Canada: School board allows Muslim sermons in schools
Despite the foundations and long tradition of Christianity in Canada, any accommodation of it — even at Christmas time — is largely rejected in the public school system, which supposedly adheres to secularism. But there is a single exception to the rule, as one religion seems to stand supreme:
Muslim students in the province of Ontario are entitled to hold weekly prayer meetings, held on Friday. These “Jumm’ah” prayer and sermon sessions have been the focus of intense criticism as the provincial public school system is not supposed to be promoting any religion or hosting any religious instruction.
The Peel school board in Mississauga (near Toronto) is not only allowing Islamic sermons, but it is also refusing to monitor the contents of those sermons. This is despite the very real risk of the jihad doctrine being spread. The Toronto Star reported that “Islamic schools, mosques in Canada are filled with extremist literature, according to a study.” More troubling was that “the authors of the study say what worried them was not the presence of extremist literature, but that they found nothing but such writings in several mosque libraries and Islamic schools.”
Back in November, a large assembly of the Peel District School Board listened to the lamentationsfrom the Muslim community “that Muslim students feel stigmatized and targeted” because their Friday prayers were restricted to pre-approved sermons, whereas previously, Muslim students were free to use any sermon they chose that was approved by an administrator. The identity of the administrator and his or her knowledge about Islamic sermons was not disclosed. The complaints from the Muslim community led to the reversal of the policy: the practice of allowing Muslim students to choose sermons was resumed.
The board also bent over backwards, working for over a year “with 10 local imams to develop the six sermons to be used during Friday prayers”; these were intended to be used “as a starting point,” to be developed to “a collection of hundreds of sermons available to students.”
Muslim Friday prayer is the only group-prayer activity that is allowed by the Peel District School Board.
Peel board members “justified the policy reversal” not to monitor the Islamic sermons “by insisting it represented a commitment to inclusiveness”; but its singling out of Muslims for preferred treatment above all other faiths was not an exercise in inclusivity, but rather a demonstration of the appalling exclusion of all other faiths. Even worse, when protests erupted, Peel police intervened as though they were Sharia police, and bullied a female protester outside:
Protesters were told to remove their signs because they were deemed anti-Muslim and one woman was taken outside by police after she interrupted the meeting with her objections.
It is also worthwhile to note that Omar Alghabra, who ascribes to Sharia, is the Member of Parliament for Mississauga; upon his election, someone on stage at his victory party exclaimed:
“This is a victory for Islam! Islam won! Islam won!… Islamic power is extending into Canadian politics.”
The Peel District School Board’s genuflection to one community is a slap in the face to all Canadians who aren’t Muslim. It represents a new low in Canadian organizations’ descent toward dhimmitude. It’s alarming that such imprudent administrators are awarded with the trust to educate children and to serve as their role models.
“Board To Allow Muslim Sermons In Schools, And Protesters Aren’t Happy”, by David Krayden, Daily Caller, January 11, 2017:
Local residents expressed their anger Tuesday night at a decision by a school board in a suburb of Toronto, Canada to reverse its policy on monitoring Muslim sermons.
Last September, concerned about the potential for radical Islamic propaganda infiltrating religious meetings, the Peel Regional School Board had insisted that students read prayers and sermons from an approved text. The board’s decision to allow students to write their own sermons resulted in angry residents storming a public meeting held to discuss the policy change.
Protestors were told to remove their signs because they were deemed anti-Muslim and one woman was taken outside by police after she interrupted the meeting with her objections.
Anger over the move was evident on social media. Protestor John Goddard wrote: “Anti-sharia activist Sandra Solomon, born a Palestinian Muslim in Ramallah but [who] left Islam, disrupt[ed] a Peel District School Board meeting on Tuesday night. The board tabled a staff report recommending expansion of Muslim religious privileges in public schools.”
Muslim students in the province of Ontario are entitled to hold weekly prayer meetings, held on Friday. These “Jumm’ah” prayer and sermon sessions have been the focus of intense criticism as the provincial public school system is not supposed to be promoting any religion or hosting any religious instruction. Many schools will not even host Christmas music concerts in deference to non-Christian faiths who may be offended by the observance.
Board members justified the policy reversal by insisting it represented a commitment to inclusiveness:
“The board has always been committed to an inclusive approach in all activities related to religious accommodation for students and staff of all faiths,” director of education Tony Pontes said in a statement released Tuesday night.
Muslim students and their parents argued the ban on personalized sermons negatively impacted the religious freedom of the students while suggesting a stereotyped view of Islam….