OP-EDs


Quebec’s values charter would institutionalize prejudice

BY SHIRIN EDARECHI, MONTREAL GAZETTE September 23, 2013 State neutrality is a classic concept embraced by secular and liberal states to address religious and cultural differences. The Parti Québécois government in Quebec isn’t unique in claiming to strive for neutrality, but it is doing so with a twist that adds a certain political charge to the debate. In its promotion of the idea of a neutral Quebec, the proposed Charter of Quebec Values is being portrayed as a knight in shining armour, saving and protecting Quebec’s values and heritage under threat by the ...

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Some hate appears to be acceptable

Ottawa makes no move to block Islamophobe speakers.  By: Ihsaan Gardee | Toronto Star, September 16, 2013 Good Jews lie to advance Judaism. It’s the law. Devout Jews should be prohibited from military service. Would Patton have recruited Nazis into his army? Jewish loyalty supersedes nationalism, and it is impossible to tell where any given Jew’s loyalties actually lie. These statements, read on their own, could easily be mistaken as having come from that oft-recycled anti-Semitic hoax, the Protocols of the Elders of ...

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The ‘other’ has no place in PQ’s charter of values

Only ‘pure laine’ Quebecers would seem to have a stake in Pauline Marois’ province.  By: Amira Elghawaby | Toronto Star, September 3, 2013 It wasn’t too long ago in Quebec’s storied history that a miffed separatist leader blamed “money and the ethnic vote” for stealing the dream of a separate nation-state. It seems that those “ethnics” haven’t stopped the sabotage and that the time has come to put them in their place. At least that’s the narrative Quebec Premier Pauline Marois is not-so-subtly portraying with her ...

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Standing up for religious freedom abroad but not at home

Ottawa's policy on prison chaplains discriminates against non-Christians. By: Amira Elghawaby | Toronto Star, March 31, 2013 When it comes to promoting religious freedom, the government could do with a little more fairness right here at home. Less than a month after the Conservative government officially established the Office for Religious Freedom, a multi-faith flock of Canadians is taking the government to court for violating the very freedoms the government pledges the new office will promote abroad. In a united front that ...

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Putting ‘radicalization’ in context

By Amira Elghawaby, Special to the National Post | January 8, 2013 In a January 3 news item, the National Post profiled a Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) report released under the Access to Information Act. The report concludes that Islamist extremists are radicalizing Canadians at “a large number of venues.” The heavily redacted document offers a few general examples of “non-traditional venues” where this radicalization allegedly is happening — including prisons, and within families. However, what we do not find is any evidence to justify ...

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