The day that I decided to wear my scarf, was the day I accepted I was a feminist. Was a simple piece of cloth a symbol of oppression? I found that women were mistreated all over the world, scarf or no scarf. So at 16, I began my journey to covering my body. I realized, the world would judged me no matter what I did, so I better do what I feel is right. My feminism still remains while I wear the hijab, because for me it was the greatest symbol of choice.
One would hope that the days of politically motivated religious discrimination are far behind us. Yet the disdain and intolerance demonstrated so avidly by Pauline Marois threatens to bring us back to darker, more foreboding times. Along with the other vestiges of bigotry appearing today, can it be that the accepting, multicultural national we have worked toward in the last number of decades has been for naught?
The Parti Québécois (PQ) have unveiled some disconcerting aspects of their would-be mandate: all overt religious symbols would be banned from public institutions... except for Catholic religious symbols. In addition to lengthy and costly constitutional battles with Ottawa, certain Quebecers can now be expected to have their basic civil liberties trampled on in order to appease an increasingly intolerant voting population. The PQ are once again marginalizing a segment of the Quebec population because they are not seen as being an important fabric of Quebec's so-called distinct society. What I find truly alarming, however, is that the PQ is poised to form the next government. Vive le Québec libre indeed.
Multiculturalism has veered off course when those responsible for our safety -- a major threat to which is Islamist terrorism -- are reluctant to use direct language to describe that threat. Law enforcement officials must be properly and candidly briefed on the role of religious ideology in some strains of terrorism.