Racism: Quebec Soccer Federation sticks to turban ban

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Mikal Sergov
Racism: Quebec Soccer Federation sticks to turban ban

The Quebec Soccer Federation says it will uphold its turban ban on the field, and those who don't obey the rules can "play in their backyards."

The federation's executive-director, Brigitte Frot, says the organization takes safety too seriously to allow turban-wearing boys and will only change its stance if ordered to by FIFA, soccer's international governing body.

However, she admits she has no idea what the safety issues are and knows of no injuries involving turbans.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/06/03/montreal-observa...

 

If anything the turbans would protect the head.

 

Anyway, Brigitte Frot is a racist.

Francesca Allan

I just don't understand this. I can see there might be an issue if it was a sport where helmets were required and turbans somehow interfered with that but this is soccer and thus just bizarre.

Unionist

Francesca, wearing bracelets (other than MedicAlert) is also forbidden in soccer, so let's not try to see too much logic in this. Anyway, this is all being discussed [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/thomas-mulcair-0]here[/url].

 

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.canadasoccer.com/canada-soccer-s-position-on-allowing-turbans... Soccer’s position on allowing turbans/patkas/keski on the soccer field[/url]

June 6, 2013:

Quote:
The Canadian Soccer Association wishes to strongly reaffirm its position of allowing the wearing of turbans/patkas/keski by soccer players.

The initial decision taken by the Canadian Soccer Association Board of Directors was communicated to all Provincial and Territorial members on 11 April 2013 and has since been successfully applied across Canada, with the exception of Quebec where the Quebec Soccer Federation recently voted to institute a ban on turbans.

“As an unequivocal majority of our membership agrees with our approach and has safe instituted it within their respective soccer communities, we expect the Quebec Soccer Federation to do the same,” said Victor Montagliani, President of the Canadian Soccer Association.

“The Canadian Soccer Association is committed to making soccer accessible to the largest number of Canadians and will continue to work towards resolving this important and sensitive issue in a timely fashion,” Montagliani added.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Unionist wrote:

Francesca, wearing bracelets (other than MedicAlert) is also forbidden in soccer, so let's not try to see too much logic in this. Anyway, this is all being discussed [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/thomas-mulcair-0]here[/url].

 

What an odd place for that discussion to be taking place... of course with well over a thousand posts in there currently, it has gone past having a life of its own, and is probably in danger of developing its own gravity field - kinda the Jupiter of babble threads...

If we could only find a way to nuture the great red spot (hmmm, maybe we could merge the Trudeau threads into it).

Slumberjack

There are elements to the discussion around provincial 'jurisdiction' that mirror some of the more polite discourse in support of state's rights during Jim Crow.

Caissa

Blatant fucking racism by the Quebec Federation.

Slumberjack

Pretty much.  I mean, they would have banned shoelaces long ago if they were worried about loose clothing and accoutrements flying loose and strangling people in their careless moments on the sports field.

Slumberjack

But can you tell me how they get away with it, right out in the open like that?

Caissa

The debate about reasonable accommodations seems to be different in Quebec than in other provinces. I do not mean that sentence as a criticism of Quebec.

Slumberjack

You mean not as a critique of Quebec nationalism?

Caissa

I wrote what I wrote.

lagatta

Racism, bad. Right to national self-determination, good. There is often a lot to criticise in subaltern societies, but remember that the fight against racism is no licence to retreat into old patterns of national oppression (as we have seen in much cruder terms against the recent struggles of First Nations, who are subjected to both much harsher oppression and much more naked bigotry). There are similar problems in nations such as Catalonia, Euskadi, Scotland or Ireland (the latter is officially independent but still economically dominated by the UK to a large extent). I was discussing these issues with comrades from the SSP at the Europe Social Forum some years back ... hmm think it was ten years ago, how time passes!

