However, before I begin, I would like to address Jim Royal’s earlier comments addressed to me on Joe’s post, “Secularism: A Separatist Trojan Horse“:
Jim Royal implies that my attitudes to the Charter are similar to those the Pineault-Caron family express. According to a CBC article, the Pineault-Caron family criticized a particular Islamic religious practice:
Geneviève Caron spoke before a national assembly commission in Quebec City, describing her shock after visiting a mosque in Morocco.
“There were men on all fours on the ground … ‘Come on!’ I said, “Praying on all fours on the ground on little carpets…what the heck is that all about?’”
I have no desire to criticize what religious practices people follow in the privacy of their home or place of worship. The freedom to practice religion is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Now, to Jim Royal’s comment to “Aspects of Anti-Charter Propaganda”:
Veronica, I am disappointed that you chose to hide behind the words of another person, rather than speak for yourself.
I am not hiding behind another person or his words. I am a member of Atheist Freethinkers; I fully support AFT’s position on the Charter and fully support David Rand’s latest post: “AFT Blog # 42: Anti-Charter Propaganda.”
Royal objects to my statement,
Government employees should represent the government they work for: they should not represent their religion.
Boiled down, this says that people should not wear religious symbols at work because people should not wear religious symbols at work. This is a circular argument . . .
I amended my statement to
Government employees should represent the government they work for while they are at work; they should not represent their religion.
If this still appears to be a circular argument, then I’ll amend it again: It is necessary to know which branch of the government employees represent; it is not necessary to know which religious practice they follow. I don’t want to be told, either verbally or non-verbally, which religious practice the clerk who renews my vehicle plates follows.
Some people have taken the bill to mean that wearing anything muslim-looking is now out of bounds in Quebec, whether you work for the government or not.
Where are these “people” getting this impression from? They are getting this impression from people like you and the media which spread this misinformation.
Finally, Royal asks,
Do you have any muslim friends?
Yes, I have Muslim friends, but I don’t know whether they are Islam. I don’t ask.