Skip to comments.Quebec town to immigrants: you can't kill women
Posted on 01/31/2007 6:25:38 AM PST by thinking
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Immigrants wishing to live in the small Canadian town of Herouxville, Quebec, must not stone women to death in public, burn them alive or throw acid on them, according to an extraordinary set of rules released by the local council.
The declaration, published on the town's Web site, has deepened tensions in the predominantly French-speaking province over how tolerant Quebecers should be toward the customs and traditions of immigrants.
"We wish to inform these new arrivals that the way of life which they abandoned when they left their countries of origin cannot be recreated here," said the declaration, which makes clear women are allowed to drive, vote, dance, write checks, dress how they want, work and own property.
"Therefore we consider it completely outside these norms to ... kill women by stoning them in public, burning them alive, burning them with acid, circumcising them etc."
No one on the town council was available for comment on Tuesday. Herouxville, which has 1,300 inhabitants, is about 160 km (100 miles) northeast of Montreal.
Andre Drouin, the councilor who devised the declaration, told the National Post newspaper that the town was not racist.
"We invite people from all nationalities, all languages, all sexual orientations, whatever, to come live with us, but we want them to know ahead of time how we live," he said.
The declaration is part of a wider debate over "reasonable accommodation," or how far Quebecers should be prepared to change their customs so as not to offend immigrants. Figures from the 2001 census show that around 10 percent of Quebec's 7.5 million population were born outside Canada.
Earlier this month the Journal de Montreal newspaper published a poll of Quebecers showing that 59 percent admitted to harboring some kind of racist feelings.
The Herouxville regulations say girls and boys can exercise together and people should only be allowed to cover their faces at Halloween. Children must not take weapons to school, it adds, although the Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled that Sikh boys have the right to carry ceremonial daggers.
Salam Elmenyawi, president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, said the declaration had "set the clock back for decades" as far as race relations were concerned.
"I was shocked and insulted to see these kinds of false stereotypes and ignorance about Islam and our religion ... in a public document written by people in authority who discriminate openly," he told Reuters.
Last year a Montreal gym agreed to install frosted windows after a nearby Hasidic synagogue said it was offended by the sight of adults exercising.
Newspapers say a Montreal community center banned men from prenatal classes to respect Hindu and Sikh traditions and an internal police magazine suggested women police officers allow their male colleagues to interview Hasidic Jews.
Montreal's police force is investigating one of its officers after he posted an anti-immigrant song called "That's Enough Already" on the Internet.
"We want to accept ethnics, but not at any price ... if you're not happy with your fate, there's a place called the airport," the officer sings.
An accompanying video shows clips of Muslims and Hasidic Jews and at one point shows shots of a partially nude woman to mock those who wear veils.
The Herouxville declaration is available, in English and French, at the "avis public" section of the town's Web site, http://municipalite.herouxville.qc.ca.
Immigrants should not expect the new community to change their way of life for them. If they don't like our culture here, then leave!
I am confident that Herouxville's regulations were in French, and have been translated into English.
They could have added:
In our community, we speak French. French is the language of law and of business. Public education is conducted in our language, French. The speaking of other languages is, of course, completely legal. However, if you come to work and live in our community, you are expected to learn French, and all of your dealings with the government will all be conducted in French. Our businesses cannot be required to speak any language but French when doing business with you. Your children will be taught in French in the public schools, and the private schools are also required to educate all children in our language. You must send your children to school, and they must learn French. This is a condition of living with us, and it cannot be avoided. We speak French, and if you plan to live here, you need to learn French and to understand that your children will be educated to speak French fluently, and that it is illegal for you to resist this. We have democratically enacted these laws because we understand that it is necessary, for participation in our democracy, that every person be able to communicate with everyone else in the common tongue. In our place, that tongue is French.
"Marrying" close relatives could be the problem....
Since when did culture equate with race?
At least the kids look like they eat healthy, unlike the parents.
Sounds to me as if that little burg is doing the opposite of Montreal, which evidently has gone to the PC dogs.
Seems that that bunch of Quebequers had more courage to say these things than any American!
They are right. However, if they had any sense, they would expel the people whose ideology allows them to stone, kill, burn alive.
Well, I suppose not too many of the citizens of that town will be hoving around the 14" Viking black and white to take in the CBC's newest abomination "Little Mosque on the Prairie", even though their tax dollars are being used to pay for this series - declared to be a "hit" by the CBC. A hit for the CBC is anything they can put on their air without people rushing CBC headquarters and burning it to the ground.
Well, hang on to this one, baby, because this is IT. There ain't gonna be no more.
If it's any help to you, I don't get it either. Go figure.
Post script to your very good post: And, by the way, everyone in the rest of canada must speak french so that we may never, ever, be inconvenienced. Every federal representative and/or official, every military officer, every member of any police force must speak french and plenty of it. Every item available for purchase in canada must be labeled in french and English, even those things imported from another country. And, additionally, keep all those lovely equalization payments coming, Alberta, Ontario, and BC. Keep them coming.
Thanks. I was wondering.
--When westerners go to another country we respect their customs (mostly), --
I think it would be better said that if a westerner gives up his citizenship to move to another country he better dang well respect their customs.
I didn't read anything about Islam in that council's declaration. It was just a blanket statement. They can't help if it hits the mark.
Mais, bien sur!
Le Canada est un pays francophone, depuis sa naissance.
C'est naturel que tous en position officielle seraient obliger de parler la langue officielle du pays.
Or, c'est vrai que les Anglais sont si desespere de maintenir le symbolisme de leur "empire" et "couronne" qu'en effet, grace a cela, nous les avons par les couilles, mais ca, c'est leur faute et non pas le notre. (De mon humble avis...)
Pathetic reply. Proves my point, but it's pathetic.
Moses said to old Pharaoh: Let my people go!
They won't eat the beef anyway unless it's certified that the animal's throat was cut while it was facing toward Mecca.