April 18th, 2010

forums, me, non blog

[FORUM] What do you think about cultural accomodations?

Here in Canada, we've been going through a new series of battles in the culture wars, over disputes about the acceptability of certain practices of immigrant groups in Canadian society.

For instance, the kirpan, the ceremonial dagger of Sikh men and boys, has come under scrutiny again after one radical used to stab an opponent at a Sikh temple: how acceptable is it, some wonder, for people to walk the streets armed with blades? (My take? Couldn't the blades be shorter and dullers?)

Another example is the storm around the niqab in Québec, where the perception that this garment is an instrument of oppression for women has led to an outcry throughout Québec resulting in anti-niqab legislation. It's unpopular among commentators in English Canada, but this move seems to be very popular among English Canadians. (My take? How can a garment that requires women to hide themselves not be misogynistic, especially when there's no counterpart garment among men? Informed consent, though, has to be taken account, as in the cases that prompted the outcry.)

And you? What big clashes over cultural accomodations are in your region, in your country? What's your stance on them?