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Charles Taylor admits he erred when he authored the Bouchard-Taylor recommendation to restrict religious symbols among public servants in positions of authority, saying that “times have changed”:

In 2008, Taylor, along with sociologist Gérard Bouchard, signed a report that called for a ban on religious symbols worn by public servants in positions of coercive authority — police, judges and prison guards.

Opposition parties quickly demanded the ban extend to teachers and daycare workers, “something we had not at all envisioned,” Taylor wrote in an open letter published Tuesday in La Presse.

He cited the controversy over the Parti Québécois’ 2013 Charter of Quebec Values as having created the “stigmatization” of certain sectors of Quebec society, particularly the province’s Muslim community, and blamed the controversy for attacks ranging from hateful comments to physical assault on Muslims wearing a veil.

Taylor said times have changed and he no longer endorses the recommendation.

Admitting that is the first step. But it will take more than an open letter to undo the damage. People still clinging to the idea that we need to find a “consensus” misunderstand that, in a democracy, minorities should never be compelled to conform to the tyranny of a majority.

Don’t like hijabs, kippahs or turbans? Fine, nobody’s forcing you to wear them. You are free to wear what you want and believe what you want. But stop telling other people what they can wear or what they can believe.

Bill 62 is bad legislation and must be scrapped.


60-second recap


Climbed out of a long black hole today – fever’s come down (mostly) and I’m finally feeling more like a human being than flattened truck remains. Pop quiz: which of these things don’t belong? Bed rest, chicken soup, fluids, blogging. Yeah, you guessed it.

So even though tons has happened this week, I have no intention of recapping all of it – heck, I probably don’t even know about most of it. So please refrain from the irate comments about my failure to mention such-and-such, k? Thanks a bunch.

I did catch a few interesting headlines, this week, though, and made somewhat fuzzy mental notes to blog them later. Israel marked Rosh Hashanah with the senseless murders of two people, including a 7-month old baby, by Islamic Jihad terrorists. The Palestinians have assembled a new Arafat puppet cabinet that is sure to make zero progress towards eradication of terrorism. Nigerian Amina Lawal, who faced death by stoning on charges of adultery and became an international symbol of oppression of women, was cleared.

Bush and Blair came out singing No Regrets about the war on Iraq, (though I don’t think to the same tune as Tom Cochrane). Speaking of musical legends, singer Robert Palmer passed away of a heart attack.

Closer to home, a local private French high school put in its bid for a stupid discriminatory act of the week award by expelling a Muslim girl for wearing a hijab. The Alouettes clinched first place in the East. And the Hell’s Angels mega-trial ended with a bunch of guilty pleas.

Onto next week.