Free Our Schools

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Ifti
Free Our Schools

 

Free Our Schools

Almost all children now believe they go to school to pass exams. The idea that they may be there for an education is irrelevant. State schools have become exam factories, interested only in A to C Grades. They do not educate children.  Exam results do not reflect a candidate's innate ability. Employers have moaned for years that too many employees cannot read or write properly. According to a survey, school-leavers and even graduates lack basic literacy and numeracy skills. More and more companies are having to provide remedial training to new staff, who can't write clear instructions, do simple maths, or solve problems. Both graduates and school-leavers were also criticised for their sloppy time-keeping, ignorance of basic customer service and lack of self-discipline.                    

 

Bilingual Muslims children have a right, as much as any other faith group, to be taught their culture, languages and faith alongside a mainstream curriculum. More faith schools will be opened under sweeping reforms of the education system in England. There is a dire need for the growth of state funded Muslim schools to meet the growing needs and demands of the Muslim parents and children.  Now the time has come that parents and community should take over the running of their local schools. Parent-run schools will give the diversity, the choice and the competition that the wealthy have in the private sector. Parents can perform a better job than the Local Authority because parents have a genuine vested interest. The Local Authority simply cannot be trusted.

 

The British Government is planning to make it easier to schools to "opt out" from the Local Authorities. Muslim children in state schools feel isolated and confused about who they are. This can cause dissatisfaction and lead them into criminality, and the lack of a true understanding of Islam can ultimately make them more susceptible to the teachings of fundamentalists like Christians during the middle ages and Jews in recent times in Palestine. Fundamentalism is nothing to do with Islam and Muslim; you are either a Muslim or a non-Muslim.

 

 There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam's teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries.  Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.

 

None of the British Muslims convicted following the riots in Bradford and Oldham in 2001 or any of those linked to the London bombings had been to Islamic schools. An American Think Tank studied the educational back ground of 300 Jihadists; none of them were educated in Pakistani Madrasas. They were all Western educated by non-Muslim teachers. Bilingual Muslim children need bilingual Muslim teachers as role models.  A Cambridge University study found that single-sex classes could make a big difference for boys. They perform better in single-sex classes. The research is promising because male students in the study saw noticeable gains in the grades. The study confirms the Islamic notion that academic achievement is better in single-sex classes.

Iftikhar Ahmad

http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

observer521

Well, seems like in Toronto they got this memo. This is exactly what is happening in areas in the Toronto region, where parents are moving to take control of the local schools, and turn a public school, eventually, into something along the lines of a religious school of their own religious persuasion.

This is very bad for Canada, and its interesting how many on the left are finding this issue very difficult. This is goign to lead to the balkanization of society, with each group demonizing the other, as they have never interacted with eachother growing up.

Secular orgs and secular people are opposed to bringing these religions into the public schools.

Many difficult aspects to this arise. For example, for students, the peer-pressure of attending these prayers would be very high. As well, the permission slips required by parents, also exerts a very high social pressure to attend, which has been ruled against in the courts.

This has been dressed up in various ways, but its very obvious that in fact there are religious groups who are trying to get their religion into the public schools, to reach children with their religious beliefs.

If this is allowed to happen in public schools, there will be mass Christian prayers at other schools, even Scientology will be given a room for their "run-downs" and will also be allowed to bring a Scientologist into the school. There is no end to it.

Of course, a simple solution would be to release the school at 3:15 or so on Friday, and leave religion a private matter.

But that is not the objective. The objective is to bring religion back into public schools, using the backdoor. And the last thing we need, is for religous believers of all opposing stripes, to start bringing their belief systems into schools, to turn Canada into a religious battleground like most of the rest of the world.

Very strange that so many on the "left" refuse to see this. Don't think they would be saying the same thing if Harper was bringing Evangelical Christianity back into public schools with a weekly prayer rally for Jesus.

Judges have already ruled that "voluntary" prayers of this type exert peer pressure. So it seems this needs to be taken to the courts, and hopefully this backdoor religion into public schools will be closed immediately.

And please refrain from painting those who are against this as being some fringe group. This is a hot-button issue, that lost John Tory an election.

