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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Toronto school board accommodating religion back into schools

I was shocked to learn recently that Friday Muslim prayer sessions have been held regularly inside a cafeteria at Valley Park Middle School in Toronto’s Flemingdon Park for the last three years. It wasn’t too long ago that controversial decisions to ban prayers in Ontario public schools was defended by local public school boards—school-directed prayer has been outlawed in Ontario for nearly 30 years.

That was then. Now the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) says it is meeting its obligation to accommodate students’ religious beliefs by allowing an imam to lead students in prayer on school property. According to a Globe and Mail report, Jim Spyropoulos, a superintendent with the TDSB said:

“In a school where there is such a high concentration of Muslim students, this [Friday prayer sessions] was the best solution that avoided compromising instructional time.”

Religious “accommodation” seems to be all the rage these days.

A non-denominational Christian morning prayer could not be “accommodated” 30 years ago, but the school board allows a local imam to use school infrastructure to engage in Muslim religious services. And, apparently, similar arrangements have been made for Muslim students at other schools in Ontario.

There’s been a whole lot of “accommodation” going on in recent years. The TDSB accommodates “modesty requirements” in gym class, along with fasting and dietary requirements. It never seems, though, that “accommodations” stretch to include Canadian Christians or their traditions such as Christmas and Easter— you know, the renamed “holiday seasons.”

I was baptized and confirmed an Anglican, but have not been a practicing Christian for several decades. I thought that Canadians had more or less agreed to keep religion as a private matter and to keep it away from our schools. But, apparently, some would have us “accommodate” one particular religion right back in.

There is perhaps a single Muslim country, Turkey, with anything truly resembling a liberal democracy with religious freedom. And virtually all Muslim countries that self-describe as Islamic states, persecute Christians and Jews mercilessly. Yet those who have been willing participants in those cultures come to Canada and demand accommodation?

As Ron Banerjee, director of Canadian Hindu Advocacy, said in a recent interview:

“Pretty soon, we’re going to have 50 different ethnicities and religions asking for different accommodations.”

I agree with Mr. Banerjee that Islamic groups are “imposing their view and trying to change the rules, regulations, norms and values to accommodate themselves, and in the long-term, to spread their ideology.”

I want this to stop.

For those who want to see how this story ends if not stopped, they’ve only got to look to Europe, especially the United Kingdom. Today is July 7—remember what occurred in Britain on July 7, 2005? Look it up and see where we in Canada are heading if we do not stop “accommodating.”

 

 

© Russell G. Campbell, 2011.
All rights reserved.
 
The views I express on this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or positions of political parties, institutions or organizations with which I am associated.

11 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. Excellent post and I totally agree with your comments. There is also reason to believe that the school serves only halal meat, and if so this is even worse. It is imposing Sharia on all the students including non Muslim.

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  2. Perhaps the reason that Muslims get what they want is that they are not ashamed of their religion like most Canadian Christians seem to be. Muslims are proud to be Muslim. I cannot say the same of Christians.

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  3. Eliminate the christian Lords prayer in schools at the start of the day, then bring in Muslim prayers on Fridays

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  4. And man created god in his own image and saw that was good and said "let the games begin"

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  5. Allowing prayers in Public schools is against the Charter. I was the litigant in the Charter challenge case in BC in 1986.We won this case around the same time as the case succeeded in Ontario.

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  6. How sad that 5'500'000'000 non-muslims must now presuppose that Muslims are predisposed to violence to the point where it is safer to appease them then risk riots and suicide-bombers in our schools.
    Rosa Parks would cry if she saw how the School and Barbara hall allow for a segragated entrance for females and a segragated prayers room with non-white females told to sit at the back of the mosque.
    Those evil white-folks finally accepted Rosa at the front of the bus, but now Islam's Mosques (and Hall) not only kicked her off the bus...they threw her under it as a filthy temptress sinner teasing men to lust for sex.
    With over 17'000 terrorist Acts by Muslims since 9/11,it's too late for the Taqiyyah scams to fool canadians into the islam=Peace garbage.CAIR and Dr.Sheema khan tried to get Shariah Law in canada,it failed but MsKhan now tries to deny her time at CAIR now that a 2007 Court case linked CAIR to funding Hamas and global Terrorism.
    Read it for yourself folks because I expect the islamofascists to call me a liar and anti-Muslim bigot. Thats how they work,bully and threaten people to spread Allah's peace and Love.

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  7. I firmly believe that religious education must be allowed in schools. And they haven't done anything wrong by allowing the local imam for friday prayer of muslims. This is a great step towards peace in unity.

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  8. WE ARE NOT ASHAMED OF OUR RELIGION BUT HAVE BEEN PREVENTED FROM PRACTISING IT ON TDSB PROPERTY...I AM SWITCHING MY PROPERTY TAXES FROM THE SUPPORT TDSB TO THE TORONTO ENGLISH CATHOLIC SCHOOL BOARD...ENOUGH IS ENOUGH....CHRIS SPENCE SHOULD BE FIRED.

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  9. Well, some of the comments above appear a little unhinged. I'll try to distance myself from them.

    As an atheist and a secularist, I find it very easy to agree with your position, Mr. Campbell, although I feel as though current discourse tacks away from a much broader issue, of which this subject is only a small part. I wrote about this to some length on my own blog, which may be of some interest to you: modernerrata.blogspot.com

    Your thoughts would be of great interest to me.

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  10. Excellent article on an important topic! For now, these accommodations are for a small percentage, but immigration and birth rates will make this a democratic issue in the near future. How will the current values of a majority of Canadians be protected when they are no longer the majority? We already have the greatest country in the world. Who could think an increasing force of outside, incompatible and often barbaric, cultures would make it better?

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  11. I have read the TDSB position on this on their website. They have stated (in defending ther decision to allow muslims prayers) as follows. "The Charter of rights regarding freedom of religion supercedes the Education Act." Look it up on their website. I say that christian groups can cite the same reason to bring back the Lords Prayer to schools. If they are refused by the TDSB then they can take the TDSB to court to force them to Bring back Christian religious tenets back. If Muslims are allowed to hijack our public school system that we can fight on behalf of Christians to have equal time in the schools regardless of the student bodies religious make up. This is a legal recourse to pursue.

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