Episode 1613: Religious Freedom in Canada

The most controversial word in Canada — Islamophobia.  The House of Commons has passed M-103, a non-binding motion condemning Islamophobia and religious discrimination.   Christian activists weigh in on their concerns over religious freedom and fears over ground lost while Police intervene in a school board meeting that erupts over Muslim prayer in school.  What does religious accommodation for Canadians look like in 2017?

3 I like it
2 I don't like it

5 Comments

  1. It was good to see that you folks got both sides of the argument; that is only fair. Bravo for a good program!

    It was also telling how a Liberal MP and MPP did not want to present their own governments' case on your program. Do we have some thing to be very concerned about from our Ontario provincial and federal Liberal governments. I ask that rhetorically of course.So, what are these people up to? What is their agenda?

  2. When we bring a prayer room into a public school, we are bringing a church into that school. How do I feel about this? I can't help but wonder ----What's next? It's not as if I don't pray. I pray at work, but only in a means that isn't infringing on others and I do not expect special accommodations. I pray in my car, in my home, and when I go for a walk. I've prayed in bathroom stalls in the mall washrooms, inside my head while waiting in a line up. I pray while respecting those around me. I think in a multi fabric, multi culture with numerous diverse religions we have to have designated spaces that are completely neutral. If we dont have this and we start making small tiny exceptions for one cultur and religion we will lose the harmony we struggle to hold onto. Why ? Because we all want to be treated the same. It's human nature. Favouritism creates competition. I think religion needs to stay in our hearts, our homes, our churches or temples and the designated private schools but what is public needs to stay neutral. I think parents need to make a stand. But not in a hateful way against someones right to their religion, church, or form of worship. Parents with children in public schools need to understand that a public school needs enrollment to stay open. I would pull my children out of the school. Put them else where, and or home school. The school board needs to understand that we all have rights and bringing religion into the school is infringing on everyones personal rights. Public should be nuetral territory.

  3. Now that the M-103 is passed. The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage will undertake a study ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based approach. It will be key for the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to adopt a methodologically neutral approach and collaborate across philosophical and religious group boundaries and thus significantly enhance the level of rigour, objectivity and validity in the study. They need to be deliberate in selecting the study questions and careful on not to compromise scientific rigour. It will be key to maintain transparency and thoroughness for sample size and target group selection.

    It will have to be beyond contextualizing hate crime reports and needs assessment of impacted communities. Both Muslims and non-Muslims sample groups must be selected.

    The question is; will the Canadian Heritage Committee collect data, stories and create evidence based on hate crime reports or will the heritage committee, build upon the episodes and evidence of acceptance, highlight the “Peace Ring” formed around mosques on Fridays. Will it document the accounts of goodwill for universal acceptance of refugees, will it account for the tax dollars used for programs for integration, inclusiveness and equity for all. Will the heritage committee respect and endorse the rights for every individual; religious minority, ethnic enclave and linguistic group as they reach-out and interact with their Muslim members of society.
    The ultimate aim of this study should be to safeguard the “multi-cultural oneness” in Canada and avoid further polarization and division.

  4. We took religion out of schools long ago. Why are we putting it back in. We must not give one religion only the right to prayer in school we must give the right to all believes the right to prayer and dress in class rooms.

    • Excellent thought, the time is right to bring #Faith building back into school. All beliefs should be given allowance for prayer. #Religious Accommodation is for ALL.
      Canadians have proven to be good at making room for others, even at the cost of giving up their own space up. When we saw that more and more students at schools were not from christian faith, we stopped Christian prayer – lest we offended. We opened our doors to everyone and “ Silenced “our own voice to the point that everyone- Christians themselves and others - have forgotten what do we stand for.