We'll see how those on the "left" will react when the Harper backed Evangelicals seize on this, and religious anti-abortionists get a plan together, and begin massive campaigns to get Jesus back into public schools this fall. After all, if the Muslim students are allowed about an hour after lunch in the Cafeteria, then so is everyone else. And everyone else will be allowed to bring their own preachers into the school as well. Won't be long until Pro-Life preachers are hitting the public school lunch hour circuit.

milo204

No offense to anyone, but i think religious schools are one of the worst kinds of propaganda humans invented.  it's basically brainwashing kids and almost imposing ignorance on them before they're smart enough to ask questions.

it's one thing to teach about religion from a neutral perspective, it's another thing completely to teach it from a "we're the one that's right, all the others are wrong" perspective that i think really reinforces some terrible ideas of supremacy on kids.

that being said, i can totally see how some marginalized groups don't want their kids being fed the bullshit the mainstream education system teaches them.  the jingoistic history, the views of other cultures (when i was attending french immersion in the 90's, they still used the term "sauvages" in reference to first nations), etc, etc...

 

voice of the damned

that being said, i can totally see how some marginalized groups don't want their kids being fed the bullshit the mainstream education system teaches them.  the jingoistic history, the views of other cultures (when i was attending french immersion in the 90's, they still used the term "sauvages" in reference to first nations), etc, etc...

Well, according to the website in the OP, in the UK the Church Of England is a big supporter of a proposed multifaith school which will include Muslims and Hindus. And the website seems quite happy to have their support. But the C Of E would seem to be an odd choice of allies, if the Muslims etc were really concerned about the "jingoistic history" you reference in your post.

remind remind's picture

Really we should worry how 'the boys' are doing exclusively and what would benefit them?

No religous schools in the public system. Full stop.

 

Moreover the title of this thread  is wrong.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Agreed, religion and government funded schools should be kept separate just like government and religion should be kept separate. The only place for religion is schools is for it to be taught like government - this is what this government looks like, or this countries or this countries, this is what this religion looks like, or this one or this one.

Caissa

By what stretching of the definition is what is being advocated in the opening post remotely "progressive".

remind remind's picture

It is not Caissa. Not 1 little bit. In fact it is pretty damn offensive. On many levels.

Ghislaine

Does anyone get the feeling that the opening poster is a troll?

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

No, really?!  Wink

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Well if he really is Iftikhar Ahmad then he's a very famous Pakistani journalist with his own show. But I don't know if that is a made-up name.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

I've started quite a few threads lately on education issues and will provide some links below. The conservative-inspired "reform" efforts in schools, post-secondary institutions, etc., goes across the board here in North American and in Europe. I'm not surprised by the role of churches in trying to insinuate themselves into a more significant part for themselves by allying with this neo-liberal and dangerous thrust by the political right.

People see all kinds of social and political problems and turn the education system into some sort of political football to resolve social issues. This is wrong. Schools cannot remedy problems like, eg, mass unemployment because our economic system has what's called "a reserve army of labour" (masses of unemployed people) that is inherent. Other social problems could also be added here.

Anyway, I will add the links for those interested. If Iftikhar Ahmad really is who he says he is, then he's a very bright journalist in a situation where the government has killed its opponents, the military has a huge role in society, the US carries out drone attacks on civilians, and so on. Maybe he's got more than educational "proposals" to discuss. Let's see.

Education Under Attack

remind remind's picture

Thought so too ghislaine and timebandit, that it was someone actually trying to spread anti-Muslim sentiment. Then I googled the name and read the website linked above. Seems on the surface of it, that it is a real person.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I don't think Ifti will be back, but he is who he says he is.

observer521

He or his people, were obviously cross-posting that information around, due to the activity in Toronto around religious prayers in public schools on Friday. Its in the news right now, and that Toronto news is being publicized in India and England.

My view is they posted that on Rabble, as there are many on the "left" who in fact are supporting those types of activities under "religious accomodation" in Toronto under the TDSB.

The TDSB and all politicians are supporting it, as they are afraid of losing votes with one misplaced word.

In Ontario, they tried to bring Sharia Law in 5 years ago, that failed.

Then they tried religious school vouchers, which failed for now.

This is Phase III. Get prayers in the school-day through a loophole, and then start adjusting the schools curriculum over time. the religious folks do not want a comparitive religious class, they want the school to enforce prayer times.

