|“The Parti Québécois is not an anti-Semitic party,” Pauline Marois declared to much chuckling.|
Parti Quebecois' candidate Louise Mailloux has been spreading a myth originally invented by the Klu Klux Klan and since adopted by numerous neo-Nazi groups. According to the PQ candidate and the neo-Nazis, Jews use a (purely imaginary) kosher tax to steal money from non-Jews and then use the cash to fund nefarious schemes.
Mailloux doesn’t spread vicious myths just about Jews. She doesn’t like Muslims or Christians, either. According to her, Muslims are running the same “rip-off” with hallal meat as the Jews with their kosher foods.
|Noted bigot and PQ candidate Louise Mailloux|
“This is a religious tax,” Ms. Mailloux said on a March 2012 edition of Bazzo.tv, a panel show on Tele-Quebec, “and it’s a tax we pay directly to mosques, to synagogues and to religious groups. It’s a theft.”
As for Christians, Mailloux says baptism is like rape. So is circumcision, according to Mailloux.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs called on the PQ to debunk the “urban legend of the kosher tax,” Instead, PQ Leader Pauline Marois endorsed her candidate, saying she’s a respected academic who has thought long and hard about these issues.
“Her writings are eloquent, I respect her point of view,” Ms. Marois said.
No surprise there. In the current Quebec election, the PQ’s entire strategy is based on intolerance. The PQ is campaigning on its so-called secular charter. Aimed primarily against Muslims, the charter bans government employees and workers in hospitals, schools and daycares from wearing religious symbols such as a head scarf or Star of David.
Unfortunately, part of what makes Quebec distinct is that it’s always been less tolerant than the rest of Canada. Mailloux isn’t just some nutcase (though she is that). She’s a professor of philosophy and a prominent Quebec feminist. And the PQ is tapping into a deep well of suspicion against Jews and Muslims.
|Under Quebec's secular charter, large, |
ostentatious crosses will not be allowed.
Quebec newspapers and TV programs regularly run stories that detail how much of the food eaten in the province is certified kosher or halal – as if this is somehow a problem.
And the urban legend of a kosher tax has made the rounds in Quebec for years. Back in 2008, Quebec’s Bouchard-Taylor commission reported that among Quebecers “the most fanciful information is circulating” about kosher food. And then went on to debunk the myth of a kosher tax.
But while Jewish groups object to the PQ’s support for antisemitism, Quebec’s feminists have been silent about Mailloux’s trivialization of rape. Again, no real surprise. Mailloux is one of their own. Also, Quebec feminists tend to support the PQ and often share Mailloux’s hostility to religious groups.
Mailloux’s support of a myth spread by neo-Nazis and the KKK does raise a particular question: What does the PQ’s secular charter have to say about government employees dressing in white sheets?
According to rumour, the PQ leader has responded: “Of course, the white sheets are allowed. These are not religious symbols. But there must be no burning of crosses. Other symbols are okay. If they want to burn a swastika in someone’s front lawn, well that is not a religious symbol, is it?”