Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .
This week, the Update is going to have a slightly different format. That’s because the big news this week of the passing – not just of Gord Downie – of Bill 62 in Québec. Bill 62 bans having one’s face covered when giving or receiving public services, and Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée has already confirmed that means everything from entering a school, to riding a bus, to getting treated at a hospital. To dodge the obvious accusation that this is intended to target Muslims, she has additionally stressed that the ban also covers bandanas, hoodies, and sunglasses. You can buy that if you want, but the Bill actually says it’s about “religious neutrality” in the title, so it falls squarely in Canadian Atheist’s wheelhouse.
So first I’ll list the items not related to Bill 62, and then after that, a focus on Bill 62-related items.
I haven’t had time to listen to this, so if anything strikes you, leave a comment.
This is a really interesting idea! Rather than talking right-vs-left, we should discuss politics and social ideas in terms of humanism-vs-non-humanism. Because, after all, that’s a metric that actually matters.
It’s almost a trope of right-wing media that universities suppress “free speech”, and a lot of people are falling for it. But has anyone bothered to investigate, to go beyond the outrage headlines and find the truth? The CJFE does just that.
I’m not going to spoil what the finding was, but it’s pretty cool, and it says a lot about how allowing any bigotry to run rampant can not only harm the targeted, it can hurt everyone.
The way the Catholic Church – the richest religion in the world – managed to weasel out of their obligations is infuriating. Read the piece, and see if you don’t agree.
Bickering over the word “islamophobia” is distracting from solving any actual problems.
Last week Weekly Update told the story of Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan by Taliban supporters, and held for five years. At the time, details were scarce, but now they are back in Canada, and telling their story. There are still a lot of questions that need to be asked, but for now, hearing what they went through is horrifying.
You think this is a joke? You think the title is misleadingly bad? Nope. This is easily one of the worst, one of the stupidest apologetics I’ve read in a long time, and that’s saying something. And yes, it seriously got published in the Independent. I’d thought of writing a response myself, but decided against it. After all, there are people who could do a far better job of it than me.
This is a really hard-hitting piece that pulls no punches. There’s been a lot of ink spilled (or bits twiddled) over the idea that the atheist movement has separated into two distinct movements – one of which tries to expand beyond “mere atheism” to encompass broader ideas of social justice and intersectionality, and the other… as unflatteringly described by Nichols in this piece… made up of
The LSUC is implementing a policy that will require all members to draft a statement of principles showing their commitment to professional ethics regarding diversity. Aaaaand, “Christians” freak out. I put Christians in quotes because I find it enlightening and amusing that The Catholic Register used “Christians” as a synonym for “bigot”. I didn’t even have to do that for them.
I could think of so many more interesting and fun things to do with a full cracker-load of Jesus in my basement.
For a couple of years now, Kate McInturff has been making a list of “the best and worst places to be a woman in Canada”, based on various measures of gender inequality. You should check out this year’s list, but in this Behind the Numbers piece, McInturff gives very interesting insights into the index, the challenges in creating it, and the impacts it has.
 “BURGER KING | Bullying Jr.” (Video: 2:58)
This is a public service announcement by – of all things – Burger King, about bullying. I strongly recommend watching it. It is incredible.
If the Nichols piece above is too much for you to bear, Godless Mama offers a much gentler criticism.
Personally, I found this piece a little wishy-washy, because while it was a good read about 90% of the way through, it just stopped abruptly without offering any real solutions or insight. However, the information it does give is worthwhile.
This is actually a neat summary of a study done in the UK, where 20 non-Muslim men –
Sikhs, Christians, Hindus and atheists– who look Muslim were interviewed about their experiences being the targets of anti-Muslim hate. You might also find this earlier piece interesting about two people (a Muslim man and a Christian woman) who deliberately changed their appearance to look more “Muslim” for a month.
I haven’t had the time to read this piece in the depth I’d like to yet. But what I’ve read so far is really, really good. I highly recommend, and please share in the comments anything you think really needs highlighting.
It’s really starting to look like Reva Landau’s new case is definitely going to happen!
This is infuriating. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association wanted to get the Lamb v. Canada constitutional challenge moved more quickly through the courts, since much of it just retread territory already argued in the 2015 Carter v. Canada case that struck down the assisted dying ban. But the judge said no, and now the government gets a redo of Carter… and we get more delays.
Now, onto this week’s big news.
The first few reports of the Bill:
- What you need to know about Quebec’s religious neutrality legislation
- Quebec bus drivers seek clarity on law that prohibits passengers from covering faces
Philippe Couillard’s response:
- ‘I should see your face, and you should see mine,’ Quebec premier says of new religious neutrality law
The responses of other politicians:
- The Veil Of Convenience: Trudeau Stays Silent As Quebec Targets Muslims
- I Am Disgusted By Trudeau’s Response To Quebec’s Racist Law
- Jagmeet Singh speaks out against Quebec religious neutrality bill as Liberals promise not to interfere
- Ontario says Quebec law on religious neutrality violates charter
The responses of some of the victims:
Several major Canadian news outlets published official editorials:
- Quebec’s Niqab ban is a shameful sop to nativist voters: Editorial
- Globe editorial: With Bill 62, Quebec attacks religious freedom
And numerous other writers published opinions:
- Opinion | Quebec’s new religious neutrality law offers a special level of hypocrisy: Neil Macdonald
- Quebec and its niqab legislation should have stayed out of women’s closets: Paradkar
- Chris Selley: Cowardly Quebec Liberals pretend disgraceful niqab ban isn’t really a niqab ban
- Opinion | Quebec law banning face coverings is neither neutral nor constitutional
- No time for neutrality in responding to Couillard’s xenophobic Bill 62
Canadaland offers some context about why the ban is so popular in Québec:
Ania Onion Bula pulls the rug out from under the absurd claims that this is about helping vulnerable women:
Finally, my favourite response, from average Canadians:
Canadian Atheist’s Weekly Update depends on the submissions of readers like you. If you see anything on the Internet that you think might be of interest to CA readers, please take a minute to make a submission.