If this is not stopped, then for sure the Christian Evangelicals will get their prayer rallies in schools very soon too.

observer521

A blog post here on Rabble, came out in favour of the prayers in the school. No word about what will happen when every other religion gets the same in school. Its an issue that is not left/right.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/jesse/2011/07/myths-and-facts-about-musl...

remind remind's picture

You know, I was going to rebutt some of the crap, strawmen and other useless juxtapositions in that linked blog, but I simply cannot be fucking bothered. I waste too much of my time combatting sexist crap in my real life, I need not do it in a so called progressive space that makes it clearer all the time they are not a feminist space. Repeated x2 as this thread is equal in it sexist parameters.

Ghislaine

I cannot believe that blog post - it is absolutely ridiculous, offensive and full of fallacies. Many of the things he claims as "facts", are opinion.

13 and 14 year old girls in Toronto are being sent by their parents to be segregated in a public school during prayer times.

And they are expected to remove themselves completely on a monthly basis and be taught it is due to their supposed uncleanliness.

The Charter guarantees the right to teach and enforce to children this RIDICULOUS MISOGYNISTIC SEXISM in a private religious building or in one's own home. Not in a public school!

NDPP

of course it was protested:

Mosqueteria Protest

http://youtu.be/d8JqE-VfPz8

What the Media Missed in School Prayer Debate

http://www.muslimlink.ca/in-focus/in-focus/what-the-media-missed-in-scho...

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Again, good to see you back NDPP. Feels like there's only christian or christian/educated folks around here. or atheists.(and they were christian edumacated too)

we're all people and we all have to live together. 10 billion of us soon.

Ghislaine

RevolutionPlease wrote:
Again, good to see you back NDPP. Feels like there's only christian or christian/educated folks around here. or atheists.(and they were christian edumacated too) we're all people and we all have to live together. 10 billion of us soon.

Yes, which is why public schools should be completely religion free...of all religions! And even if prayer was allowed, shouldn't the gender equity policy at least be enforced??

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

I'd hardly call allowing religion of any kind into public schools "freeing" them. I wish them nothing but failure on this endevor.

remind remind's picture

That is why I said the thread title was wrong.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Ifti has pointed to one thing that is important: the fetish for testing ("test and punish" it is called sometimes) that is also happening in Europe as well as in the USA. As a result of this fetish, which reflects a general neo-liberal attack on education, the quality of public schooling is declining badly. This is probably happening in the UK as well although I don't have specific data.

I don't share the idea of promoting private or religious schools as a "remedy' to this problem but it's probably interesting to hear about public schooling in the UK. The attack on education is global: it is a response to a real crisis under capitalism; there are, for example, strong efforts to create educational "markets" that firms from different countries compete for (hence greater inter-regional rivalries); there is an associated ideology with this attack, deliberately downgrading and reducing the quality of education for many students; in the USA we see privatization, the creation of "charter" and other sorts of schools that drain the public purse while being under private control; this attack overlaps with conservative and fundamentalist views on education which are generally hostile to scientific and critical thought;  finally, stopping or slowing this attack can go a long way towards putting the brakes on an economic system that is at a stage where the costs of the economic and financial crisis is being foisted onto working people; education, is, after all, one of the best areas of social life to demonstrate what a lousy system capitalism is and how we should build an alternative system of society.

remind remind's picture

Timebandit from the now closed Mallick thread.

Quote:
So the main gist of the argument is this:  Since there are still vestiges of Christianity in schools and women are oppressed anyway, Muslim prayer in school and the segregation of girls should be allowed.  Have I got that right?

My suggestion would be to take the vestiges of Christianity out - which has been happening over the few decades since I've been out of public school.  There is no longer the prayer in the morning, most districts have a spring break unconnected to where Easter falls, etc. 

I think revamping the calendar would be more problematic than it's worth.

Allowing added oppression of girls (whether it's by a minority group or not) until non-oppression of women is universal is a bass-ackward approach.  So is allowing a religion fuller practice within the public school system until every trace of all religions is eradicated is.

As Summer pointed out, there is a hierarchy of rights in play.  Women should not be oppressed or discriminated against in public institutions, whether one's religion agrees with that or not.  We are equal under the law.  Not having a prayer room in a public school in no way interferes with the free practice of one's religion.  This whole issue in connection with public schools is highly inappropriate.

I had responded:

Yep, you are correct Timebandit, we women are being told that since there is still remnants of Christianity floating around our secular systems, that we are racists if we do not want sexist prayer and actions in our public schools to equal things out.

