The Canadian Press reports:
A sign at the entrance of this rural Quebec town says: Herouxville welcomes you. Unless, that is, you plan on stoning a woman to death, sending your kids to school with a kirpan or covering your face other than on Halloween.
The town council of Herouxville, a sleepy town dominated by a towering Roman Catholic church, has adopted a declaration of "norms" that it says would-be immigrants should be aware of before they settle in this town.
Among them, it is forbidden to stone women or burn them with acid.
Children cannot carry weapons to school. That includes ceremonial religious daggers like kirpans even though the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Sikhs can carry kirpans in schools.
However, children can swim in a pool with other children — boys and girls alike because they can't be segregated.
And for the record, female police officers in Herouxville, 165 kilometres northwest of Montreal, can arrest male suspects. Also part of the declaration is to allow women to drive, dance and make decisions on their own....
The small town, near Shawinigan in central Quebec, has only one immigrant family and wants more.
But [town councillor Andre] Drouin said the declaration, which was posted on the town's website and sent to the provincial and federal immigration ministers, is the result of a number of recent culture clashes across the country....
B'nai Brith Quebec deemed the declaration "an anti-immigrant, anti-ethnic backlash" and Salam Elmenyawi, head of the Muslim Council of Montreal, called it insulting.
"Why are they picking on Islam and Muslims?" he asked, adding he wonders why the Herouxville council hasn't weighed in on society's ills in general.
The declaration is full of stereotypes, he said, adding that his wife can drive a car and Muslim women do have rights....
Herouxville practices the quaint cultural custom of using French on its Web site, so I couldn't find the declaration, but if anyone can point me to it — or to an English translation — I'd be much obliged. Thanks to reader Christopher Ferguson for a pointer to the English-language version of the Herouxville declaration.
Thanks to my student Maureen Carroll for the pointer.