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Thursday, August 4, 2011

What The Blue F*ck Of The Weak

When folks send their kids to school, they figure that their sons and daughters should both be afforded the same opportunities, particularly in publicly-funded schools.

  Canada is among many nations that are looked to when it comes to issues such as gender equality and secularism. Indeed, many school districts are the envy of the advanced world when it comes to topics such as the sciences. Our spirit of inclusion has become a Canadian hallmark, with the nation attempting reconciliation with some of my ancestors whilst welcoming a new crowd with an embrace that few nations can. Indeed, Canada is becoming what all nations tried to be- opening to the new, respecting the old, and redefining a beautiful and wondrous culture distinct from that of any other. As a nation of natives and immigrants, Canada has attempted to do her best at providing the example for many, but there are always flaws.

   The photograph here is of the gymnasium of Valley Park Middle School in Toronto, Canada. It is a public educational facility with the majority of students aged 12 or 13.. They decided to utilize the gymnasium for Friday Islamic prayers, which is contrary to general policy but they figured would be a good idea since there were a fair percentage of Muslim kids. And it's really a 'no harm, no foul' kind of proposition.

  The issue here, as not only many pundits have pointed out, but even male Muslim leaders have, there is not only a distinct separation between these wee boys and girls, who must enter at separate entrances, but girls who are or may menstruate must also sit at the back. The girls who are 'stricken' are to remain silent, separated from boys and girls alike, not permitted to participate in any prayers or discussions. In accordance, most are attired in extreme modesty to signify that they are legally adult.

  I recall the horror of discovering my 'monthly affliction' in grade 9. I was mortified and had no idea what was up, but I thought I was dirty because a book told me so. I went to a public school and couldn't imagine the thought of being forced to be segregated from my peers because of the possibility of spiritual defilement. After all, it's not like my parents sent me to a Jewish or Muslim separate school. These kids are being shamed, and it isn't even needed, like the belted pads that they finally stopped making when I was 18 or so.

  The thing is, even the Muslim Canadian Congress thinks this is 100% bullshit.

  MCC founder and general philanthropic fellow Tarek Fatah has stated that not only are the variety of Friday prayers conducted at the school not mandated by Islam, but that "the Toronto District School Board is using taxpayer money to tell girls that they are second-class citizens". He is among the many that comprehend the ideals that Canada is a place that respects faith needs, but shall never impose them, let alone a divisive sect of said system.

  However, the Toronto District School Board is not listening to Torontonians, the MCC, the Muslim Women's Congress, or common sense in general in permitting one group to rule over the spiritual needs of people in a public school. According to the MCC, these prayers are not mandatory to begin with and even if kids wish to participate they should be gender integrated, as they are children in a free society.

  This is not Canadian Islam. Religion is a free exercise in the home and religious office, and if spoken about elsewhere, should be done in accordance with decency and equity for all. These are not only Canadian laws, but views endorsed by the vast majority of Muslims and others who call Canada home. Good men bring their daughters to Canada in order to give them lives free of oppression and full of opportunity.

  Let's get this disastrous sectarian bullshit out of North American public schools. Girls don't need to be shamed for being human beings. Let's fix this injustice before it spreads.


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