The mounting catastrophe of Syrian refugees in Europe is one part the same old same old, "not in my backyard," but with several new wrinkles. One is the complete paralysis of the European Union as a government able to take emergency action. The humanitarian crisis is happening right now in real time, but the EU operates by consensus if not unanimity and it operates with agonizing slowness. Several nations don't want anything to do with refugees. Hungary's brutal response is more candid and ugly than others, but in this story there are few heroes. One hero is the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven. Sweden has been more generous to refugees and immigrants than most nations, and now faces a backlash.
A major controversy has erupted in Quebec as a result of Premier Pauline Marois' proposed "Charter of Quebec Values," which would ban the donning, for example, of a hijab or turban by government workers but, at the same time, permit the continued display of the large crucifix hanging in the province's legislature.
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