No to the turban in soccer
Équipe autonomiste wishes to congratulate the Parti québécois and the Quebec Soccer Federation for their position on soccer players wearing the turban. The people of Quebec, whatever their origins or beliefs should obey the rules and laws that prevail in Quebec. To engage in a sport, to practise an activity, and to hold a job, you should comply with the required dress code.
This response is based on the following Équipe autonomiste proposal, which had the backing of 72% of party members at a convention: “Recognize the limits of multiculturalism and affirm our identity in the face of exaggerated demands made in the name of personal convictions (“reasonable” accommodations) that encroach on our individual freedoms. Quebec is a society where individual freedom is a basic value. We can have practices that correspond to our values and personal convictions, on the following conditions: the practice must comply with established laws; it must not interfere with the freedoms of other citizens; no one must force others to comply with it or pay for it.”
Minister Maxime Bernier says, “Quebec players are entitled to wear a religious sign that doesn’t affect sport safety.” If memory serves me right, not so long ago it was forbidden to wear a neck chain from which could be hung a good-luck charm, like a cross, because it could catch on to things. How would a turban be better? Or a headscarf? Remember, soccer involves head butting. What will be the rules in cases where the ball is caught up in a roll of cloth?
Let’s think this through a bit farther. The decision to wear a “religious” garment is human and not divine. Does any god care about the clothes we wear? If there is one, why did he make us naked at birth? Most Québécois have no wish to demonstrate their religious affiliation publicly. What people wear at home is their concern alone, but when they go elsewhere the rules are different. If a member of parliament shows up in the House of Commons wearing a baseball cap, he’ll have to take it off, even if his religion requires him to wear it. Why should a turban be different? Remember, God doesn’t decide whether a garment is “religious.” People do.