Well-known Quebec nationalist Richard Martineau wore a burqa on air Friday during his show ‘Franchement Martineau.’ Martineau was responding to a photo of niqab-clad daycare workers in Quebec (story below) that went viral this week. Reaction on Twitter was largely negative. One editor at the Montreal Gazette wondered if Martineau’s display was equivalent to blackface.
Huffington Post (h/t Susan K) The PQ’s (Quebec’s) proposed values charter would ban public employees from wearing most religious symbols at work. Small symbols, such as crucifix pendants, would remain acceptable.
Martineau has been an outspoken supporter of the values charter, not only because he is against the burqa, but also because he believes the debate is driving a wedge between Quebec and the rest of Canada and making separation more likely.
Martineau’s burqa moment is reminiscent of when Ezra Levant donned a niqab for a segment on Sun News in 2011, a move that was widely criticized in the media.
In a column for the National Post, Dan Delmar writes that “[Martineau] has lowered the Values discourse to a level so offensive that some of Quebec’s more balanced intellectuals view him as a nationalist self-parody, a ‘mononc’ – Québécois slang for that rambling redneck uncle who shames the family.”
Regardless of what you think about the burqa or the niqab, let’s all agree that middle-age white men should probably stick to the suits.