Apparently some still believe women have to step to the back and wait until all things are fixed before we can have equality rights.

Was being sarcastic about changing the calendar. This was because it was/is so incredible to me that some people are carrying on about the ancient alleged to be judeo-christian calendar, that for the most part is accepted by the world and the accompanying social contracts, as being the reason why women should just shut up about having sexist religions of any type in our public schools.

They basically infer that if we don't, we are supposed to believe we are non-feminist racists for not stepping to the back of the equality queue for the good of achieving an equal society.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Quote:
So the main gist of the argument is this:  Since there are still vestiges of Christianity in schools and women are oppressed anyway, Muslim prayer in school and the segregation of girls should be allowed.  Have I got that right?

Quote:
we women are being told that since there is still remnants of Christianity floating around our secular systems, that we are racists if we do not want sexist prayer and actions in our public schools to equal things out.

Of course not. There are two questions at play, the first one related to Christianity only insofar as the West is a fundamentally Christian culture: Mallick is applying Western standards and beliefs onto a non-Western practice. Mallick, and others, see difference and try to erase it, marking it as "sexist" and "backwards" rather than "different." This is the same mentality which justifies our wars in the Middle East, protecting the women there by removing their agency and bombing the shit out of them. Rather than allow these practices to find an expression in Canadian culture autonomously and organically, Mallick prefers to raise ire and outrage (with the JDL and CMC) and put these Muslim women in their place.

The second, related to the first, is a question of choice. Why is this the bugbear which finds such great traction in public discourse? Why not mini-skirts? Make-up? High heels (a friend of mine calls high heels the only evidence of patriarchy one needs)? Would taking these young girls out of their prayer space bring more public good than creating a board-wide program explaining the way gendered clothing oppresses us? I doubt it, personally--but the question never comes up.

Mallick, and others, would like to flatten the question to "no religion in public schools." A fine platform, but one that is not really providing the motivation for this issue. It's a confederate, a red herring. Stirring up outrage over Muslim practices has very little to do with public education--if you want to save public education, do that. Don't attack marginalized communities already alienated by a culture which mercilessly and incessantly antagonizes them. Set up pan-community and religion grassroots organizations set on taking religion out of public schools. Don't throw in with racist, fascist groups like the JDL and Canadian Hindu Advocacy railing against the "Muslimification" of our public schools.

 

6079_Smith_W

The issue is also charged because it does involve school, and how children should be taught. 

There are enough cases where this argument has had traction, even in cases where it is a red herring (excuse the mixed metaphor).

BIll Whatcott's 2005 Saskatchewan  Human Rights Tribunal conviction for distributing material hateful to gays was overturned last year by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal for (amont other things)  this reason:

"(Whatcott's flyers) address the manner in which children in the public school system are exposed to messages about different forms of sexuality and sexual identity. This is beyond question an important matter of public policy and it is inherently controversial. It must always be open to public debate. That debate will sometimes be polemical and impolite. "

So apparently hate speech is okay if it is wrapped in the cloak of protecting children. 

The Appeals Court decision will be going to the Supreme Court of Canada sometime this fall.

 

remind remind's picture

Wow, 2 men attacking feminists in the feminist forum for the audacity to state we want religion, of any type, kept out of public schools.

We are being compared to Bill Whatcott, and the JDL, and told we are spreading hate, because we understand what religion has done to women and society, and what it will continue to do if allowed back into the public arena.

unfucking believable.

6079_Smith_W

In the first place, this ain't the feminist forum, not that that matters.

In the second place, if you think I am opposing or attacking you then  you aren't reading or understanding my words correctly.

I am saying that this issue is all the more fucked up because it involves people thinking that they know what is best for children, and other people giving them a pass on discriminatory behaviour because of  it.

As it happens, I agree with you that religion has no place whatsoever in schools

And if I may be allowed a blasphemous moment, Jesus Fucking H Christ I was talking about a fundamentalist homophobe, for fuck sakes.

 

remind remind's picture

Oops, it was the Mallick thread that was in the Feminist forum, sorry, but not that it matters, as rabble is supposed to be from a feminist perspective anyway, with no personal attacks allowed.

Perhaps you are NOT wording your thoughts correctly, as opposed to accusing me of lack of comprehension?

As it still seems to me that you are stating that Ghislaine, Summer, Timebandit and I are discriminating against Muslims because we think we know what is best for children. Just as the 'fundamentalist homophobe' feels he does. The compare of our stance on this to his, felt particularily loathsome.

