Quebec Goes Full Racist And I Flip My Lid

Pardon me for a moment.


Sorry about that. So basically Quebec is looking south of the border at Trump’s Muslim ban and thinking, “How can we be more racist than that? How can we target women for oppression? How can we signal to racists in the public that it’s okay to attack women in the streets?”

This is being done in the name of “public safety” because wearing a balaclava gives you magical powers to make things explode, so of course you have to outlaw them. They’ve perfected a divine ritual that pacifies everyone in the province but it doesn’t work if your face isn’t showing? I genuinely don’t understand the connection between public safety and showing faces.

I’m conscious of this and try to avoid it, but if I have ever seemed smug that Canada does things better than America, feel free to pile on me in this thread. Canada is a shit country full of shit people. Fuck us.


The USA is the central battlefield right now, but this is a global fight. The bastards are on the rise everywhere.



People are shit, whichever country we’re in. Cherish the moments we aren’t, because you need to remember those moments when too many of us are.


There goes my plan B. What the hell, Canada?

Also, doesn’t Quebec ever get cold enough to necessitate a scarf?


Oh, please let someone do a charter challenge to this. I cannot see the court allowing this to stand, even in Quebec.


It’ll be selectively enforced, of course.


I think Germany has done a better job:

It seems perfectly reasonable to me that one should be able to see the face of the civil servant or other state employee that you are talking to but banning face coverings in the open air, especially in places where it gets cold as Austria recently did, is idiotic to put it mildly even if you ignore the clearly divisive intent.

I’m glad that FRP’s proposal to ban face coverings in public was voted out here in Norway if only because it can get bloody cold here and I often wear a scarf and a hat in the winter that leaves only my eyes visible. It’s a broad brimmed hat too so even my eyes won’t be that easy to see.


Quebec is a fascist nation within a nation, full stop. Thanks to the Canada Act, they fall under federal law but have enough leeway to damn near virtually ban English, in the name of preserving their culture. And then they have the gall to complain that recent immigrants aren’t integrating (quelle horror) into their quasi-French society. Sacre bleu!


I don’t think it’s that simple unfortunately. That is one law - as it currently stands.

There are others:

So basically as a muslim woman who wears the niqab you can’t go to political protests or football matches.

But then why would you want to, plus presumably your oh-so macho and controlling husband wouldn’t let you anyway. /s

There are also laws in for example Lower Saxony which ban the wearing of face coverings in the context of children in schools.

The figleaf being that nothing should be permitted to hinder communication between participants in school activities and a face covering ‘hinders communication’.

I think the current state of the law in Germany is just a starting point sadly. If current political trends continue, it’ll be widened soon enough.


There is a proposal for a similar law here in Norway. I don’t know if it is necessary in the sense that there actually are teachers and students who cover there faces in lessons but if there were I think it would be quite reasonable to find such behaviour offensive.

As for the laws against covering the face outside then I think that they are all stupid even apart from the obvious discriminatory intent.

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Can I ask why?

I do appreciate that a lot of people feel that way but I’ve never managed to understand why?

I can understand feeling uncomfortable with people who have their face covered simply because it is not what we are used to. I feel that way myself to an extent.

I also feel uncomfortable with those idiots who feel that wearing their trousers halfway down their arse is the height of fashion. And mimes. They’re freaky.

But finding it offensive seems to go significantly beyond that.


I don’t find the mere covering of the face offensive but if someone wants to talk to me I expect to be able to recognize them if I meet them again; I expect to be able to react to their body language and expressions. The society in which I live is based on openness. Refusing to take off your tinted full face helmet is offensive, ditto your ski mask. If I speak to someone I normally take off my sunglasses, it is simple politeness.

By the way does your user name indicate a Scandinavian connection?

And that is what I don’t understand. I find the two passages I’ve quoted mutually contradictory.

Covering your face is not offensive but speaking to people with your face obscured is?

Equally I can understand the desire for the practical benefits you mention (being able to recognise people, see their facial expressions, etc.) but does that mean for example that conversations over the telephone are impossibly rude?

By the way from my admittedly limited interaction with people wearing full face veils/coverings, those issues are not especially problematic. People do not just consist of faces and we don’t just recognise them by their face.

Gait, height, body shape, their voice, their mannerisms - all add up to “I know this person” at least as well as their face does.

We’re not used to using those identifiers as much (although I gather our ever-present surveillance apparatus is rapidly working on all of those) but that’s just laziness on our part.

Only several centuries ago.


Islam does not require that women cover their face, only their hair.


That doesn’t excite me the way it seems to you. How is the fight in Australia doing?

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It’s not contradictory. They are two separate cases: one is where you and I are not interacting with each other, perhaps you and I are merely separately walking down the street, the other is where you expect me to give you my attention, perhaps in a formal context such as a classroom or a workplace.

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What is your definition of Islam? Can you supply a link or a quote that supports your assertion that it requires the covering of the hair or the face or none of them?

It seems to me that, like most religions, there is a strong cultural component and that this cannot be easily separated from some supposed set of common requirements that are only religious.

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I got this. They’re lying.

Nope. Cliché or not, we’re all in this together. That’s why running away isn’t an option, and really hasn’t been since before the War of 1812.


Thats’s true. Well, if I’m indoors or it isn’t squintingly bright. But honestly that’s about seeing their eyes. I don’t really care if someone shows me their face or takes of their hat (except in theaters). And while I like to see and let people see my eyes when conversing with them, I definitely don’t think it should be the law, any more than saying please and thank you should be the law. In fact, enforcing politeness by law hollows its sincerity and makes society worse as a result.

As with most religions, it’s complicated. The Qur’an pretty clearly prescribes headscarves (with the caveat that I have to rely on the translations of others since I don’t read Arabic). Veils and the like seem to be a matter of interpretation.

Not that it really matters. The important thing is that burqa bans are racist laws targeting people whose heritage is rooted in Muslim-majority cultures, so religious textualism is entirely beside the point.