The similarities are startling … and frightening.
Legislation passed … in fact, RUSHED THROUGH without full discussion/debate in the Quebec legislature Sunday night … actually singles out racial/religious minorities for TARGETTED discrimination and exclusion in ways quite SIMILAR to the early racist laws of Nazi Germany.
Most people think of the Nuremberg Laws as the anti-Jewish legislation passed by the Reichstag Sept. 15, 1935 that “forbade marriages and extramarital intercourse between Jews and Germans and the employment of German females under 45 in Jewish households … and declared that only those of German or related blood were eligible to be Reich citizens” (Wikipedia).
That prohibition was later amended to include Gypsies (Romani) and all blacks … and that adds to the danger: once the public gets used to singling out and discriminating against ANY group, expanding that to others later becomes much easier.
BUT what most today do not recall or do not know is that, in April, 1933 … two years earlier than the more infamous Nuremberg Laws … the Reichstag had first passed the “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” prohibiting “non-Aryans” from working in the legal profession and civil service.
Remarkably similar to what QUEBEC HAS NOW DONE … excluding from hiring for ANY public service jobs ALL observant Jews, Sikhs, Muslims who feel commanded by their faith to wear a religious head-covering.
Now, we’re NOT just talking burkas here (the total head/face covering with only two eye slits) … which are prohibited for security reasons in several states/businesses etc.
Quebec has TARGETTED the Jewish skullcap, Sikh turban and Muslim hijab headscarf … BARRING anyone wearing them from being hired to work for the government or any of its agencies (hospitals, labs, schools, police forces, ambulances, fire services, courts etc. ) in ANY capacity.
Should a doctor or a teacher or even a school crossing guard be barred from a job because he or she feels compelled by God to wear a religious headgear?
Not in my world.
Wearing a cross, a star of David or any other religious symbol … as personal jewelry … will also be banned, but these are decorative, not usually worn as a religious requirement … so that’s not as outrageous as barring those whose simple head garb is an actual part of their faith.
A person’s proven ability, strength of character, honesty and integrity should be ALL any government/agency should care about in doing ANY hiring.
And THAT is all we should demand our “leaders” do … not single out the few to be discriminated against.
As French-Algerian author/philosopher Nobel Prize winner Albert Camus wrote, the essence of “democracy is not the rule of the majority, but the protection of the minority.”
Amen! (Oops! Am bloggers allowed to say that anymore?)
And by the way, just as there were TWO Nuremberg infamous anti-minority laws passed in the Reichstag in 1935, there was a SECOND infamous anti-minority law passed Sunday in Quebec as well.
Bill 9 “reforms” Quebec’s immigration system to require prospective permanent residents to take a “values test” to make sure they fit in.
Fit into what? How? By whose standards? Who will design the tests? Who will decide who passes? Political hacks appointed to committees? Racists or anti-Semites with political connections? Separatists?
I dare say MANY, MANY “pure lain” … old time white, francophone rural Quebecois …. with their history of decades old anti-Semitism, bigotry against blacks, Asians, Muslims, even Anglais generally … wouldn’t pass MY values test. Maybe THEIR citizenship should be revoked?
What is to STOP the co-mixing of the bigotry behind the TWO new Quebec laws, so that anyone wearing a skullcap, turban or hijab clearly doesn’t reflect Quebec’s “values” and is thus disqualified from residency status?
Would any of us here in BC stand still if, to live here, we had to pass “values tests” designed by ANY government … or its bureaucrats … or its friends “in the community”?
Making it even worse, while Quebec draws up ITS new subjective tests criteria, it is tearing up 16,000 immigration residency applications already before it … from people who have been waiting up to two years: they’ll all have to start over.
Another gesture to make sure immigrants to Canada who landed in Quebec feel unwelcome.
Nuremberg’s Nazis would be impressed.