Tag Archives: sports

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.

The Maple Rag

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