A Statement about the Quebec Government's "Charter"

As a human rights supporter, I am disgusted by the Quebec government's blatant attack on religious Muslims, Jews, and Sikhs through the introduction of a new "charter".

As a committed atheist and secularist, I am angered by their attempt to justify their actions in the name of state "secularism".

As a believer in fairness, I am shocked by their hypocrisy in exempting the large crucifix (an overtly religious symbol) in their provincial legislature (the primary representation of the "state") -- and also crosses on necklaces.

As a caring human being, I am saddened by the thousands of loyal hard-working citizens who would be fired from their jobs under this proposed legislation.

As a democrat, I am disappointed that 66% of Quebecers apparently support this "charter".

Secularism is a worthy goal, and one which I strongly share. But it will not be achieved by firing professional Muslim women -- especially in a discriminatory manner which allows Catholics to keep their crucifixes around their necks and in their legislature. Secularists should instead denounce the Charter's discrimination against religious minorities, and thus demonstrate the true benefits of Secularism, by supporting human rights and rational respect for all peoples of all backgrounds.

-- Jeffrey S. Rosenthal
Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Toronto
Author of Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities
September 10, 2013