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多元文化之挑战: 宗教标记之争
Multiculturalism survives the religious symbol test

佩带宗教标记所引发的持续争议凸显出加国多元文化所面临的挑战。Bob Mok在此文中揭示了加国多元文化政策是如何通过一次次巨大考验。
The controversies caused by the tolerance of religious symbol over the past have highlighted the challenges faced by the Canadian multiculturalism. Bob Mok’s article sheds light on how the multiculturalism survived the big tests.
 
本文是加国多元文化专栏系列文章之一,读者欲参照前文 可点击:
This is part of a series of articles on Canada’s multiculturalism. For the earlier article, please go to the following links:  
 
1988年,加拿大议会通过《 加拿大多元文化法》,这也是世界上首部国立多元文化法案。该法案旨在在文化独特性和平等之间谋求平衡,其明确规定所有人都有权保留自己选择的文化遗产,但同时也要“充分平等地融入加拿大社会生活。”此外,该法案还致力于通过根除种族歧视和清除歧视性障碍履行加拿大的人权承诺。

In 1988, the Canadian Multiculturalism Act was adopted by the Canadian Parliament. It was the first national multiculturalism law adopted by any country. The Act struck a balance between cultural distinctiveness and equality.  It specified the right of all to identify with the cultural heritage of their choice, yet retain “full and equitable participation … in all aspects of Canadian society.” It also focused on the eradication of racism and the removal of discriminatory barriers as ways to fulfill Canada’s human rights commitments.


但是,加国的多元文化政策随即便面临一系列重大挑战。1990年,一名已入籍的加拿大锡克人(锡克教教徒)被迫在任职加拿大皇家骑警(RCMP)和佩戴穆斯林头巾之间做选择。尽管在两次世界大战中已有众多戴着头巾的锡克教徒在英属印度陆军中服役,并且加国许多警队中也时常可见锡克教徒的身影,但加拿大皇家骑警当时的传统着装规则仍不允许佩戴穆斯林头巾。

Immediately, Canada’s multiculturalism faced a number of significant challenges. In 1990, a naturalized Canadian Sikh (a religious follower of Sikhism) had to choose between serving Canada as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or wearing his turban. At that time, the turban was not allowed in the RCMP traditional dress code even though turbaned Sikhs served in the British Indian Army in two World Wars and worked in many Canadian police forces.

 
围绕这一问题萌生的两种主要论点是:“尊重我们的传统,服从我们的着装要求!”以及“如果有人想要穿戴对于他们本人,他们的民族或是他们的宗教至关重要的服饰,当局不应该进行干涉,应该允许他们的需求。”

There were two arguments to this issue: "Respect our traditions, wear our hat" and "I think that if somebody wants to wear something that's important to them, to their nationalities, or to their beliefs and it doesn't interfere with what they do, let them."


最终,有超过15万人签署请愿书要求保留加拿大皇家骑警的传统着装规则,许多人认为改变这一规则将会导致皇家骑警的标志性形象不复存在,并有可能促使更多改变接踵而至。但是在1990年3月16日,联邦总检察长仍对相关政策进行了修订,以允许锡克族皇家骑警警员在执勤时佩戴穆斯林头巾。加国的多元文化政策也得以通过第一次巨大考验。

Over 150,000 people signed petitions to retain the traditional RCMP dress code, many felt that the iconic image will not survive this change and this would open a floodgate to more changes in future. But on March 16, 1990, the federal Solicitor General amended the policy to permit Sikhs to wear the turban while on active duty in the RCMP. Multiculturalism survived its first big test.

 
2006年,加国的多元文化政策再次面临挑战,而这一次是涉及《加拿大权利与自由宪章》(1982)。此事源于魁省一个教育局告知一名12岁锡克族男孩不可以佩带作为其宗教信物的传统弯刀进教室,并称这种吉尔班弯刀被其反对者视为暴力武器。当时许多人仍对皇家骑警的着装规则争议记忆犹新,在他们看来允许佩带吉尔班弯刀无疑是对锡克教的又一次让步,是赋予特殊群体的特权。

In 2006, yet another challenge to multiculturalism came along, this time involving the Canadian Charter of rights and Freedom Act (1982). A Quebec school board told a 12-year-old Sikh boy he could not wear his ceremonial dagger in the classroom, as his faith requires. It was suggested that the kirpan is a weapon of violence by its opponents. Many viewed that as another concession to a religion and a privilege for a special group with the RCMP dress code controversy still in their memories. 


加拿大最高法院最终以8-0驳回了律师用于为最初实施禁令的魁省教育局做辩护的论据,并称没有证据显示吉尔班弯刀是暴力武器,或是这个在五年前法院开审此案时年仅12岁的锡克教男孩有意使用吉尔班弯刀作为暴力武器。

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled 8-0 to throw out arguments from lawyers for the Quebec school board that originally implemented the ban. It said there is no suggestion the kirpan is a weapon of violence or that the Sikh boy, who was 12 when the court case started five years ago, intended to use it as one. 

 
但是,最高法院在裁决中亦支持了低级法院此前所作的裁决,即允许锡克教徒在一定条件下佩戴吉尔班弯刀,包括佩刀必须藏在衣服下并缝入刀鞘中。最高法院称,在这些限制条件下,“吉尔班弯刀的客观危险特性几乎完全被剔除,木质刀鞘四周缝制的布套可充分阻挡弯刀出鞘。在这种情况下,有关安全性的论据已经不再具有充分的说服力。”这一判决成功达成了平衡,在当时无疑是非常明智之举。时至今日,涉及吉尔班弯刀的伤害和攻击事件仍寥寥可数。

But the ruling re-establishes a lower court decision, which allows Sikhs to wear kirpans under certain conditions. The knife must be worn under the clothes and sewn into a sheath. Under those conditions, "the kirpan is almost totally stripped of its objectively dangerous characteristics," the court said. "Access to the kirpan ... is now fully impeded by the cloth envelope sewn around the wooden sheath. In these circumstances, the argument relating to safety can no longer reasonably succeed." This was a very sensible judgement at the time and a balance was achieved. To this day, very few incidents were ever recorded involving injury and assault with a Kirpan.


在这两次挑战中,不同文化背景的加拿大人鉴于自身权利并未因此受到侵犯,最终都勉强接受了上述论战结果。但是此后,他们又再次面对让他们感觉自身权利以及日常生活都深受影响的新挑战。下一次,我们将继续论述这些挑战。

Both times, Canadians of different cultural backgrounds reluctantly accepted these controversies above on the basis that they did not infringe on their own rights. Since then, they are facing new challenges perceived to be affecting their rights and their daily lives. Next time, we will look at those.
 
 
 
 
 

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