Just as catchfire's to the JDL etc did.

6079_Smith_W

remind wrote:

Oops, it was the Mallick thread that was in the Feminist forum, sorry, but not that it matters, as rabble is supposed to be from a feminist perspective anyway, with no personal attacks allowed.

Perhaps you are NOT wording your thoughts correctly, as opposed to accusing me of lack of comprehension?

As it still seems to me that you are stating that Ghislaine, Summer, Timebandit and I are discriminating against Muslims because we think we know what is best for children. Just as the 'fundamentalist homophobe' feels he does. The compare of our stance on this to his, felt particularily loathsome.

Just as catchfire's to the JDL etc did.

 

Did I accuse you or other people of anything at all? No I did not, and nor do I think it.

And if you had taken a cue from my example (or any past posts I have made on the question of mixing religion and secular institutions) then you would probalby understand  what I actually think about this issue.

After all, do any of us not think we care for children? My point was that that should not be a foil for discriminatory talk and behaviour. Unless you think I am going after you for that then I am probably talking about someone else, no?

Now if you don't mind, back off.

 

remind remind's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:
remind wrote:
Oops, it was the Mallick thread that was in the Feminist forum, sorry, but not that it matters, as rabble is supposed to be from a feminist perspective anyway, with no personal attacks allowed.

Perhaps you are NOT wording your thoughts correctly, as opposed to accusing me of lack of comprehension?

As it still seems to me that you are stating that Ghislaine, Summer, Timebandit and I are discriminating against Muslims because we think we know what is best for children. Just as the 'fundamentalist homophobe' feels he does. The compare of our stance on this to his, felt particularily loathsome.

Just as catchfire's to the JDL etc did.

 

Did I accuse you or other people of anything at all? No I did not, and nor do I think it.

And if you had taken a cue from my example (or any past posts I have made on the question of mixing religion and secular institutions) then you would probalby understand  what I actually think about this issue.

After all, do any of us not think we care for children? My point was that that should not be a foil for discriminatory talk and behaviour. Unless you think I am going after you for that then I am probably talking about someone else, no?

yep.....

Quote:
Now if you don't mind, back off. 

Really, wonderful tone???? Guess I am just an uppity women who needs put in her place, eh...as I have not ever observed you speaking that way to a man.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

remind, no one was attacking you. Please learn to deal with disagreement without immediately resorting to personal attacks.

remind remind's picture

What??? You have got to be frigging kidding, I am being accused of personal attacks after you labled us racists and equivalent to the JDL et al.

Bye

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I can't find where I called you or anyone, even Mallick, racist or the equivalent of the JDL, remind. I hope you reconsider your exit.

pookie

Catchfire wrote:

 

Mallick, and others, would like to flatten the question to "no religion in public schools." A fine platform, but one that is not really providing the motivation for this issue. It's a confederate, a red herring. Stirring up outrage over Muslim practices has very little to do with public education--if you want to save public education, do that. Don't attack marginalized communities already alienated by a culture which mercilessly and incessantly antagonizes them. Set up pan-community and religion grassroots organizations set on taking religion out of public schools. Don't throw in with racist, fascist groups like the JDL and Canadian Hindu Advocacy railing against the "Muslimification" of our public schools.

 

You may not have intended it Catchfire, but this paragraph - and the bolded sentence in particalar - does imply that ANY criticism of this school means throwing in with some really despicable groups.

I reject that, and find it more than a bit offensive.  I am totally opposed to what this school has done, for reasons I articulated in the earlier thread.  Are you saying that there is NO progressive space to articulate that discomfort?

remind remind's picture

Catchfire wrote:
Quote:
So the main gist of the argument is this:  Since there are still vestiges of Christianity in schools and women are oppressed anyway, Muslim prayer in school and the segregation of girls should be allowed.  Have I got that right?

Quote:
we women are being told that since there is still remnants of Christianity floating around our secular systems, that we are racists if we do not want sexist prayer and actions in our public schools to equal things out.

