I was reading a story today about France outlawing headscarves and other religious symbols in their schools. The stance being taken is that these types of symbols divide people and, instead of teaching tolerance, encourage cultural isolation.
But what nearly floored me was a little statement halfway through the article which I’ve excerpted here:
Chirac also firmly rejected the Anglo-Saxon model of integration – admired by some French Muslims – where ethnic communities guard their customs and separateness.
“I refuse to let France take that path. It would sacrifice its heritage. It would compromise its future. It would lose its soul,” Chirac said.
Well, well…France has rejected a model of ethnic “independence” where individual groups within a country declare their uniqueness. Earth to Quebecois: doesn’t it just sound like your Motherland, the apple of your french speaking eye, just spat in that eye?
Maybe the idea of adopting the culture of the country you are a citizen of isn’t such a bad idea after all…