In the News: The Rassemblement pour la laïcité (RPL) denounces Bill 59

Hearing, Rassemblement pour la laïcité (Alliance for secularism) (vidéo in French), represented by André Lamoureux and Leila Bensalem, 2015-09-22, National Assembly, Quebec City

(1:45) We dissociate ourselves from the proposal to police and punish hate speech and speech inciting violence. We have many reservations about these provisions. Instead, the RPL proposes several recommendations with the aim of countering and stemming the rise of fundamentalism in Quebec, especially Islamic fundamentalism which is itself, in our opinion, a source of hate speech.

(2:30) Concerning hate speech, we are disappointed in the government’s complete 180 degree turnaround in its attitude towards fundamentalism. In 2013, when Philippe Couillard was being sworn in as MNA for the riding of Outremont, he declared forcefully his desire to fight fundamentalists unrelentingly. But later he changed his mind and somehow the struggle against Islamism went up in smoke. The Premier explained that fundamentalism is a private affair which harms no-one. Kathleen Weil even indicated that working with a fundamentalist would not bother her. For months on end various ministers hammered home the same message: that we should instead combat islamophobia, xenophobia, racism and hate speech, as these are at the origin of the humiliation and discrimination of which Muslims are targets, and consequently they are the causes of radicalization of young people and adults seduced by Islamism and jihadism. Jacques Frémont even claimed, in a Radio-Canada interview, that there was a growing wave of intolerance in Quebec. And thus we now have Draft Bill 59 whose goal is to police hate speech.

(5:00) It is important to understand that the expression “hate speech” is a particular form of rhetoric used by the Islamist movement to deflect any criticism of its retrograde dogma. It is the trademark of Islamism. Mme Vallée, you have the wrong target. It is not hate speech or Islamophobia which causes the stigmatization or marginalization of Muslims. Rather, it is fundamentalism, and especially Islamist ideology which, with its reactionary tenets, leads to legitimate reactions of rejection from Quebec citizens.

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