It is really good to see the emergence of progressive spokespersons here who are not "Québécois de souche" - such as Amir Khadir and Andrés Fontecilla of Québec solidaire. There is unfortunately some truth to the impression many progressives have here that "ethnic" communities are mired in clientilist politics - as we can see in Laurier-Dorion or Montréal-Nord. I think there is a lot changing now; a lot of challenges to the old "ethnic power brokers" tied to the Liberal party. http://www.quebecsolidaire.net/laurier-dorion/articles/quebec-solidaire-...

I'm wondering where on earth this stuff started here; it has all the hallmarks of a non-existing problem like those that gave rise to the so-called Hérouxville crisis. That was largely a set-up that fed into the rightwing demagogy of Péladeau media and Mario Dumont. Whenever children and teens are playing with others who are wearing a hijab, a turban or a skullcap, the imaginary "problem" tends to solve itself.

MegB

The prohibition against jewellery in soccer makes sense, since it is, if not technically, a full body contact sport with minimal protection. Shin guards won't do squat if you get a knuckle-busting ring in your eye. Turbans, however, present no such physical threat. Blatantly racist.

Mr_R

This is so senseless. I blame right wing cranks like Mario Dumont and I can't help but see the usual suspects like Facal and Martineau and the Peladeau empire... who cares about turbans?! Really! Really! The whole idea was that as Quebec was supposedly denatured during the evil Quiet Revolution through abandoning the Church, that Quebec culture became weak and having strong Muslims and Sikhs show up will overwhelm us and turn us into Muslims and Sikhs! Really! That seems to be their argument! They say, well, we can't force people to become traditional Quebeckers and devout Catholics so we can do the next best thing and ban foreign religions in effect so that they don't overpower us with their religious devotion and vigour!

lagatta

Well, wanting to ban all religions wouldn't be "racist", per se, but it would be absurdly authoritarian. I think the only country that ever did that was Albania, when the Hoxha régime wanted to be more Stalinist than Stalin...

Someone must be fostering this silly stuff, as I've never heard of anyone griping about it, and I sure encounter people with ignorant, intolerant viewpoints. There are legitimate problems with "religious accomodation", but this certainly doesn't seem to be one.

What I want to see is NO funding for private schools, including private religious schools, and that the latter must not teach material counter to the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in particular with respect to equality for women and tolerance (at least!) of LGBTQ people. (Yes, I know tolerance is inadequate...).

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This is far more than silly stuff. Quebec seems to have the biggest problems with religious accommodation. Other religions are far easier to attack than the Catholic church given that Catholics are still the main religion of the dominant race and class in Quebec.  Either a society has freedom of religion or it doesn't. This attack on the religious symbols of minority religions is a lot like saying we support gay rights but only if people stay in the closet and don't "flaunt" their sexual orientation.

6079_Smith_W

lagatta wrote:

I think the only country that ever did that was Albania, when the Hoxha régime wanted to be more Stalinist than Stalin...

Mexico did it in 1917 too. And there are enough cases, from Jacobin France to parts of the East Bloc, where resistance to church power morphed into open season on clerics and adherents.

As for this situation, you make a good point.  I get that the cultural aspect of their national struggle might turn into something like this in a way that it wouldn't in other parts of Canada. Best to not sell into that, or the nonsense that because it appears in this form more in your province that Quebec is somehow more racist  and the rest of us can feel smug about it.

 

 

voice of the damned

Smith wrote:

Mexico did it in 1917 too.

I don't think Mexico banned all religions per se, but they did take pretty harsh measures against the Catholic Church, to the point of making it practically non-existent. Wikipedia...

Anti-clerical elements were included in 1917 Mexican Constitution. Five elements in the Constitution were aimed at reducing the Catholic Church’s influence in Mexican domestic affairs. Article 3 enforced secular education in Mexican schools. Monastic vows and orders were outlawed in Article 5. Article 24 prevented public worship outside the confines of the Church buildings. According to article 27, religious institutions were denied the right to acquire, hold, or administer real property. Furthermore, all real estate held by religious institutions through third parties like hospitals, schools, was declared national property. Finally in article 130, it declared all basic civil responsibilities like voting or commenting on public affairs was taken away from Church officials. The Mexican government was extremely harsh in their attempt to eliminate the Catholic Church’s legal existence in Mexico. The stern premises of the 1917 Constitution contributed to the rise of resentment between the church and state.