Of course not. There are two questions at play, the first one related to Christianity only insofar as the West is a fundamentally Christian culture: Mallick is applying Western standards and beliefs onto a non-Western practice. Mallick, and others, see difference and try to erase it, marking it as "sexist" and "backwards" rather than "different." This is the same mentality which justifies our wars in the Middle East

No, it is sexist, and as a woman, I do know the difference. Religion of any type has done NO favours for any women of the world, either historically or currently. It has no place in our public schools sytems. The astonishing amount of  hubris contained in assertations such as yours above is distinctly unpleasant and offensive. I do not justify any wars with my "mentality", nor do I want to rescue Muslim women.

Quote:
protecting the women there by removing their agency and bombing the shit out of them. Rather than allow these practices to find an expression in Canadian culture autonomously and organically, Mallick prefers to raise ire and outrage (with the JDL and CMC) and put these Muslim women in their place.

The second, related to the first, is a question of choice. Why is this the bugbear which finds such great traction in public discourse?

there is no organic autonomy to have religion in public schools, we are trying to eradicate it, and people like you want that hard fought struggle to be destroyed, apparently.  As I said women's rights takes a back seat to everything in the alleged effort to gain equality for all. How about you realize equality will never be gained for all if women have no equality. And it has not a thing to do with rescuing other women somewhere else. Or even wanting too. Their struggle is their struggle  just as Canadian women's struggle is our own.

And feminists, at least most, know/understand what religion has done to women for millenium, so how about not trashing us because we see how wrong re-introducing religion into public schools is?

Quote:
Why not mini-skirts? Make-up? High heels (a friend of mine calls high heels the only evidence of patriarchy one needs)?

You are acting like this is not being addressed by feminists, try watching the documentary "killing us softly" or "Its not a love story" or go out to any VAW or women's centre before you start spouting nothings in order to bolster a point that cannot be bolstered?

Quote:
Mallick, and others, would like to flatten the question to "no religion in public schools."

Nonsense, religion does not belong in public schools, there is no trying to flatten it into a 1 dimensional anything. That reason is sufficient unto itself.

Quote:
Stirring up outrage over Muslim practices has very little to do with public education--if you want to save public education, do that.

Perhaps to you, I on the other hand as a mature woman, understand completely what religion of any type, has done to society and women.

Quote:
Don't attack marginalized communities already alienated by a culture which mercilessly and incessantly antagonizes them.

Attacking them?  You consider our positions that want religions completely out of public schools as attacking marginalized communities? Again nonsense.

How about I say; religion is attacking a marginalized gender, that is fully half of the population of the world? Which means to me, some men just want to put women back where we were, and are still struggling away from.

Quote:
Set up pan-community and religion grassroots organizations set on taking religion out of public schools.

Are you serious? We have been taking religion out of public schools for a very long while now, and you and others apparently would like to see us stop and go backwards.

Quote:
Don't throw in with racist, fascist groups like the JDL and Canadian Hindu Advocacy railing against the "Muslimification" of our public schools.

This is so offensive that I cannot believe you actually wrote it, or even thought you had a right too.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

pookie wrote:
Are you saying that there is NO progressive space to articulate that discomfort?

Of course not. I think that's jumping to extremes. I don't recall objecting to anything you said in the other thread. I was responding to the hyperbole which claimed that since Christianity still abounds in schools, criticism of Islam in schools is not allowed. That was a caricature, and I clarified. This is a complex issue, as you know, so any time one jumps to extremes, it makes things very difficult.

There is a difference between questioning, say, why women must be separated in a space provided by a public school and demanding, outraged à la Mallick, that this activity ceases immediately. In the above paragraph you quoted, I was talking about the choice between ostensible critiques of religion in schools, some of which gain public traction more than others. Some babblers were asserting that this choice is benign, and it was pointed out earlier that the groups leading the charge were the JDL, The CMC and the CHA. I don't consider them allies. And I would reconisider any battle that had me on the same side as them. In no way did I make any equivalency between babblers and these hateful groups.

 

Unionist

Bravo, remind (and many others), for standing up against any trace of religious practice or instruction in our public schools. I hope remind's "Bye" was just temporary, or relating to this thread. I fully support and applaud remind's efforts here.

Any attempt by the state, or churches of whatever stripe, or parents for that matter, to use public schools to indoctrinate children and imprison their minds must be resisted. Cries of "Islamophobia" are very misplaced here, as they were when people rose up against the attempt to recognize Sharia courts in some civil matters in Ontario.

