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Sikhs 'disappointed' by Quebec vote barring kirpans from assembly[/B


QUEBEC — Members of Canada's Sikh community said they were 'disappointed' Wednesday evening after Quebec's national assembly adopted a motion by a vote of 113-0 supporting the decision by security workers to bar four Sikhs who came to the assembly to testify on Bill 94, banning Islamic face coverings.

The four refused to remove their kirpans, small ceremonial daggers. In 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the kirpan, which Sikhs carry wrapped in fabric under their clothing, is not a weapon but a religious symbol, like a crucifix.

"We're disappointed that the wearing of the kirpan, which is a human rights issue, has been politicized," Balpreet Singh, legal counsel representing the World Sikh Organization of Canada, said in a statement. "Today's vote represents a turn away from the values of tolerance and multiculturalism."

Louise Beaudoin, the Parti Quebecois member for Montreal's Rosemont riding, presented the motion, telling reporters she did so because provincial Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil remained neutral on the kirpan ban.

Beaudoin said she wanted to know where Weil stands on the issue of security versus religious freedom.

And she said the Sikhs should have been ready to make an accommodation by checking their kirpans with assembly security.

"Frankly, they could have made an effort to respect our institutions and our values," she told reporters.

Beaudoin noted that while Weil says the Liberal government is neutral, there are no legal texts in the province affirming that neutrality.

"We want to amend the charter of rights and liberties," Beaudoin said.

At present, Quebec's human rights charter states that all rights are equal, calling for accommodation when conflicts arise to ensure all rights are respected.

Beaudoin said multiculturalism is a Canadian value, not a Quebec value.

She said multiculturalism was promoted in the 1970s by the late Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, in the hope that the "French-Canadian minority" would be marginalized among all other minorities in Canada.

She called multiculturalism "divisive" and pointed out that no Quebec government has signed the 1982 constitution, enshrining multiculturalism as a Canadian value.

"It seems this debate is no longer about the niqab or the kirpan, it's about the inclusion of minorities in Quebec," said Singh.

Weil said assembly constables were acting within their jurisdiction in asking the Sikhs to check their kirpans.

"We are all agreed," the minister said. "We support the decision that was taken in January."

While the PQ wants the government to adopt a law banning all ostentatious religious signs, ending the "case-by-case" process of granting "reasonable accommodations" for religious differences, Weil said her Bill 94, dealing solely with Islamic face coverings, such as the niqab or burka, is "common sense."

And she noted polls, when Bill 94 was presented, showing 95 per cent support in Quebec and 80 per cent support in the rest of Canada for her position.

Carole Poirier, the PQ legislator for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, said banning the kirpan was justified by the May 8, 1984, shooting spree, when Cpl. Denis Lortie, armed with two machine guns, burst into the assembly building, killing three people and wounding 13 others.

"Are we going to allow the Supreme Court of Canada to dictate to us?" Poirier asked.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Sikhs+disappointed+Quebec+vote+barring+kirpans+from+assembly/4253959/story.html#ixzz1DWvuWpzj
 

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Mai Harinder Kaur

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I am not 'disappointed.' I am furious. I am ashamed of the traitorous Bloc Quebec (BQ), although my mother's family are long-time supporters.

However, this is not unexpected. I think all Sikhs in Quebec, including all my family on my Dad's side, ought to simply pack up and move. If they won't respect our kirpans, let us not give them our economic support. Alberta and British Columbia are really nice. So are all the others. Except Quebec. Canada is a big country.
 

Ambarsaria

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Dec 21, 2010
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I am not 'disappointed.' I am furious. I am ashamed of the traitorous Bloc Quebec (BQ), although my mother's family are long-time supporters.

However, this is not unexpected. I think all Sikhs in Quebec, including all my family on my Dad's side, ought to simply pack up and move. If they won't respect our kirpans, let us not give them our economic support. Alberta and British Columbia are really nice. So are all the others. Except Quebec. Canada is a big country.
Mai Harinder Kaur ji, :angryyoungkaur:,Slowly but surely they are destroying a great Province that it once was. Great shame.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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*Sob* motherlylove I am a Quebecer. I will always be a Quebecer. Watching my dear and beloved home betraying itself and me is painful. As I have said, though, not unexpected. Again, I call for all Sikhs just to get up and leave Quebec. Just pick up and go. I know it's the middle of winter and Quebec winters are no joke, but we need to send a strong message that we will not let ourselves be so disrespected. If necessary, go in the spring. Write to the newspapers and make sure the people know why you are leaving. The government of Quebec may not like us and our kirpans, but they love our hard work and our money. Let's take those somewhere they will be appreciated instead of wasting them on such unappreciative people.

Students, I know that McGill University, my alma mater, is one of the great universities of Canada, but there are others. You, too, need to stand up and leave. Just out of curiosity, are you allowed your kirpan on campus? If you are now, I guarantee that won't last.

I would hope that come summer there is not a single Sikh left in the province.

animatedkhanda1
 

anakhiput

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Feb 7, 2011
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its a shame as it seems french thinking quebec has to go this way as no wonder same applies in france nothing personal but what is there problem
 

Ambarsaria

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its a shame as it seems french thinking quebec has to go this way as no wonder same applies in france nothing personal but what is there problem
anakhiput ji I believe I may have some comments that explains it.