Aftermath [edit]

For eight years after these provisions were instituted they were not rigorously enforced by the Mexican government. This changed in 1926 when Plutarco Elías Calles reinforced laws to decrease clerical power. In June 1926, Calles recognized a decree often referred to as “Calles Law.” Under this provision, Article 130 of the 1917 Mexican Constitution was re-established. Church officials were upset by the suddenness of Calles’ decision. The regulation which annoyed the Catholic Church was Article 19, which decreed the compulsory registration of the clergy, for it allowed the Government to hand over churches.”

The Catholic Church took a stand against the Mexican government. The internal political dissension became a concern for all Mexicans since the regulations imposed by Calles reduced the Catholic Church's influence. The disagreement turned violent when over five thousand Cristeros initiated an armed rebellion. The Mexican government and the Catholic Church engaged in bloody battle which lasted for a three-year period.

The effects of the war on the Church were profound. Between 1926 and 1934 at least 40 priests were killed.[1] There were 4,500 priests serving the people before the rebellion, but by 1934 there were only 334 priests licensed by the government to serve fifteen million people.[1][2] The rest had been eliminated by emigration, expulsion and assassination.[1][3] By 1935, 17 states had no priest at all.[4]

I remember the Pope visiting Mexico in the 80s and saying an outdoor mass. The media reported that such a public mass was technically illegal in Mexico. I'm not sure if the law only targetted Catholic services, though given the religious composition of Mexico, that would have been its probable impact.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I made the mistake of reading the comments section at the link in the OP. Does anyone have a spare bottle of bleach - I need to wash out my eyes.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, it was directed at Catholicism, but as you say, the de facto result was probably the same, especially given the official atheism of the government.

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Yes, it was directed at Catholicism, but as you say, the de facto result was probably the same, especially given the official atheism of the government.

I've just been refreshing myself on the Cristero War, courtesy of wikipedia. Yeah, for all practical purposes, the Mexican state was trying to eliminate the Roman Catholic Church.

Interestingly, as with similar moves toward secularism today, it seems to have attracted support from people who otherwise did not share the ostensibly liberal goals of the anti-clerics...

High-ranking members of the U.S. Ku Klux Klan in the mid-1920s offered Calles $10,000 to help fight the Church. The offer came when the Knights of Columbus secretly offered a group of Cristero rebels $1,000 of financial assistance for guns and ammunition. This was made after the fact that Calles also sent a private telegram to the Mexican Ambassador to France, Sr. Alberto José Pani Arteaga advising that the "...Catholic Church in Mexico is a political movement, and must be eliminated in order to proceed with a Socialist government free of religious hypnotism which fools the people... within one year without the sacraments, the people will forget the faith..."[80]

 

lagatta

Despite "Québec Inc" the dominant group and class in Québec remains Anglo-North-American capitalists. (I won't say "race"). If not why would the right wing go on about English as the language of international business and want to turn us into a chilly Louisiana?

Republican Spain could also be very harsh indeed against the bloody Church.

Friends somewhat older than I am who lived through the end of the Grande noirceur utterly hate the Church, and that colours their attitude to all religions.

I don't think utter religious freedom is the same as freedom for gay people. A lot of religions make a point about imposing their will on others, and the more fundamentalist currents of all of them are cesspools of misogyny.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

 Quebec seems to have the biggest problems with religious accommodation. Other religions are far easier to attack than the Catholic church given that Catholics are still the main religion of the dominant race and class in Quebec.  Either a society has freedom of religion or it doesn't. This attack on the religious symbols of minority religions is a lot like saying we support gay rights but only if people stay in the closet and don't "flaunt" their sexual orientation.

