"Manifesto for a Pluralist Quebec"

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"Manifesto for a Pluralist Quebec"


Quebec’s public debate over reasonable accommodation of minorities, especially religious minorities, continues to rage. A recent contribution that has attracted much comment and controversy is the Manifesto for a Pluralist Quebec, the short version of which is translated below. This blog has translated and published a number of previous contributions to the debate as it has centered on the left party Québec solidaire, which has come out strongly in support of an “open secularism” that respects the expression of freedom of conscience in a context of state neutrality ...

It may be hard for many non-Quebeckers to understand why these issues arouse such emotions and controversy in Quebec. After all, freedom of belief and the right to manifest one’s beliefs publicly as well as privately has long been recognized in international law and convention. For example, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rightsprovides, in article 18, that

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance” ...