Canadian Values in Peel

Canadian Values in Peel

Islamic Prayers in Peel District Schools

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A community divided: The fight over Canadian values threatens to boil over in Peel District.
With Notations from Brad Salzberg
 
 
Some have threatened to take the school board to court. And notably, at this protest, as with others before it, the majority of the crowd is South Asian – members of a community that makes up half of Peel’s population.
 
Brad: Right, because the Hindu community understand what it’s like to have the Nation of Islam imposed upon their culture.
 
The region is home to the country’s fastest-growing Muslim population, according to the 2011 National Household Survey – 12 per cent of those who practice Islam in Canada live there. Now that minorities have reached a critical mass – 57 per cent of the population of Peel – they’re beginning to divide and engage in identity politics
 
Brad: Exactly. And this will occur within every riding where our so-called “minorities” become a demographic majority. In fact, under the Trudeau government, this is the long term plan.
 
The debate at the school board has awakened old tensions in the South Asian community. British India’s partition, in 1947, which created two countries, predominantly Hindu India and predominantly Muslim Pakistan, exacerbated tensions between the two religious groups.
 
Brad: The same will occur in time within Canada under Justin Trudeau and his sunny gang of globalists. Indeed, it appears it has already begun.
 
Amira Elghawaby, a spokeswoman for the National Council of Canadian Muslims, says it’s disheartening to watch sectarian strains play out. “Here in Canada, we hope people can put aside their prejudices and biases from these experiences to find common ground. It’s unfortunate that not everyone is able to do that,” she said. “Issues like this one can be manipulated in order to drive wedges between communities instead of bringing them together.”
 
Brad: Interesting, as this fundamentalist is one of those who has “not been able to do that.” In fact, Islam has yet to put aside anything other than a total adherence to its archaic religious ways. Naturally, it is always the “other” who must adapt. When they do not, they are branded “racists.”
 
At the heart of the dispute at the school board are two very different interpretations of the so-called “Canadian” value of tolerance. The board and the province’s Education Minister say that allowing students to pray at school aligns with the province’s human-rights code and the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 
 
Brad: But of course no one ever mentions the fact that much of the content of Islamic prayers and sermons actually breach our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
 

Vibha Malhotra, another member of CPC and the grandmother of Peel students, quickly arrives at Mr. Menezes’s side to bolster his point: “The fabric of Canada is changing,” she said.

Though she immigrated to Canada 43 years ago from India, she bristles at being identified as Indian and believes others should have the same mentality. “You came to Canada; assimilate here,” she says, her voice growing raw.

Brad: Well, she can get away with it…as she is not an Anglo-Canadian. Good for her.

If the demographic shifts in Peel spread to other parts of the country, he predicts similar conflicts will follow.

Brad: It’s not “if”…it is “when.”

While the movement in Canada isn’t as mature as it is in the United States or Britain, Hindu nationalists here may be adopting “an anti-Islam and selective anti-immigrant posture … as a way of gaining greater strength,” says Narendra Subramanian (no relation to Ram Subrahmanian), a political science professor at McGill University who studies nationalism and South Asian politics.

Brad: One might consider this preferable to playing the victim and racism cards as a way of  gaining strength.
 
“When [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau comes up and says Canada does not have a core identity, it causes me great pain,” he says. He provides a list of what he thinks Canadian identity is: “freedom,” “the Great North,” “the Canadian national anthem,” “the national flag.
 
Brad: Right. This fellow gets it. Dedication to one’s nation. Here we see that the pain caused by Justin Trudeau is shared by more than just our Anglo-Canadian community.
 
“Canadian identity is freedom to practice what you believe in,” he continues, adding an important caveat: “in your room, without imposing on others.”
 
Brad: Right…do whatever you want in the privacy of your own home, but do not attempt to integrate your archaic religious ways into the institutions which define our identity.
 
But of course, they will. That’s what fundamentalism is all about, regardless of its form. Cast-in-stone, immutable, never-changing. That’s all we have seen from Amira Elghawaby and her ilk. As long as this remains. so will the resulting social discord  which results.