You seem to be unaware of the fact that the power of the Catholic Church over government, land, education, and health care was eliminated over a period of a very few years. The fact that there is racism in the society, as expressed in incidents such as these, should really not be a pretext for colonial anti-Québec sentiments such as the one expressed in your post - including your seeming alacrity to buy into whatever horror story is being promulgated by the MSM at any given moment. And yes, every single one of those horror stories has a grain of truth. That's how they trick innocent people.

Oh, and "either a society has freedom of religion or it doesn't"? What's your verdict on Canada? Tolerant, free? Publicly funded atheist schools? No. You have "God" in your national anthem (added in the 1960s, at exactly the same time Québec was freeing itself from the shackles of the Church). Your religious bigots are allowed, by federal law, to perform marriages that are different-sex only. Religious sikhs are still being told by the courts in many cases that their safety is more important than their beliefs.

The right response to xenophobia on the part of the Québec soccer federation is to expose and oppose it. The wrong response is to spew vitriol against Québec.

ETA: Sorry, I forgot to mention the references to "God" which were added when the Constitution was repatriated, with the consent of every province except Québec. You will recall, perhaps better than I, what happened when Svend Robinson introduced a petition in the House to end that obscenity:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/1999/06/09/robinson990609.html]Robinson disciplined for 'no-God' petition[/url]

Quote:

A New Democratic Party MP has been disciplined by his own party for tabling a petition in Parliament that called for removing references to "God" from the constitution.

On Tuesday, Svend Robinson introduced the petition, containing 1,000 signatures, on behalf of the Humanist Association of Canada.

He said at the time that he did not necessarily agree with the wording of the petition and wouldn't sign it himself.

On Wednesday NDP leader Alexa McDonough reprimanded Robinson and removed him from the party's front-bench.

She says Robinson didn't give his caucus colleagues any warning that he would table the petition. And McDonough says the party's position is to keep the references to God in the constitution.

Of course, no NDP member has had the nerve to object - even on her constituents' behalf - to God's presence in the Constitution or the national anthem from that day to this.

 

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/suspends+Quebec+Soccer+Federation+over+tu... suspends Quebec Soccer Federation over turban ban[/url]

Quote:
The Canadian Soccer Association says it has suspended a provincial association over its refusal to let turban-wearing children play.

The organization says it was forced to take action because the Quebec Soccer Federation showed no sign of overturning its decision to restrict turban-wearing Sikhs from the pitch.

6079_Smith_W

lagatta wrote:

I don't think utter religious freedom is the same as freedom for gay people. A lot of religions make a point about imposing their will on others, and the more fundamentalist currents of all of them are cesspools of misogyny.

Again, I agree with pretty much everything you have said.

As for this point, well it is and it isn't, depending on who the person is. And I'm not making a direct comparison between culture and sexual orientation.

Yes there should be a clear separation of church and state. No, religious groups should not be be allowed to to impose their will on others, but that isn't the same as freedom of religion. There are some aspects of restrictions like this, especially when they involve things that blur the lines between religion and culture, that are quite racist; it's not as simple as just taking off a scarf or cutting your hair. And when the end result is, for example, some women never being able to leave their houses (as is the case in some countries), I'm not so sure that the great blow against the power of religion outweighs driving an already oppressed group even further into isolation.

lagatta

This is even better news:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/montreal/Brossard+team+dons+turbans+...

I was reading about this and the stupid "rebranding" of Radio-Canada as "Ici" - which I think is a fairly obvious taking of distances from public broadcasting, and in the Globe and Mail and other English-language media, there is a veritable hatefest against Québécois, although everyone I know here and all the comments in Francophone media hate the rebranding.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, I've been following that story. Very good news.

 

onlinediscountanvils

Nice!

