The potent mix of a high immigration rate and a policy of encouraging immigrants to maintain their cultures and practices after moving to Canada is having a detrimental effect on our society. A case in point is the increased incidence of domestic violence related to so-called “honour killings” and the harsh punishment associated with the practice, which I gather we now call “crimes of honour” when they do not result in death.
Honour crimes, which are most prevalent in countries with large Muslim populations, target women who are perceived to have shamed their families. Honour killings can result from a woman talking to a man, having a boyfriend, wearing makeup or revealing clothing, or even seeking a divorce—this according to Diana Nammi, founder of the London-based International Campaign Against Honour Killings. Appallingly, a women can shame her family by getting herself raped.
According to the National Post, which quoted the the United Nations, as many as 5,000 women and girls die—most at the hands of family members—in “honour killings” around the world each year.
Last year, here in Canada, three members of a Montreal family who emigrated from Afghanistan were arrested on murder charges after being accused of killing three daughters and a first wife in what police described as an honour crime. One expert said it was the 13th case of its kind in Canada since 2002.
Today, media reports tell of the attempted murder of an immigrant from Afghanistan now living in Montreal, Bahar Ebrahimi, by her mother in what the Crown is reportedly treating as an honour crime.
Surprisingly, we seem not to get too worked up about these things.
Immigration is virtually, though not quite, a win-win proposition for Canada. We get the population growth we need to prosper—Canada accepts more immigrants per capita than any other major country—and immigrants get to share in the success our country has become.
I’m all for immigration; I’m an immigrant myself. But surely we have a duty to ourselves to make sure we preserve the culture and practices that have made our society one of the most envied around the world. But how can we do this when we encourage immigration from countries whose cultures are the antithesis of ours, and, at the same time, encourage—through official multiculturalism—such immigrants to maintain as much of their culture as they want?
As said before on this blog, I have never been in favour of the government-encouraged multiculturalism we got from Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I do not agree that any nation should aspire to be an extension of someone else’s cultural identity. I believe we should achieve cultural enrichment and diversity without diluting our own identity. Newcomers to our country need not belong to any specific religion, or be of any particular colour, race, national or ethnic origin or gender. They should, however, be like-minded. In other words, they need to share our core values.
If this means not accepting immigrants from cultures where our core values are not respected or practiced, then so be it. Coming to Canada should be a privilege, not a human right to be conferred on every human being on earth.