Likewise, comparisons to Canadian wars abroad, using the mistreatment of women as a pretext, are misplaced. We have no right to interfere in how other societies organize themselves. When it comes to our society, however, we had better interfere, fast and furious, against any attempt to drag our public institutions, and our children, into sectarian or obscurantist or medieval dead ends - and indeed against any attempt to degrade and subordinate women.

Free our schools! Religion out!

pookie

Catchfire:  I guess I'm not just "questioning the practice".  I'm calling it unconstitutional.  And, yeah, I kind of DO want it to cease, as soon as possible.

Todrick of Chat...

 

Can we remove political propaganda from the schools while we are at it?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yes, I agree. By all means, no religion in public schools. I don't see that as the issue here. Is attacking this local practice the best way to achieve that goal? Does it tick the boxes of progressive social change, solidarity and mass action? Or is it, rather, unnecessarily othering, divisive and parochial?

Unionist wrote:
Likewise, comparisons to Canadian wars abroad, using the mistreatment of women as a pretext, are misplaced. We have no right to interfere in how other societies organize themselves. When it comes to our society, however, we had better interfere, fast and furious, against any attempt to drag our public institutions, and our children, into sectarian or obscurantist or medieval dead ends - and indeed against any attempt to degrade and subordinate women.

This largely misses the point. This has nothing to do with the actual ethical reasons we should or shouldn't be in Afghanistan; rather, how the government justifies and legitimates that war. One of the strategies it uses is the red herring of human rights, usually women's rights (although now LGBT rights have entered the equation). The only way Unionist's argument makes sense is if we actually believe that our governments are interested in bestowing these rights on Afghans. As we know, they are not. So: if we sell the idea that we must save these "shy girls" from Islam, we are selling the same poisonous package our governments are trying to sell us to uphold their foreign wars.

 

 

Unionist

More fun and entertainment from the opening poster:

Quote:
Islam condemnation of permissive society is actually quite attractive to many who are concerned by the frightening growth of sexually transmitted diseases and break down of stable family structures. Muslim pupils need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers to develop Islamic Identity. The new UK independent Party Euro MP said that business should not employ women of child –bearing age. We talk about the promiscuous society that relegates sex to a self-gratifying experience and refuses to acknowledge that self-control and having only one sexual partner for life might halt STD. In Afghanistan 99.9% of teenagers are virgin. The reason is that all teenager girls leave homes wearing Afghani Burkhas. There is no mix gathering. They attend single sex schools. They marry as early as possible. If the teenager girls start wearing Afghani Burkhas or Jilbab, I am sure that they are not going to lose their virginity before marriage. The other alternative is the wearing of Jilbab. The success of chastity crusade will depend on the number of teenagers leaving homes for schools with Jilbab or Afghani Burkhas.

Iftikhar Ahmad
Please let us know if you want to be removed.

I want to be removed!!!

[url=http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk/DiscView.asp?mid=354&forum_id=1...

Freedom 55

 

Catchfire wrote:

Is attacking this local practice the best way to achieve that goal? Does it tick the boxes of progressive social change, solidarity and mass action? Or is it, rather, unnecessarily othering, divisive and parochial?

 

 

In order; no, no, and yes.

janfromthebruce

In rural areas, school boards get requests from quasi fundementalist religous organizations/church groups to provide religion groups to kids during their nutrition breaks (many Boards have gone for 3 longer breaks rather than a lunch hour and 2 recesses). They really don't want after school because one would have to arrange transportation for the kids because most are bussed.

So far the answer is no, and like any group wanting to use school facilities they would have to rent space and follow the rental policy. We also could not be involved in getting parent/guardian permissions because as you suggested this is a form of pressure.

Anyway, as an elected trustee I am unsupported of religion instruction in schools whether it is provided and sanctioned by the Board or provided by a religious group during the normal school day.

 

Caissa

catchfire wrote:
There is a difference between questioning, say, why women must be separated in a space provided by a public school and demanding, outraged à la Mallick, that this activity ceases immediately.

 

I want to make my position clear. Women should not be separated for worship in a space provided by a public school and the practice should end immediately. It is sexist and indeffensible.

Ghislaine

Catchfire wrote:

Yes, I agree. By all means, no religion in public schools. I don't see that as the issue here. Is attacking this local practice the best way to achieve that goal? Does it tick the boxes of progressive social change, solidarity and mass action? Or is it, rather, unnecessarily othering, divisive and parochial?

