Friday, November 02, 2007

Quebec cultural diversity enriched by religious signs and symbols says Communications et Société

In February 2007, the Québec government announced the establishment of a Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences in response to public unease about perceived cultural tensions.

According to the Bouchard- Taylor Commission their task is to pinpoint “the nature of the source of disharmony that is dividing Quebecers in order to contemplate means of reconciliation.”

The Commission began its public consultation in September 2007. In response to the consultation, SIGNIS member, Communications et Société has produced a submission that sets out its view of how best cultural differences can be ‘accommodated’. Among its conclusions are that the public expression of diverse religious signs and symbols are not a threat but a “legitimate manifestation of diversity”.

The document also considers the way in which the media treat religion and underline the importance of recognizing that religion is a central element in culture and should not be treated as something ‘marginal’. The document underlines the importance of keeping religious topics in the mainstream of public media and not simply leaving it to specialized channels.