Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Stoning Ban "Sets Back Race Relations"

The little town of Herouxville, Quebec has it right: Immigrants are welcome and will be treated well there, but they need to follow Canadian traditions and leave certain traditions Canadians find reprehensible behind, according to a recent town council declaration led by this guy, councilmember Andre Drouin.

What sort of traditions might those be? The Herouxville Web site is slammed and down because of this story, but Reuters got in early and found this:

"We wish to inform these new arrivals that the way of life which they abandoned when they left their countries of origin cannot be recreated here," said the declaration, which makes clear women are allowed to drive, vote, dance, write checks, dress how they want, work and own property.

"Therefore we consider it completely outside these norms to ... kill women by stoning them in public, burning them alive, burning them with acid, circumcising them etc."

Seems reasonable enough, since murder, attempted murder and mutilation are all what we in the West call crimes. Who could possibly be upset?

Well, his name is Salam Elmenyawi, and he's the president of the Muslim Council of Montreal. He thinks Herouxville has "set the [race relations] clock back for decades."

Elmenyawi isn't calling the declaration an infringement of Muslim "rights" to stone, burn and mutilate; rather, he asserts that it's a "false stereotype" that is the result of ignorance about Islam.

The last time I checked the stats, Muslims were way ahead of Christians, Jews -- even Wiccas -- when it came to the "honor killing" of women. (Previous posts on honor killing here, here, here.) Such crimes happen in Hindu and some African animist cultures as well, but Islam is the global Beckham in this field, with all other cultures sitting on the AYSO bench.

Judeo-Christian cultures -- places like Quebec, for example -- are particularly under-represented in the stoning, burning and mutilating set. When our daughters get pregnant, we give them warmth through counseling and comfort. In Muslim villages, they get warmth through kerosene and a match.

Herouxville, described as a traditional town dominated by a Roman Catholic church, is behaving much more straightforwardly than the rest of secular Canada. A couple passages from the Reuters report (which, by the way, was dumped in its "Oddly Enough" section):
The declaration is part of a wider debate over "reasonable accommodation," or how far Quebecers should be prepared to change their customs so as not to offend immigrants. Figures from the 2001 census show that around 10 percent of Quebec's 7.5 million population were born outside Canada. ...

Newspapers say a Montreal community center banned men from prenatal classes to respect Hindu and Sikh traditions and an internal police magazine suggested women police officers allow their male colleagues to interview Hasidic Jews.

Herouxville's law seems to reasonably accommodate immigrants. It doesn't tell anyone what to do, it just says what's allowed and what's not allowed. Because it's OK with Herouxville for women to drive cars or not cover their face, if Papa's upset that the wife and daughter have decided not to live in the 12th century any more, he must find a way to deal with it that doesn't involve stones, kerosene or sharp knives. If he can't and goes all Islamic on his family, he can expect a swift and chilly reception from Herouxville's finest.

There. You're accommodated. Deal with it.

Related Tags: , , ,