HOTTF: A Canadian Debate

by Cookie

I was reading the news this morning when I came across an article about Quebec banning turbans on the soccer field.  My first reaction was “what the fuck?” Why would anyone care if someone wore a turban on a soccer field?

Apparently, Quebec feels that because they are not technically bound by the rules of the federation, they can discriminate at will.  Which they do on a regular basis in terms of language, and now are continuing to do in terms of respecting one’s religious freedoms.  So now, Quebec soccer teams aren’t invited to play other teams that aren’t from Quebec.  Basically, a big “fuck you” from the rest of the country.

Seems cut and dry?  Not really Hot on The Titties Material?  I’m not sure it is black and white.  In this particular case, I don’t see what the problem is.  It’s not like the turban is interfering in a team uniform or giving the players any sort of advantage.  What’s the difference between a turban and a really big do-rag on your head?  It serves almost the same purpose, but the turban is obviously something sacred to the person wearing it.

However,  whether or not it is appropriate for someone to be allowed to wear a turban or ceremonial dagger while part of the RCMP on Parliament Hill, for example, I have to say that I don’t think it is.  Or for someone testifying at a trial to be allowed to keep their burka up over their face without first lifting it to confirm identity to a judge.

What’s the difference?  In the first case, the difference is that we in Canada do have some traditions and national symbols that should be considered valuable as well.  I understand that this country was founded and built and exists on immigrants, but I think people coming into this country should have some respect for the traditions we as Canadians hold sacred.  Not being allowed to wear a turban instead of the full uniform of the ceremonial RCMP isn’t an attempt to disrespect your religion, it is an attempt to preserve our Canadian culture.

I think it would be a cold day in hell before a Muslim or Sikh culture would allow a Canadian citizen to come in and dictate how things were going to change.  You’d probably be whipped and stoned and left for dead.

In the second case, we have to be able to find a way where a witness or especially a victim’s rights are considered while preserving the integrity of our justice system.  I’m not sure how that would work.  Perhaps revealing her face to a female court appointed official who could then confirm the identity of the woman?

I think that while I think we should all be free to believe what we want and practice whatever faith provides us comfort, I worry for the future of the Canadian culture.  What IS Canadian culture anyway?

What’s the first thing you think of when you think of a Canuck?  Maple syrup and dog sleds and snow?

A guy in a turban riding a dog sled with a polar bear chasing them?

People in fur hats drinking beer while huddled over their ice fishing hole?

Guys walking around clubbing seals?

It’s already so blurry.  Let’s try to keep it clear.