Le Duty published on Monday, May 29 a text by André Lamoureux, “political scientist” at UQAM, under the title “Québec solidaire enclave of leftism and ally of Islamism”. The article is full of aggressive slogans directed against certain people. The speech is so inappropriate that I hesitated to comment on it. The text contains so many Islamophobic remarks that we understand why the author does not see Islamophobia at all. It is because it is everywhere present in his article and trivialized as if it were a normal reaction to a fabricated invasion.
The Islamists are invading us!
The reactions of some should not be confused with Islamophobia because, you see, the danger would indeed be “real”. We would be threatened by Salafists and Wahhabis who seek to invade our society. Lamoureux’s remarks are therefore added to those of Djemila Benhabib (political Islam is at our doors), Bernard Drainville (this is the charter or the victory of the fundamentalists), Poste de watch (sharia is in the process of being destroyed). ‘establish among us), Fatima Houda-Pepin (mosques are places of Salafist radicalization) and Christian Rioux (we are experiencing the clash of civilizations).
This xenophobic paranoia, once started, cannot be stopped in its tracks. The conspiracy lurks everywhere and, when the author does not indulge in paranoid ranting, he indulges in invective ad hominem. At the root of the problem: multiculturalism and of course QS which is, as everyone knows, infiltrated by agents of Saudi Arabia.
It is certainly necessary to distinguish the charter of values of the PQ (Catholic), the speech of certain people who make Islamophobic remarks to defend it, and the downright racist reactions which arise in the telephone forums, on social networks as well as in the street. We then move from withdrawal into identity to fear, then to hatred. I proposed to make these distinctions in three articles in Huffington Post (“Chronicle of a predicted drift: Catholicity, Islamophobia and racism” I, II, III). These nuances are stifled by the rants and murderous sentences with which his text is peppered. The tone rises to the point of erasing all distinctions and crushing discordant minority voices. The important thing is to speak louder.
However, nuances are possible
We can be in favor of a charter of secularism, even want it to be constitutionalized with our other charters, and be in favor of the sovereignty of Quebec. But this charter must be inclusive and it must allow religious symbols among state employees. Our identity issues are real and must not be avoided, but they must be taken care of by reasonable constitutional principles expressing civic nationalism and not conservative nationalism. Sovereignty must open us up to the world and not be based on a withdrawal of identity which relies on France and uses this country as the only model. We can be in favor of setting up an observatory on radicalization, but this observatory must at the same time look into the systemic racism that is present among employers, police forces, the media, professional corporations and citizens. . We can be in favor of a commission on accommodations for the benefit of citizens, but this commission must educate the population and not relay prejudices. We can criticize multiculturalism, but we must defend interculturalism, (i) conceived as implying reciprocal recognition between the people and historical or immigrant minorities, (ii) as implying an obligation of integration assumed by the citizens and support by the State and (iii) as implying an agreement on constitutionalized rules of living together.
André Lamoureux’s text does not contribute to advancing the debate. It only repeats the initial errors which are at the origin of the populist national slide into which the PQ allowed itself to be drawn. There was a time when “Bolshevik Jews” were attacked. We are now faced with speeches targeting “Islamist leftists”.