It seems multiculturalism may be on the wane even in a former bastion of the practice. A town in Quebec issued a declaration of “rules” for immigrants that instructed them to hit the road if they didn’t want to assimilate into the mainstream culture of the province:
Don’t stone women to death, burn them or circumcise them, immigrants wishing to live in the town of Herouxville in Quebec, Canada, have been told.
The rules come in a new town council declaration on culture that Muslims have branded shocking and insulting.
Quebec is in the midst of a huge debate on integrating immigrant cultures.
Herouxville has tired of accommodation, as the declaration makes clear. Of late, the nation has had to bend over backwards to keep people from feeling offended, and the natives have obviously gotten restless. A Toronto judge recently removed a Christmas tree from the courtroom to avoid offending non-Christians, and a Montreal gym had to frost its windows after Hasidic Jews complained about the sight of adults exercising from the street.
It’s not the only sign of pushback against multiculturalism in Quebec, either. A Montreal police officer finds himself in hot water after writing a popular ditty called “That’s Enough Already”. The song tells immigrants to either adopt the culture of their new home or take the next flight to anywhere else. The police force will now question the officer about his “motives” for the lyrics.
The Herouxville declaration isn’t as irrational as it looks. I haven’t heard of any public stonings or immolations by Muslims in Canada, but they have pressed for government recognition of shari’a courts as an option for Muslim communities. Herouxville sees the end result of multiculturalism as a replacement for assimilation and is reacting to a Balkanization that hasn’t yet begun by highlighting the worst-case scenarios. That’s not irrational, but it is quite a bit hyperbolic.
I wonder if the sudden impulse for assimilation into the mainstream culture will be enough for Quebec to drop its own multicultural demands on the rest of the Canadian Union, regarding language and cultural accommodation for itself. I’m certainly sympathetic to the argument against the multicultural impulse as opposed to assimilation for immigrants, but in this case it comes from an odd source.