One hundred-and- fifty-four Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan, not just for the big things such as fighting international terrorists, but for the small things, too.
Like the right of Afghan girls to go to school. Simple things, like the right to listen to music. These things were actually banned under the Taliban, which enforced sharia law.
So what would our soldiers think of Winnipeg’s Louis Riel School Division, where a dozen Muslim immigrant families have demanded changes to the curriculum to accommodate their fundamentalist view of Islam? The families don’t want boys and girls in the same classes, such as physical education.
And they don’t want their children to hear to any instruments or singing in music class, either.
Instead of sending their kids to a private or religious school, they want the public schools to change.
Superintendent Terry Borys says the families are “adamant’ about this, despite both phys-ed and music being compulsory. So the suggestion now is the children be allowed do their musical requirements through a ‘writing project.”
Brilliant. A music class with no music.
No word yet on how they’ll accommodate the request for gender apartheid in gym. How long before parents can “adamantly” demand no mere woman teaches their son — or if she does, that she has to wear a veil?
Don’t laugh. Last fall the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled Muslim women can ask for a court order to clear men out of a courtroom — court staff, lawyers, even the judge — before taking off their veils to testify.
If you want a look at the future, look at the United Kingdom.
In 2007, some schools stopped teaching the Holocaust because it contradicted the anti-Semitic views held by “adamant” families there.
The history of the Crusades was dropped too, because the “balanced” approach taken by schools contradicted what the local mosques were teaching.
And in 2008, schools in Bristol yanked gay-friendly books out of libraries when Muslim parents complained.
Liberal litmus test
This is an uncomfortable subject for liberals. Equality of men and women is an essential western principle. Acceptance of gay rights is the new liberal litmus test. Teaching historical facts in the face of religious faith is the foundation of secular enlightenment.
But many liberals don’t confront bigotry when it arrives in the form of an immigrant, non-Christian visible minority.
Here’s a tip for politically correct liberals wondering how to respond to sexist, anti-gay, anti-Semitic demands from new Canadians: Pretend they’re old white Christian men.
If the Pope demanded public schools shut down music classes or boys and girls be segregated, you can imagine the outrage. We’re well trained in the phrase “separation of church and state.”
Well, how about separation of mosque and state? How about promoting Canadian values?
Last week, British PM David Cameron said he’d had enough. “We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values. So, when a white person holds objectionable views … we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices come from someone who isn’t white, we’ve been too cautious frankly — frankly, even fearful — to stand up to them.”
Cameron vows to cut off funding to any group that opposes the equality of women, or integration of immigrants.
Who is the better liberal: Cameron or the Winnipeg school board?
— Levant will be a talk show host on the Sun News Network