The Quebec village of Hérouxville, 1300 inhabitants, has formally banned this week the stoning of women, face veils, female genital mutilation, or throwing acid at unveiled women’s faces, reports Montreal daily La Presse.

André Drouin, a municipal counselor in Hérouxville, told La Presse, a document detailing the bans and the cultural norms of the local population was adopted in light of the stormy debate over the “reasonable accomodation” of religious and cultural minorities that has been raging in Quebec media over the last few months and has principally focussed on Montreal’s small ultra-orthodox Jewish community.

The nature of the Hérouxville bans suggests however that local politicians had Quebec Muslims in mind, though not a single Muslim or member of any religious or ethnic minority calls Hérouxville home. But referring to Quebec’s policy of encouraging immigrants to settle outside Montreal, Drouin says it was important to inform potential immigrants of the villages cultural norms: “We must ensure that people who come here want to live as we do”, he told La Presse, “The Muslims who wanted to impose Sharia, had they known that we do not stone women here, maybe they would not have come”.

Along with the bans, the Hérouxville document states that Christmas trees are a Quebec tradition, that swimming pools are mixed, and that pork meat and beef are displayed on the same shelves. Asked whether he fears being labeled a racist, Drouin answers: “We are not racists, we are explaining our culture”.


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