In response to my post yesterday on Defending the Culture, Lisa Shapiro provided a link to a discussion of the issue on CBC Radio's outstanding morning show, The Current. (You'll need this instruction only if you are as inexperienced as I: click on the listen button top-right.) It is particularly worth listening to for the truly witty interventions of Esther Delisle (not to mention the introduction). But it is also a reminder of just how distinct a society Québec is—all three discussants live in Montréal, a vibrantly liberal world city. And this is what they said:
- Daniel Turp, an unconstitutional lawyer (sorry!), says that Sikhs can make a choice between forgoing the turban and staying in the civil service. Their rights are fully respected because there are other places to find jobs. (He said this in an exceptionally reasonable tone of voice.)
- Rachad Antonius, a sociologist at UQAM, was born in Egypt. He says many Iranian women would like to ban the hijab in Québec because they have seen how terrible the Islamization of a nation can be. (Kemal Mustafa is one of my heroes, but for God's sake, he's been dead awhile. Is this what we have to do to keep Ahmedinajad away?)
- Esther Delisle's gratitude to a Sikh doctor (tending her cracked rib) was so intense, she says, that it wouldn't have mattered if he had been "from the Moon." (I am trying to think how to break this to my handsome and respected colleague, Gurpreet Rattan.)
Delisle explains all of this as follows: since separatism is truly dead, the PQ has to find something interesting to talk about, and they have found it . . . . "us."
If this election continues as comic as it has been to date, I hope it never ends.