I believe French culture and people speaking French across the world feel defensive due to,

  • Economic conditions
  • Surrounded by English speaking world that is growing
  • Immigration populations growing
  • Threat of culture and heritage dilution
With the above conditions people and countries react,

  • They target minorities who,
    • Look different
    • May be culturally different
    • Who they believe are not as committed to French or such culture
  • Political parties are masters of exploiting such situations,
    • At the time of their choice
      • More likely when they are,
        • Low in polls
        • Election looming
    • At a place of their choice
  • What do you get,
    • Discrimination
    • Actions to stir emotions of the majority
    • Etc.
I hope the above sheds some light.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

SSingh11

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Feb 17, 2011
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Petition Quebec National Assembly To Respect Minority And Religious Rights

Please join us in requesting the Quebec National Assembly to respect minority and religious rights by signing the Petition provided from the link below.


This petition is organized by UNITED SIKHS a U.N. affiliated, international non-profit, non-governmental, humanitarian relief, human development and advocacy organization, aimed at empowering those in need, especially disadvantaged and minority communities across the world. (See www.unitedsikhs.org)

Details of the issue are available in the Notes section.

http://unitedsikhs.o...cKirpanPetition
 

SSingh11

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Feb 17, 2011
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Re: Petition Quebec National Assembly To Respect Minority And Religious Rights

Highlights:



Quebec, Canada: Four Canadian Sikhs were refused entry into the National Assembly of Quebec unless they removed their kirpans. UNITED SIKHS is now petitioning for Sikhs to be able to wear their kirpans freely and would like your support. Sign this petition now!

Sikhs are a well-integrated community in Canada that have been continually afforded acceptance and respect for their articles of faith by the larger community. While they remain a religious minority, Quebec itself is a minority within English-speaking Canada. “The kirpan always reminds me to stand for justice and equality. It is this very notion of justice, equality and preserving one’s unique differences that Quebec has historically fought to maintain” pointed out Ranbir Singh, UNITED SIKHS Director in Toronto.​
Although the incident at the Quebec Assembly was regrettable and unfortunate, it provides an opportunity for dialogue with the various communities that enrich Quebec and Canada. UNITED SIKHS stands in solidarity with the global Sikh community and the political leaders that have condemned the incident. Sikhs look up to the ordinary citizens of Quebec to stand with them and ensure that a similar event does not occur in the future.

We are calling on Sikhs and the larger community in Quebec to stand strong and show their support by signing this petition for the right to wear kirpan.


Forward the petition to friends and family!


For background information on the incident and current kirpan accommodation laws and policies in Canada, please click here.
To sign the petition now, please click here.​
If you would like to print the Petition for collecting signatures from your local community, please click here.​
UNITED SIKHS is committed to protecting the rights of Sikhs to practice their faith freely and without hindrance. If you feel your rights have been violated, email contact@unitedsikhs.org.​
Issued by:​
Susan Kaur​
Legal Fellow​
1-905-672-2245
 

spnadmin

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Re: Petition Quebec National Assembly To Respect Minority And Religious Rights

Two articles above have been moved to be merged with an existing thread on the topic.
 

Seeker9

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May 3, 2010
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In 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the kirpan, which Sikhs carry wrapped in fabric under their clothing, is not a weapon but a religious symbol, like a crucifix.
This should not be a problem

And she said the Sikhs should have been ready to make an accommodation by checking their kirpans with assembly security.
May I respectfully suggest that this, in theory, should not be a problem either....although not sure what checking entails...if it is simply a self-declaration out of courtesy that is fine...if it involves any physical manhandling then I would be against that as well
 

khalji

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Jan 23, 2011
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Unfortunately French Canadians' maniacal need to assert their unique identity is whacking us.

IMO, we should have joined English Canadians and attacked all special privileges and status for Quebec a long time ago.

English Canada allows the French to stomp all over ENglish white Quebecers. This has emboldened them to attack Sikhs and Muslims as well.

The English won the war, they should act like victors.
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Unfortunately French Canadians' maniacal need to assert their unique identity is whacking us.

IMO, we should have joined English Canadians and attacked all special privileges and status for Quebec a long time ago.

English Canada allows the French to stomp all over ENglish white Quebecers. This has emboldened them to attack Sikhs and Muslims as well.

The English won the war, they should act like victors.

Khalji ji - or should it just be Khalji?

I had a whole essay written and thought better of it. Suffice to say that I agree with you.

I think the problem is that English-speaking Canadians on the whole are nice and this niceness is a very deeply ingrained cultural trait. It's an important part of the self-image. Being a gracious victor is a good thing - up to a point.
 

jhelmick

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Mar 2, 2011
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Tacoma WA
It seems to me that the Western world is categorically discriminating against any and all Eastern faiths. I'm in full support in proceeding cautiously in the face of terrorism but infringing on human rights and religious practice is taking it too far. Even as a non-Sikh, it's infuriating.

But one must wonder, is this ignorance or true discrimination? I think in many cases, it is ignorance, but it's unnecessary. We live in the Information Age and makes it inexcusable. There's no reason for it.

Although this is Quebec we're talking about, I still find it infuriating. It just diminishes religious freedoms. It's a sad state of affairs we are in.

Respectfully,
Jesse
 

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