Monday, July 18, 2011

Mosque In A Public School - Where Are The Civil Liberties Groups?

Ezra Levant discusses some troubling questions about the mosqueteria with the UofT professor and a constitutional lawyer, Ed Morgan:
There are some interesting details of which not everyone has been aware. I didn't know that the ill-famous Muslim prayers in the cafeteria take place during class hours (not during breaks,) and that the school actually has to exempt those wishing to attend from their classes. Another thing: the "imam" that leads these prayers is absolutely independent from the school. Neither the school, nor the Toronto District School Board have any information about his background and none of them bother (or dare) to ask questions about what exactly is going to be preached to the students. Isn't that a little too much "reasonable accommodation" of Muslim students?

And, of course, there's always a questions - where are the civil liberties groups? What happened to the principle of not allowing religious instruction in public schools? What about the the peer pressure and the concerns about the non-participating kids being singled out? How come all those who were so concerned about these issues back then, during the debate over the Lord's prayer, are silent now? And how come none of them notices that apart from the typical peer pressure (with about 80% participation, any voluntary opt-in turns into a de-facto opt-out,) there's also an actual incentive for those attending the Muslim prayers, since they are excused from their classes?..

I'm sure that if the story was about public school students being offered a choice between staying in the classroom and attending a Christian prayer and a sermon, every civil liberties group would immediately identify this if not as an attempt to practically convert the students of other faiths, then at least as some sort of missionary work that shouldn't be allowed in a non-sectarian public school. And yet, when the Hindu parents dared to complain about the improvised mosque in the school cafeteria - somehow, the very same civil liberties advocates were in ho hurry to support them...

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