The Politics of Canadian National Memory

Dans son article publié en 2013 dans la revue Oral History/Forum d’histoire orale, Tamara Flemming cite la recherche de Jocelyn Létourneau à propos de la mémoire collective des Québécois. L’article est intitulé “The Politics of Canadian National Memory: An Analysis of Canadian Parliamentary Responses to the September 11 Attacks”. En voici un extrait.

« We must not fall into the trap of a civilization or religious war. Let us be
respectful of God and Allah. Let us not get them involved in the wars of
men. This is not a war between good and evil. We must avoid this
reasoning, which only serves the bin Ladens of this world too well. Too
often, we resort to evil to justify the empire of the good. But empires can
never serve the good. »

The historical memory that Duceppe articulated in this passage drew upon a popular anti-imperial narrative within Quebec society. As Jocelyn Létourneau points out, this memory narrates the history of the Québécois as a long struggle for French Canadian liberation from the domination of the British Empire and later, Anglophone Canada. Rooted in this historical narrative, Duceppe’s statement is a critique of the historical and contemporary linkages between religion, culture, and empire. His call to leave ―God and Allah out of the debate also evoked a popular memory of the Quiet Revolution, specifically the Québécois rejection of the dominance of the Catholic church in public affairs. In the context of the parliamentary debate, it can be read as a direct challenge to Stockwell Day’s explicit use of Christian imagery to argue for war. It is clear from this passage that Duceppe soundly rejected the religious and imperialist imagery of the militarist narrative of Canadian identity proposed by Day

Référence : Tamara Fleming, “The Politics of Canadian National Memory: An Analysis of Canadian Parliamentary Responses to the September 11 Attacks,” Oral History/Forum d’histoire orale 33 (2013), p. 18-19.

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