That IS the issue here, as well as the sexism and misogyny inherent in religion. What is unnecessarily othering and divisive is gender segregation and shaming of menstruating girls in a public school. Getting religious prayer  sessions out of public schools DOES tick the boxes of progressive social change (and it has for decades!) 

Catchfire wrote:
 So: if we sell the idea that we must save these "shy girls" from Islam, we are selling the same poisonous package our governments are trying to sell us to uphold their foreign wars.

Total bunk. No one here is trying to save these girls from Islam, we are trying to save them from religion in public schools. No one here wants to spout another religion or atheist beliefs to them.  We simply want their rights under the Education Act restored. If their parents wish to give them permission slips to leave school once a week to attend prayers, that is the parents' choice. If their parents wish to tell them and send them to Imams who tell them that menstruating girls are unclean and can't pray, it is their choice to teach misogynistic crap. But, no public school should be any part of this. School is where they should be exposed to all ideas, and most important scientific ideas. Perhaps these girls may learn that there is nothing wrong with menstruation and perhaps question why girls aren't allowed to enter at the front or pray at the front. Or maybe they won't. They shouldn't be told to...they should be at least exposed to the ideals of gender equity and secularism at their public school. It is their Charter right to be raised as their parents see fit (barring neglect/abuse) and to practice their religion freely in non-public institutions. 

If the kids aren't returning after prayers, that is a discipline issue. And, yes I and many others here are completely against any other religions in schools (see previous threads on the unique Ontario situation that remains), I never wear high heels and continue to be against the wars in Afghanistan and Libya. 

pookie

What Ghislaine said.  I am getting tired of defending against the idea that objections to this use of a public school is grounded in condescending concern in saving "young girls from Islam".  The gender segregation is very troubling, but the issue would be problematic even if this program were limited to young men.

I said this in the first thread: in a public school governed by the Charter, our focus and concern has to be on the kids who MIGHT FEEL COERCED to participate in a religious activity, not those who WANT TO.

6079_Smith_W

I think SOME religious people want to make it as if they are being attacked, so it can be built up as an issue of racism and rights. 

And perhaps some people who oppose the practice (and some who may actualy be racist and anti-religion)  might fall for that.

In fact, the issue has nothing to do with religion or culture at all. it has to do with keeping our schools fair and equal by keeping them secular, as much as possible.

The marriage commissioner here in Saskatchewan who wanted to rewrite the law so he could decide who to marry and who not to thought it was about religion, when in fact it was about him doing his job.

Similarly, falling into the trap of making this issue about culture, even by pointing at the arguments of others, is to distract from the issue.

There is no need for condemnation or ridicule, which is just a distraction to another issue.. Want to do religion? Fine. Do it in a space where religion belongs.

And by the way, there was a story within the last few months that lots of schools in Manitoba still do not follow the rules and have morning prayer and other religious observances. THey did that when I was a kid, but I just assumed those days were long gone.

 

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

When I grew up in Ontario in the 50's and 60's and was attending Catholic schools we always referred to the public schools as the Protestant schools.  

We have come along way since then in removing religion from the schools.  I firmly believe that religion has no place in schools except as an academic study.  Comparative religion courses have a place but the religions themselves should not be in our schools.  Prayer sessions by any religion have no place in a public school full stop. I don't care whether the prayer sessions are Xian or Moslem or any other faith group.  If you want your children indoctrinated into the religion of your choice do it on your own time and dime.

This story to me is about inappropriate accommodation.  Teens question things like religion as they learn about various world views and it those kids that need a safe space away from the pressures of their parents to embrace the family religion.  The kids who want to be involved in their religion can be excused but I think having prayer sessions in a school is to apply unfair pressure on young people of all genders to conform to hateful misogynists world views.

6079_Smith_W

Northern Shoveler wrote:

When I grew up in Ontario in the 50's and 60's and was attending Catholic schools we always referred to the public schools as the Protestant schools.  

Seeing as pretty much everything was connected to the Church and the government, including their little social club the Orange Lodge, I can understand why the Catholics would see it that way - or at least want to portray it that way.

I went to school in a partially francophone division, where the predominant religion was Catholic. We had the Lord's Prayer, a cross on the wall and there was one nun that I knew of working in the school.

(edit)

Though I was at a lecture once where it was pointed out that at the time it happened Roe vs Wade was not seen as a victory of secularism over religion, but of protestantism over Catholicism. Times and perceptions change.

 

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