Unionist

Jason Kenney, in a tweet wrote:
"Good to see CDN Soccer Association take action against the Quebec Soccer Federation over its ridiculous turban ban."

 

NorthReport
NorthReport

Thank you Unionist. Very well said.

Quote:
You seem to be unaware of the fact that the power of the Catholic Church over government, land, education, and health care was eliminated over a period of a very few years. The fact that there is racism in the society, as expressed in incidents such as these, should really not be a pretext for colonial anti-Québec sentiments such as the one expressed in your post - including your seeming alacrity to buy into whatever horror story is being promulgated by the MSM at any given moment. And yes, every single one of those horror stories has a grain of truth. That's how they trick innocent people.

Oh, and "either a society has freedom of religion or it doesn't"? What's your verdict on Canada? Tolerant, free? Publicly funded atheist schools? No. You have "God" in your national anthem (added in the 1960s, at exactly the same time Québec was freeing itself from the shackles of the Church). Your religious bigots are allowed, by federal law, to perform marriages that are different-sex only. Religious sikhs are still being told by the courts in many cases that their safety is more important than their beliefs.

The right response to xenophobia on the part of the Québec soccer federation is to expose and oppose it. The wrong response is to spew vitriol against Québec.

 

Mr_R

The Quebec Right is an unending cesspool of trouble.

6079_Smith_W

Mr_R wrote:

The Quebec Right is an unending cesspool of trouble.

Unlike the right in our province, who are cute fluffy bunnies.

Though really, when it comes to matters like this, I don't think the right have any monopoly on the discrimination.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Catholicism is still the dominate religion in Quebec despite the church as an institution having lost much of its former power and white Europeans are also still the dominant race. Those are just facts and like in other parts of Canada you have racists from the dominant religion and race. There is no anti-Quebec animus in pointing out the obvious. When racists in BC spew their anti-Asian venom I don't think talking about their place in my society means I hate BC.  Even in places like Burnaby where more than half the population is of Asian descent the dominant race is still European and the dominant religion is still Christianity.  Those are just facts not slurs against the province.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This topic is about a racist ban on a religious symbol not about the horrors of misogyny that are at the base of all religions. Trying to save other people from the religion they were born into, whether that be catholic or Sikh or born again Xian, is to me the same as intervening in other countries to bring them freedom. The principal for me is that people have to save themselves not have some one else tell them what is good for them.  You cannot save religious women from their upbringing they can only save themselves. 

lagatta

Bullshit. One can be against a discriminatory ban while denouncing the baleful influence of fundamentalist religion in general. The main problem nowadays is singling out Islam, while fundie Christians remain far more numerous and harmful here.

I was wondering why you were describing Québécois francphones as a "race"... It makes more sense if you are referring to generic "white Europeans", though that is a very reductive reading of Québec history.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

You cannot save religious women from their upbringing they can only save themselves. 

Well that's the thing. Except for really extreme things, I don't think it is up to any outsider to say that anyone needs saving from anything. There are more than enough examples of knowitalls (yes, on the left too) who think others are too ignorant or brainwashed to figure things out and do things the way they think they should.

I think we all agree about the monstrous nature of big religion, but within that people have their own relationship to it, sometimes good, and sometimes not good. And again, that is especially true for things like how they dress which are part of their identity.

(edit)

I think it's important to keep this on the simple question of safety and personal freedom. I know it is tempting, but to get into any of these other issues just clouds and confuses the issue. And especially when it concerns someone playing a game it is really none of our business.

 

lagatta

Well, I certainly agree in terms of this, but not in terms of public funding for private schools, and requiring all schools to follow a curriculum including sciences, for example, and to not discriminate against girls and women.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

lagatta wrote:

I was wondering why you were describing Québécois francphones as a "race"... It makes more sense if you are referring to generic "white Europeans", though that is a very reductive reading of Québec history.

