A new citizenship guide for potential immigrants to Canada flatly declares that new Canadians may not engage in "barbaric" cultural practices such as genital mutilation and "honour killings."
The new guide, released Thursday by Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, says in a section called "Equality of Women and Men" that such practices are illegal and severely punishable under Canada's criminal laws.
"Multiculturalism doesn't mean that anything goes. Multiculturalism means that we celebrate what's best about our backgrounds, but we do so on the basis of common Canadian values and respect for our laws," said Kenney. "It's no secret that we've seen instances of culturally rooted abuse of women, so-called 'honour killings,' forced marriages, and spousal abuse, and even female genital mutilation. We want to make sure that people understand that multiculturalism doesn't create an excuse to engage in those barbaric cultural practices."