Tag Archives: respect

Anti-Québec logic

11 Jun
Alert the media! India's national football (soccer) team is turbanless! India must be racist and xenophobic!

Alert the media! India’s national football (soccer) team is turbanless! India must be racist and xenophobic!

By Evan Zenobia

ANCIENT ROME—It looks as if the Québec Soccer Federation has really stepped in it, this time.

It’s not really their fault though. It’s just that the English Canadian media has been dumping shit all over the sidewalk.

Yes, ever since the FSQ announced that turbans would, along with all other headgear, be impermissible on soccer pitches, everyone from rags like Maclean’s and the National Post to federal cabinet ministers have denounced the regulation, thundering righteous, theatrical indignation and hurling accusations of racism and xenophobia at Québec.

By now, you’ve probably heard or read the standard narrative. Driven by either a radical secularism gone mad or just by Québec’s innate and distinctly un-Canadian xenophobic racism, Sikhs were singled out by FSQ and swept off the soccer field. Now, Sikh children will be barred from the game, cruelly excluded by racist Québécois officials.

This isn’t the first time the Sikh community’s religious obligations have run across trouble in Québec. In 2010-11, a scandal erupted over the barring of kirpan (knife)-bearing Sikhs from entering the Nation Assembly. The FSQ faced similar criticism for banning the hijab. And, the standard reaction from the conservative English-Canadian establishment had been to accuse Québec of racism or xenophobia.

But that’s not what’s happening.

According to the FSQ, headgear is not allowed on the soccer pitch. You can’t wear a baseball cap, or a cowboy hat, or a tuque, or a crown, or a German war helment. The rule is no headgear. A turban is headgear. Therefore, turbans are not allowed.

So now Québec is being accused of racism because in Québec everybody, regardless of their religion, is subject to the same rules and regulations.

When you treat everyone the same, that’s not discrimination, it’s called equality. And I know that conservatives actually hate that, but they should be honest about it instead of accusing the 7 million people of Québec of intolerance and hatred.

In any case, the FSQ will follow FIFA’s lead if the international body allows turban. But until FIFA makes its decision, Vic Toews and Parm Gil and Jason Kenney and the esteemed “writers” at the authoritative rags of Canada’s business classes should quit their hysterics about “intolerance,” and maybe practice a bit of tolerance to Canada’s second largest province.

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In Defence of “Happy Holidays”

21 Dec

By Evan Zenobia

OTTAWA – It’s December. The season when the snow begins to fall, traffic begins to slow, and students consume record amounts of energy drinks as they cram for exams before consuming record amounts of alcohol to celebrate their completion.

But on a happier note, it’s a season of celebration! Of decorations, gift exchanges, lights, and charity. Of egg nog, parties, family reunions and parades. Love, peace on earth, and goodwill towards men and women! It’s the holiday season!

But in spite of the joy the holidays are supposed to bring, it only whips up rage chez les conservateurs. Nothing boils a conservative’s blood more than two simple words: happy holidays.

To the ears of the right-wing traditionalist champion of family values, the cheer “happy holidays” is the battle cry of the politically correct Jesus-hating soldiers of the secularist “War on Christmas.” Anything short of the explicitly Christian “Merry Christmas” is an attack on the heritage, nay, the rights of Canada’s Christians, long the victims of a sinister agenda to marginalize them by treating them with the same respect as members of other faiths.

But of course, happy holidays is a completely harmless, and indeed the most sensitive and appropriate expression of goodwill this season.

In the first place, “happy holidays” does not express any hostility to Christians or Christianity. It doesn’t attack the Christmas spirit. So there is no problem with using it.

But not everybody in Canada celebrates Christmas. Many celebrate Chanukah. Others celebrate Kwanza. Some celebrate the Winter Solstice or Yuletide. And there are many many others.

Does it explicitly harm a non-Christian to say “Merry Christmas.” Well, no. But I don’t feel comfortable reminding the minorities who don’t celebrate Christmas of their minority status, especially in a time of year that stresses harmony and peace.

And of course, the state has no business using the taxes of Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Pagan, Atheist and other non-Christians to promote celebrations of Christian ritual.

So, happy holidays to all! Happy holidays, happy holidays, happy holidays, happy holidays. Peace on Earth sisters and brothers!

The Maple Rag

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