I never referred to anyone's language and when I made the comment about the dominant race it was indeed about people of European descent. It is you who read things into my posts based on your dichotomy based on language. I don't give a fuck whether it is Anglo's in the QSF who are in favour of banning turbans or whether they are Francophone's.  The inherent racism in the ban has nothing to do with the European language spoken by the racists.

Canada is a racist country from coast to coast to coast. Different regions of the country have their own unique ways of expressing that racism although it seems that all areas include racism against FN's people in those unique paradigms.

6079_Smith_W

lagatta wrote:

Well, I certainly agree in terms of this, but not in terms of public funding for private schools, and requiring all schools to follow a curriculum including sciences, for example, and to not discriminate against girls and women.

 

Absolutely. That would fall under separation of church and state, and (as with this case) doing our best to stop discrimination. Because even if they pay for their own institutions, they still have to follow the law. It's not restricting people's values and beliefs; just how far they can impose them on others and expect other people to pay for them.

It's not that I don't think we should look at motive and influence; it's just that they aren't relevant when it gets down to an individual level. Also, if we throw that into the mix, rather than just looking at the simple question, we open the door to all kinds of potential trojan horse issues.

 

 

Mr_R

The English Canadian Right is probably worse... Puritanism after all had some influence there.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Racism is racism and I doubt if the victims care about a discussion centered on which racists are worse. It is the racists actions that need to be condemned no matter what language they speak whether that be English, French, Mandarin or any other language. One way of marginalizing the victims of any discrimination is by telling them that other people have it worse so why are you complaining.

Mikal Sergov

Pauline Marois is a racist, and is having her own Jacques Parizeau « l'argent et des votes ethniques » moment.

 

Pauline Marois is coming out kicking in defence of the Quebec Soccer Federation and its refusal to let turban-wearing kids play the sport

 

http://www.nationalpost.com/index.html

 

Marois says decision to suspend Quebec Soccer Federation over turban ban ‘unacceptable’

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/marois-says-decision-to-sus...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It would be the decent thing now for every remaining leftist in the PQ to switch now to QS or some other left formation in response to Marois' annoucement.

Won't happen...too many of them are as in love with the trappings of "power"(even though the PQ is no longer doing anything left-of-centre at all and likely never will again)to take the principled stand that is needed.  And too many of them put "self-determination"-a goal I support, btw- above and beyond any other objective.

They make the same mistake too many on the Irish left made in the 1920's, putting the national issue first and everything else second.  They may pay for that mistake as badly as the Irish left did in that era, and for decades afterwards, as the authors of a society that may be "independent", but will be bound to be reactionary, because the social goals were put behind the national goal.

NorthReport

Maybe some of us need to take a deep breath before voicing our opinions. Let's tread carefully here.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/Macpherson+turban+likely+play+wel...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Are you actually saying that we should all support racism because it is the will of the majority?  I thought it was Liberals that twisted in the wind with every change in public opinion and the left was supposed to have principles.  Oh well I guess the only real principle is getting elected nothing else is important.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Quoi faire a Quebec?

lagatta

Remember the grave accent if you mean Québec City, if not, it is Quoi faire au Québec.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The children get it, as they usually do. This is a great part of this story. 

Quote:

Although there are no Sikh boys among the 18 team members, age 14 and under, Leheta asked them what they would do had one of them been excluded because of a turban.

“I told them you can either say: ‘It’s not my problem,’ or you could decide to do something to help out.”

With the enthusiastic support of his players and their parents, the coach headed off to the Sikh temple in LaSalle the next morning before the big match and borrowed 20 orange scarves that the boys then donned as turbans at their game in Brossard.

The referee didn’t object while doing an equipment check, until he spoke to the coach of the Granby team.

“The ref came back said we couldn’t play if we were going to wear the turbans, so I showed him the FIFA rules and he said OK,” Leheta said. “But as I shook hands with the Granby coach before the game, he said he thought what we were doing was stupid.”

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Brossard+team+dons+turbans+solidarit...

6079_Smith_W

Beautiful story.

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