Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Religious Schools in Ontario

If you are not up to speed on this topic, here are some links:

Tory (leader of the Ontario's conservatives) defends funding for religious schools

Creationism could be taught in funded schools, Tory says

The idea is to allow publicly funded Muslim and Jewish (and other religious) schools in the province. It has been hard keeping my mouth shut for almost a week, since the Conservatives in Ontario made "religious schools" a campaign issue in the upcoming October 10th election.

Before I dive into a discussion, I am going to summarize what I think is wrong with that picture:

- Our children will no longer grow in a diverse educational environment where tolerance is taught and not self-religious-righteousness!
- Many programs such sex-ed, phys-ed and arts will be negatively impacted or simply just eliminated in the name of religious principles.

I almost cannot even begin to explain what would be wrong with that picture! Many argue that Catholic schools have been getting funds for years and now it's time Muslim and Jewish schools were funded (in the name of equality). My answer to that is:

The Catholic school system should be integrated into one optimized public system.

First and foremost, the majority of the voters agree that immigration should result in integration and not segregation. What brings more segregation than children who go to their own religious school, grow up in isolated environments where only one idea is preached?

Schools are supposed to be a safe environment for children think and express their ideas freely and ask questions about all subjects that are considered "taboo" at home. How many families are open to answering their children's question about sex? How many families facilitate art education or sports for their teens? Are we trying to get back to 50s and possibly worse, because now we are dealing with multiple religions that do not quite co-exist peacefully!

And the topic of "creationism" gets many people anxious!

I have been accused of being super-liberal (and I don't have a problem with that), what you should know is that I don't have a problem with girls wearing Hijab if they like, boys wearing Kippah if they wish. However, I would want my child to sit in the same classroom with both those kids, play on the soccer team with them and play music on the same band as them. I want my child to feel comfortable in sex-ed class and grow up in an environment where "anything goes".

What is most hilarious is that they say the want to provide "choice for children". By putting a child into a religious school (a parent's choice, obviously) we are not giving the child any freedom or choice, but we are taking their voice away.

If you feel religion is being forgotten, what you are looking for is "Sunday School" (nothing wrong with that) and not public money to be spent on what the Church/Mosque/Synagogue preaches!

Many of us protested against Shariah Courts (which was advertised in the name of women's rights!) and we will make sure we stand up against religion hi-jacking the next generation's education.


P.s. I suppose I should further explain why my position on religious schools is so firm. Last year I campaigned in a neighbourhood that was partly occupied by religious Muslims. Most women were not allowed to leave the house without their husbands and were not allowed to talk to me, because I was a stranger (eventhough a female). Do we want such ideas taught in public schools? In addition to that, a few years ago I volunteered in a study that looked at Muslim women's sex life. Many teens or adults get raped because the guys never took sex-ed, and these crimes are never reported because in such isolated communities it is looked down upon (and mostly considered a girl's fault). Should I go into the concept of putting guilt on our kids at an early age? What about unspoken abortions?


At 4:05 a.m., Blogger Jackal said...

Bahar jun,
Although I did say that you are super-liberal, you are and have been quite sensible in the society issues. I have almost always supported your views on education, taxation, public services, etc. Do you remember how the muslim guy in your area publicised himself trying to attract traditionalist immigrant votes? Tories (canadian) are simply using the same technique to attract voters who would have normally voted labour!

At 4:08 a.m., Blogger Niloofar said...

Most women were not allowed to leave the house without their husbands and were not allowed to talk to me, because I was a stranger (eventhough a female).

is this really your neighberhood there?? why?? even in Iran that dos not happen as you know.even in small cities.

and about muslim wemen/men sex-ed you are so right. we need more education here. I am working on that in our little worker not-educated comunity.

At 6:50 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is right. I know that neighbourhood. They are mostly from Pakistan. Quite different from other immigrant communities like Persians (because Persians are not religious).

At 9:17 a.m., Blogger Noe said...

i just thought to let you know i agree with your comment on HBM about britney.

At 9:24 a.m., Blogger The City Gal said...

Thanks Neo.

Poor Britney has been judged too harshly. Anyone who loses a career, a marriage, gains weight and the custody of two small kids goes crazy! She has lost her identity, her future, her dreams and mostly her dignity!

At this point, I am tempted to blame it all on her mother! Did anyone look out for this kid when she decided to have kids this early? (which she is still a kid herself?)

At 10:10 a.m., Blogger Jackal said...

One-Point Dares
1. Ignore the first five people who say 'good morning' to you.
2. To signal the end of a conversation, clamp your hands over your ears and grimace.
3. Leave your fly open for one hour. If anyone points it out, say,"Sorry, I really prefer it this way".
4. Walk sideways to the photocopier.
5. While going in an elevator, gasp dramatically each time the doors open.
6. When in elevator with one other person, tap them on the shoulder and pretend it wasn't you.
7. Finish all your sentences with "In accordance with the prophecy..."
8. Don't use any punctuation.
9. Interrupt your conversation with someone by giving a huge dejected sigh.
10. Use your highlighter pen on the computer screen.
Three-Point Dares
1. Say to your boss, "I like your style", wink, and shoot him with double-barrelled fingers.
2. Kneel in front of the water cooler and drink directly from the nozzle.
3. Shout random numbers while someone is counting.
4. Every time you get an email, shout ''email''.
5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has got over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.
6. Keep hole punching your finger. Each time you do, shout, "dagnamit,it's happened again!". Then do it again.
7. Introduce yourself to a new colleague as "the office bicycle". Then wink and pout.
8. Call IT. helpdesk and tell them that you can't seem to access any pornography web sites.
Five-Point Dares
1. At the end of a meeting, suggest that, for once, it would be nice to conclude with the singing of the national anthem (extra points if you actually launch into it yourself).
2. Walk into a very busy person's office and while they watch you with growing irritation, turn the light switch on/off 10 times.
3. For an hour, refer to everyone you speak to as "Dave".
4. Announce to everyone in a meeting that you "really have to go do a number two".
5. When you've picked up a call, before speaking finish off some fake conversation with the words, ''she can abort it for all I care''.
6. After every sentence, say 'Mon' in a really bad Jamaican accent. As in: "The report's on your desk, Mon." Keep this up for one hour.
7. In a meeting or crowded situation, slap your forehead repeatedly and mutter, "Shut up, damn it, all of you just shut up!"
8. At lunchtime, get down on your knees and announce, "As God is my witness, I'll never go hungry again!"
9. Repeat the following conversation 10 times to the same person: "Do you hear that?" "What?" "Never mind, it's gone now."
10. Present meeting attendees with a cup of coffee and biscuit; smash each biscuit with your fist.
11. During the course of a meeting, slowly edge your chair towards the door.
12. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
13. Ask people what sex they are. Laugh hysterically after they answer.
14. Sign or p.p. all letters with your initials and a swastika.
15. Dry hump the photocopier. When someone spots you, stop and cough embarrassingly, then lean in to the machine and whisper loudly, "I'll see you tonight".

At 10:27 a.m., Blogger The City Gal said...

Did you try those? I mean did you leave your fly open for one hour? (to let some air in and out?)

:D ha ha ha

At 11:26 a.m., Blogger Jackal said...

Nah, our office is very small, won't be as much fun [;)]

At 11:27 a.m., Blogger Jackal said...

when i recieved the joke (around 3pm), i was a bit tipsy and started loughing really loud [:D]


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