Civil Rights Across the Globe

by reillymccambridge on February 18, 2014 - 8:03pm


Today I aim to dive into the civil rights and political dilemmas within Quebec’s borders and also around the world. In doing so I will compare 2 articles the first entitled “Opinion: Bill 60 is a blow to religious-minority members’ sense of belonging” written by  Zijad Delic and Saif Alnuweiri, and the second entitled “Challenging Russia's 'anti-gay' law” written by Fo Niemi, both articles coming from the Montreal Gazette. Hopefully comparing and contrasting these two pieces will give a better understanding of the discipline which is politics.

In the first article “Opinion: Bill 60 is a blow to religious-minority members’ sense of belonging” by Delic and Alnuweiri we are exposed to the opposition facing the consequences of Bill 60. This bill, if adopted will ban religious attire in the parapublic and public sectors. Although most see this bill as a limit of freedom of religion it can also be regarded as a bill that promotes freedom of religion but only wishes to adopt a sterile society. According to the authors, the Bouchard-Taylor commission stated that Quebec would be at a great loss if they were to limit the wearing of religious robes to a domestic level. Furthermore, the commission stated that religious wardrobe was not a threat to Quebec values and that most women who wore robes like the hijab did so by choice and not by force. The commission went on saying that many francophone Quebeckers are intimidated by the minorities within our society because they don’t want to see their purely Quebecoise culture fade away. Five years after the report was released by the commission we now see the Parti Québécois in power in Quebec and this fear is clearly represented within their actions, especially proposed Bill 60. The authors state that religious minorities should not be persecuted or humiliated because of their religious beliefs not matter what reason. They go on saying that religious symbols and attire pose no threat to anyone, whereas this bill could diminish the sense of belonging and the feeling of many minorities. They label this bill as “un-Canadian”, they believe that every person regardless of their religious beliefs and customs should be given the same equal opportunity as any other Canadian.

In the second article “Challenging Russia's 'anti-gay' law” by Niemi we are exposed to the problems with Russia’s anti-gay laws and the things that its opposers are doing to demonstrate their displeasure. With the lead up to the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi come plans to protest by defiant citizens from around the world who are against Russia. Last June Vladimir Putin signed a bill that banned the "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" in Russia, disallowing anything that made homosexual relationships seem socially equal to heterosexual relationships. This law which legalizes the persecution of lesbian, gay, bi sexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their supporters is not only a threat to Russian citizens but also anyone visiting the country. Any person who is located within Russia’s border is susceptible to this law. This law is but another example of Russia’s history of human rights violations, although they are taking a softer stance against activists like Greenpeace and the all-female activist rock band “Pussy Riot”. Despite being a member of numerous international organizations and councils Russia has still been found guilty of many human rights violation over the years (torture, human trafficking, open discrimination etc.). The Russian government is linking this fight against “homosexual propaganda” with the protection of traditionalist Russian values. According to the author, Canada holds some power in eliminating this law. Canada could use their billion dollar relationship with Russia in an attempt to sway their views with threats. This should be thoroughly considered by Canadian businesses that interact with Russian businesses because this law is a potential threat to Canadian citizens who choose to travel abroad. The author encourages all provinces to support LGBT rights and freedoms as Quebec has done and is currently doing.


These two situations can be compared and contrasted thoroughly because they are similar yet different in so many ways. In both cases human rights are being tested by the government in power, although some may see the situation in Quebec as less severe than the one in Russia they are equally important. It should be seen that each individual living on the planet should have equal opportunity and equal rights and freedoms. In both cases we see rights being restricted, in Quebec the ban of religious attire and symbols in the public sector and in Russia where we see the unfair persecution of LGBT people. We can also observe another similarity; both governments have implemented these bills and laws to “preserve” traditionalist views. There comes a time where people need to move on and accept the ongoing changes in the world around them and that time is now. The need for equal human rights across the globe no matter how big or small needs to be addressed immediately.

As for the academic journal I have chosen “Human Rights, Civil Rights: Prescribing Disability Discrimination Prevention in Packaging Essential Health Benefits” which has been published within the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. I believe this journal holds relevance to my topic of Human Rights because it explores another aspect of human rights which is rights for the disabled. To understand human rights and politics and the variety of issues within them it is essential to get a view of the topic at all angles and this academic journal article provides the opportunity to do just that


The discipline of politics is one that is often regarded as boring and hard to understand. Many politicians are regarded as bad people who will lie to get themselves to the top of the pyramid.  Political Science is a formidable choice of study in post-secondary education. This area of discipline focuses on the relationships between power, nationalism, theory, policy, international relations, and many other aspects of contemporary life. There are 4 main areas in which you can specialize: International Politics, Comparative Politics, Public Policy and Administration, and also Political Theory. This discipline is great for anyone who wants to make the world a better place and contribute to your country. This subject clearly relates to the news because politics influences all aspects of how we run things. In many countries around the world human rights and politics is at the fore front. To understand many problems around the world it is essential to understand the many aspects of politics.


It is very difficult to understand issues without knowing the aspects of politics

Thanks for the comment! I completely agree with what you said, the aspects of politics are the base of understanding most issues in our world today. This is because politics dictate how we deal with issues and what we plan to do to counter issues. Your comment served a purpose because it made me step back and think about the importance of politics when it comes to understanding. I'm looking forward to seeing your class' presentations later on today, best regards!