When I saw this story, I was convinced it was either a joke or at least inaccurate. But as reality has proven in the past; life truly is stranger than fiction. Come with me to Herouxville, Quebec where the local government has laid down the town rules in a very unique and clear fashion.
It’s best to just read their Publication of Standards. But in the interest of time I will highlight a few of the more entertaining rules as taken directly from their document:
We would especially like to inform the new arrivals that the lifestyle that they left behind in their birth country cannot be brought here with them and they would have to adapt to their new social identity.
We consider that men and women are of the same value. Having said this, we consider that a woman can; drive a car, vote, sign checks, dance, decide for herself, speak her peace, dress as she sees fit respecting of course the democratic decency, walk alone in public places, study, have a job, have her own belongings and anything else that a man can do. These are our standards and our way of life. However, we consider that killing women in public beatings, or burning them alive are not part of our standards of life.
We listen to music, we drink alcoholic beverages in public or private places, we dance and at the end of every year we decorate a tree with balls and tinsel and some lights. This is normally called â€œChristmas Decorationsâ€ or also â€œChristmas Treeâ€ letting us rejoice in the notion of our national heritage and not necessarily a religious holiday. These festivities are authorized in public, schools, and institutions and also in private.
You may not hide your face as to be able to identify you while you are in public. The only time you may mask or cover your face is during Halloween.
For the longest time boys and girls have played the same games and often play together. For example, if you came to my place we would send the kids to swim together in the pool, donâ€™t be surprised this is normal for us. You would see men and women skiing together on the same hill at the same time, donâ€™t be surprised this is normal for us. You would also see men and women playing hockey together, donâ€™t be surprised this is normal for us. In our public swimming pools we have men and women lifeguards for our security to protect us from drowning, donâ€™t be surprised this is normal for us.
There’s plenty more where that came from. Honestly there is nothing wrong with these rules in and of themselves, except for the fact that they’re obviously aimed at Muslim immigrants. The question is very simple. Is this town justified in its decision to post these rules that are obviously based on Muslim stereotypes?
Salam Elmenyawi, president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, said that the declaration had “set the clock back for decades” as far as race relations were concerned. He added, “I was shocked and insulted to see these kinds of false stereotypes and ignorance about Islam and our religion … in a public document written by people in authority who discriminate openly.”
But are these false stereotypes? Secondly, is this truly discrimination and if so, can discrimination be justified at times?
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