I have recently become aware of the happenings in Quebec wherein the Bloc Quebecois is interested in disallowing people to publicly display their religion through the means of a turban, veil, cross, or what have you. I brought it up at the dinner table which, in turn, started a rather heated argument between myself and my parents. Let me first explain to you my parents beliefs; they believe the Bloc Quebecois is ingenious for this new law. They have this opinion that if an immigrant has decided to come to Canada they should adopt our customs. My mum furthered this by proclaiming that if she were to travel to an Islamic country she would wear the traditional veil or bur qua or which ever is fitting for the area. My dad added that by foreigners coming in and spreading their ideas and culture, that our own beliefs and culture is being threatened.
My first reaction was that my parents were crazy. They were old school and stuck in their ways. I was rather heated for a few hours actually, and I sat in my room silently lamenting about how ridiculous they were. But then it came to me, they are right. No, not in their exact statements but in the roots of their claims their argument collapses on itself. My mum said that immigrants should adopt our customs when they come to Canada and I very much agree. She says that if she were to travel to an Islamic country she would follow their customs as well. The difference lays in the fact that there is no differentiation between Islamic law and religion; they are identical. Wearing a bur qua is the law. When an immigrant decides to land in Canada they then have to follow our customs and laws. In the Charter of Rights it is clearly stated in black and white that every Canadian citizen is entitled to freedom of religion. By a man of the Sikh religion wearing his turban daily he is merely following our Canadian Customs and well within his rights.
My father added to the conversation that immigrants will eventually suppress our own culture. To this I ask; are we really so simple minded that we can not maintain our own values and beliefs despite new ideas? Are we really that easily convinced? Now you may just think, “well hello, media and government propaganda.” But I have to believe in humanity enough to think that our religion is ours and our faith is unbreakable. This argument made by my dad reminds me of high school, when the new girl came in and the queen B decided to try to make her a humble servant before the new girl was even able to show who she really was. Are we really so insecure as a nation that we can’t just accept the new girls and guys as they come?
I am an 18 year old Canadian girl and was baptized Catholic. I love my religion and my faith as it is presented (not as it is depicted). I have no problem with other religions, in fact I love learning about their practices and beliefs. I also have no problem with gay and lesbianism, I have no problem with the theory of evolution, and I dance with the idea of reincarnation from time to time. I’m malleable. I’m human. I don’t know what to believe at this point, I’m young and I don’t have all the answers. Like I said I am baptized Catholic, but in my mind my beliefs span so much farther. I have adopted ideas from many other cultures and religions including the Anishinaabe tribe, Buddhist religion, Muslim religion, and even a few ideas from my Agnostic friend. To wrap it all up, I think that abolishing the ability to display ones religion is the governments attempt to make a colony of clones. How interesting can our country truly be without diversity? Religious diversity is a very important part of the North American fabric, and part of what makes our country really attractive.
True North strong and free? Prove it.