Editorial: One does not defend liberty by violating it

Both the U.S. and France are struggling with how to deal with other cultures as our borders become less restrictive.

The United States and France, while democratic countries, have decidedly different political and social philosophies. Yet both are struggling with how to deal with other cultures as our borders become less restrictive.

In the U.S., a growing number of people this past year have voiced the desire to keep out so-called foreigners, latching on to presidential candidate Donald Trump’s voiced derision of Mexican immigrants and his call to “temporarily” ban Muslims from entering the country.

In France, elected officials have enacted a ‘burkini ban,’ with police officers challenging and fining Muslim women who choose the covered-up swimsuits instead of so-called appropriate “secular” beachwear, while other beachgoers reportedly cheer officers and jeer the women.

All Canada can do is try to show a good example.

It’s no coincidence that both the U.S. and France have been the targets of terrorist attacks on domestic soil and abroad, and it’s clear that this has influenced the current surge of intolerance. But it would be twisting logic to suggest that the latest moves represent anything other than xenophobia.

In the U.S., there is still time for the majority to reject such dangerous views. In the case of France, we can only politely suggest that the ban are unbecoming a society that has long celebrated acceptance.

The argument has been made that banning the ‘burkini’ is an attempt to empower Muslim women who are being told what to wear by the male leaders of their religion. But how empowering is it to have government and police, instead, dictating their attire?

There are very complicated civil liberties issues involved here, and attitudes that – however odious we may believe them to be – will not change at the stroke of a pen on a government edict.

It is evident that in France – the land of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité – a line has been crossed.

One does not defend liberty by violating it.

– Black Press

 

Just Posted

Moonstruck amateur historian chronicled lunar missions

Maple Ridge man’s 50-year-old scrapbook under the gavel on anniversary of the moon walk

Head of Ridge Meadows Sally Ann moving on

Darrell Pilgrim has taken new post on the Sunshine Coast

Campers forced to leave property after reports of trash being thrown in Fraser

A crew was on site Monday to clean out the wooded area in Maple Ridge

Charge laid in Abbotsford motorcycle crash that killed Maple Ridge woman

Megan Kinnee, 19, died in collision on July 13, 2018

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read