Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stoning not allowed

Immigrants to the small Quebec town of Herouxville must not stone women in public, burn them alive or throw acid on them, according to an extraordinary set of rules made public by the local council.

The declaration, published on the town's website, has deepened a debate in the predominantly French-speaking Canadian province over how tolerant Quebecers should be towards the customs and traditions of immigrants.

"We wish to inform these new arrivals that the way of life which they abandoned when they left their countries of origin cannot be recreated here," said the declaration, which also says women are allowed to drive, vote, dance, write checks, dress how they want, work and own property.

"Therefore we consider it completely outside these norms to ... kill women by stoning them in public, burning them alive, burning them with acid, circumcising them etc."

No one on the town council was immediately available for comment on Tuesday. Herouxville, which has 1300 inhabitants, is about 160km northeast of Montreal.

Andre Drouin, the councillor who came up with the idea of the declaration, told the National Post newspaper that the town was not racist.

"We invite people from all nationalities, all languages, all sexual orientations, whatever, to come live with us, but we want them to know ahead of time how we live," he said.

The regulations say girls and boys can exercise together and people should only be allowed to cover their faces at Halloween. Children must not take weapons to school, although the Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled that Sikh boys have the right to carry ceremonial daggers.

The Herouxville declaration is part of a wider discussion over "reasonable accommodation", or how far Quebecers should be prepared to change their customs so as not to offend immigrants – figures from the 2001 census show that around 10 percent of Quebec's 7.5-million population were born outside Canada.


Anonymous said...

kind of scary when you have to pass a law that it's illegal to stone, and throw acid on women...dang..

dom said...

Well they should have a clause that allows stoning , if they say "Jehovah!" ,,, ever seen Life of Brian ? hahaha