Regionalizing Dimensions of Citizenship: Accommodating Muslim Minorities in Quebec

In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
Beesan T. Sarrouh
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Keith Banting
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Quebec offers an interesting perspective on the relationship between minority nationalism and the integration of immigrants. Immigration into the homeland of a national minority often reinforces its sense of cultural insecurity. Quebec has responded by exercising its substantial jurisdiction within the Canadian federation to develop a distinctive approach to immigrant integration, known as interculturalism. This article examines the controversies surrounding Quebec’s approach. We argue that the actual content of current debates, which increasingly focus on the accommodation of religious diversity, is driven primarily by the church–state settlement reached in the province in the middle of the 20th century. However,Quebecers’ minority status does matter. It increases the frequency and intensity of conflict about diversity policy. In addition, it shapes attitudes toward the process for managing disputes. Quebecers’ believe such issues should be resolved within Quebec, and they resist the idea that pan-Canadian institutions should have a central role.

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