problem in acknowledging that they are not the only ones in the world with rights these Muslim woman can wear these types of clothing if they so choose. This is just another example of the hypocrisy of the Canadian left.
Marta Lopez's family immigrated to Paris from Spain years ago and built a new life in the French capital. She is an activist for a Paris-based feminist organization called Neither Whores Nor Submissives (Ni Putes Ni Soumises) -- a group that was inspired by the murder of a 19-year-old Muslim woman in a Paris suburb because she dressed in a way that Muslim men found offensive. Ms. Lopez is part of the face of the new feminism in France, one that embraces the idea that immigrant women are hurt by policies that pander to see-no-evil notions of multiculturalism.
When asked about the hijab and niqab, Ms. Lopez argues that banning them is not the issue.
"The problem is why are the women wearing a veil? The fact that they have to wear the veil to be respected by the [Muslim] community is the problem."
Her view is widespread. At the Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l'Antisemitisme (known commonly as LICRA), a prominent French anti-racism organization, an activist tells me that opposing the hijab in schools is not racist: Immigrants have an obligation to integrate into French society.
How to integrate immigrants is a question to which Daniel Sibony has given much thought. An acclaimed French author and academic, Professor Sibony has little good to say about multiculturalism. He told me in his book-laden Paris flat that the doctrine is dishonest, promoting a view of the world that pretends all cultures are equally valid. There is nothing wrong with a host society making clear what its limits are; indeed to do less, says the Moroccan-born author, shows a lack of respect for immigrants.
Read it all here.
Opposition to Muslim women wearing a hijab or niqab is a statement that there are limits to multiculturalism. Incidentally much of it, if not most of it, is coming from the left; the main pool for multicultural cheer leading and mass immigration. It appears some in Canada want multiculturalism so long as it is on their terms and in doing so they exercise a type of selective tolerance. When it comes to the hijab and nigab these people are intolerant and so, since the left is a bastion of tolerance they mask this expression of intolerance in altruistic jargon: it's about equality, civility, freedom, blah, blah, blah.
Instead of setting limits to multiculturalism Canada should abandon it outright. It discourages integration; it argues that Canadians do not exist as a people; it is an enemy to a unique Canadian identity, an identity is wishes to eliminate. Canadians need to express their cultural uniqueness and not apologize for it. If some groups have a problem with that well no one forced you to come to this country. And you can always leave.
This is also raises the question of the benefits of Muslim immigration to Canada. Why do we encourage the immigration of a people who have shown that full integration into Canadian society is a problem and have shown that full integration is not a desired goal? This creates social tensions exacerbated by a chain of demands for cultural adaptations benefitting Muslims. Islamic culture is incompatible with Canadian society. It makes integration difficult by compelling Muslims to isolate themselves. Why do Muslims immigrate to predominately white Christian countries like Canada in the first place only to isolate themselves socially? How is Canada a better country and how are Canadians benefiting if immigrants are altering the cultural and geographic landscape to better reflect their cultural and religious homelands? Do Canadians even want this? If not then why do we allow it?