back to article Please don't burn or stone women, pleads Canadian town

The town of Herouxville in Quebec, which boasts one immigrant family among its 1,300 inhabitants, is at the centre of a race-relations rumpus after issuing a town council declaration on culture which reminds newcomers that "stoning [women] in public, burning them alive, burning them with acid, circumcising them etc", is an …


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  1. Liam

    PC gone mad again

    This is purely another riciculous case of over political correctness. the fact is that these things regularly happen in islamic countries. islamic women have been downtrodden and treated as second class citizens for years. all canada is saying is that if you plan on moving over here you need to leave certain aspects of your old culture behind. same as if i moved to an islamic country they would try to force me to not drink alcohol etc

    im sick of being told how to live by a portion of society that cannot take any form of criticism at all. the fact that merely questioning actions/beliefs can have you threatned with your life shows the intolerance of the religion as a whole.

    i can only see the relations crumbling as extremists try to force their beliefs on everyone (im not just talking islam as christianity is just as guilty in a lot of cases) - just as the west tries to force its capitolism and ways in the middle east - cant we just realise that islamic people want to live their lives one way and us another.

    with hospitals and schools closing and the country generally going to the dogs its hard to see our hard earned tax money being spent on things like the estimated £200m being spent on translators for foreign nationals etc.

    i just dont understand why, to quote Bill and Ted, we can't 'be excellent to each other'

    speaking as an athiest i see all the religious nonsense as ridiculous anyway - lots of horrible things have always been done by man in the name of god!

  2. Greg Nelson

    There goes the neighbourhood

    As a canajen (that's right it's canajen eh!) born in a small norther town and inculcated with the prejudices only a small town mindset can insidiously pass on to children I'd like to point out that the good citizens of Herouxville were probably quite well intentioned. The only true account of the small town mindset I've found is in Flaubert's 'Madame Bovary'. It takes consummate genius to capture the narrow, shallowness that isolation breeds. A small town upbringing instills a deep, false sense of collective righteousness, especially when the Church (note the definite article) anchors the town. I'm sure the good town's people only wanted to spare their new neighbors the embarrassment of a court appearance.

    Canada is two nations within one border. No, not Quebec and the rest of Canada, but rather the southern communities plugged into the transcanada highway that snakes along the U.S. border and the isolated northern population that is roundly ignored and insular. By example, I've lived in both Quebec City and Montreal and traveled in the north of Quebec. Montreal is wonderfully cosmopolitan but Quebec is insular and suspicious on a level matched only by their equally insular British decedents living in Victoria, B.C. That these two peoples equally despise and distrust one another is one of the quaint jokes of Canadian history.

    As to the pilloried citizens of Herouxville they are no worse than the German pioneer side of my family that settled in Saskatchewan, built a small, out of the way farming town to keep out foreigners and were notorious for smiling wryly at strangers while simultaneously switching from English to German. All the better to discuss the obvious failings of heathen outsiders. Lastly it serves to remember that's it's just such small towns that furnish Canada with its best hockey players. Deeply instilled prejudice is just what's needed to foster violent cross-checks, slashing and high sticking.

  3. Keith T

    some immigrants make self-centered mistake

    We had an incident several years ago where immigrants were insulted by a paragraph in an Immigration Canada booklet.

    The offending phrases were to the effect that, "It is generally unlawful to appear nude on a beach or anywhere else in public in Canada".

    There were numerous interviews with outraged Asian and African immigrants asking what sort of savages we thought they were. CTV program W5 did a special segment on it.

    Of course the warning against public nudity was intended for immigrants from Western and Northern Europe.

    The (British) Automobile Association itself has a similar warning in its booklet on California Vacations.

    People from African and Asia often forget that we have many immigrants from countries other than their own, and that Canada has a duty to make them welcome as well.

    Before complaining that a caution doesn't apply to your culture, please consider that it might be there for the benefit of people from another culture.

  4. Paul Murray

    Sikhs? What about Rastafarians?

    So you can bring a dagger into school, but not smoke the holy herb in the privacy of your own home. Sigh.

    (or can you, in Canada?).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm over all that !

    Sorry, but I got off the "PC Fun Bus" years ago. I now hold PC in the upmost contempt. I don't go out of my way to upset people, I don't tell racist jokes, etc but I do want to live and enjoy my freedom. Memo to thin-skinned and litigatious types: GET OVER IT !

  6. david henman

    All about location

    The rules are quite clear - you cannot "kill women by stoning them in public". So please, wait until you get home.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The percentage of Neanderthals responding here is impressive

    I hope they're mostly from here in the U.S. - it would be depressing to think that the rest of the world has become as backward as we recently have.

    - bill

  8. kaashif

    They only manifest common stereotypes

    I laughed profusely when I read this, although I must state that such stereotypes about Islamic law (shariah) & Muslims still exist in much of the western world, continuesly perpetuated in the media or by politicians, and even by Reg readers it seems. It is an arrogant stereotype that was created during the colonial era, to justify the need to invade Africa or Asia (or Iraq) to "civilise" those "Barbarians", to teach them about freedom, democracy, and Human Rights. It is such a pervasive stereotype that a very small minority of ignorant Muslims started believing that Islam actually said that. Please don't patronise Muslims, and don't insult people, Islam does not say those things. No Muslim government practices those things, nevermind that none of them purely implement Islamic law either, just like many African Christian states e.g. Zimbabwe, or Uganda (& the 'Lords Army') are not representitive of Christianity. How would you feel if you went to Dubai, or India to work and you were told, "Leave your way of life behind, we don't get high on cocaine or heroin everyday here, black people are equal citizens, we don't call women witches and burn them on the stake, we don't have sex with children, we don't punish rape with only 2 years sentences, we don't pass children around the neighbourhood in pedophile sex rings, we don't beat our wives while drunk, and we don't 'hang, draw and quarter' people.". You would laugh and feel insulted.

  9. T. Nielsen Hayden

    Stow the whining about "political correctness"; this is just racism

    Can we get through this with a little less right-wing posturing? This incident has nothing to do with "political correctness," or with liberal political beliefs. Any fool can see that what's behind those guidelines is plain old racism.

    What's noteworthy is that it's manifesting itself as a truly outstanding case of foot-in-mouth disease. It's well known that ignorant westerners cherish these bizarre beliefs about Muslims, but you hardly ever see the full set of them trotted out so unselfconsciously. Herouxville has made itself immortal. Historians will be making fun of those guidelines for centuries to come. We might as well get started making fun of them now.

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