Plan International/Seydou Dolo
Edmonton MP Garnett Genuis said there are too many people who have an "allergy to religion."
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Rather than close the Global Affairs Canada's Office of Religious Freedom, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion should seize the opportunity to transform it into a real force for change for all excluded minorities in developing countries.
Canadian atheists are often confronted by misinformation about their right to freedom from religion. To coerce someone to follow a religion is to deny that person freedom of religion. If that person is a non-believer, freedom of religion then means the right to not believe-freedom from religion.
When 17 per cent of the world's sovereign nations commit grave violations against human beings of any philosophy and only 8 per cent treat people of any philosophy as free and equal, we must speak out. Much of our commentary must be directed to our own imperfect record on this universal human rights issue.
Most Canadians probably do not know what blasphemy is, let alone that publishing blasphemous materials is still a criminal offence in this country. But there is some irony here, because the Canadian government publicly defends the freedom to publish cartoons that mock a religious figure and looks abroad to protect religious minorities from oppression while at the same time punishing that at home.
Secular Connexion Séculaire (SCS) and Centre for Inquiry Canada (CFI) have been tracking with dismay the Harper government's abandoning the defence of most human rights in order to focus exclusively on its concerns for the rights of religious minorities. Four of the six consultants to whom the government spoke were Christian and none were Muslim, Humanist.
The Harper government is a smoke and mirror government that confuses transparency with murkiness and should realize that such an approach usually results in the smoke smudging the mirror. To begin wit...
On Tuesday, the Harper government announced the creation of the Canadian Office of Religious Freedom, tasked with the humble goal of "promoting freedom of religion or belief around the world." It says something about the obsessively, nervously secular character of Canadian politics that it's possible to stir up religious controversy merely by acknowledging religion exists. Regardless of how often we good, secular Canadians do it, exercising freedom of religion is also the world's ultimate calibration test of all other freedoms.
Many comments regarding the appropriateness and potential effectiveness of the Canadian Office of Religious Freedom have been made; however, with the exception of a few reporters, no one has noted the exclusion of Secular Humanist or atheist organizations from whatever consultation that occurred. The frosting on that cake was the failure to invite representatives from any Secular Humanist organizations to the press conference formally announcing the creation of the office and the appointment of Dr. Andrew Bennett as its ambassador.
It has been almost two years since Stephen Harper announced his government would establish an Office of Religious Freedom to monitor the safety of religious minorities around the world. It was during...
MAPLE, Ont. - A Ukrainian-Catholic has been picked to lead a new federal office with a mandate to promote religious tolerance globally, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Tuesday followed through on...
OTTAWA - The Harper government is planning to announce its long-awaited Office of Religious Freedom in an event at a Toronto-area mosque next Tuesday.The announcement — which the government refused to...
WASHINGTON - Canada's foreign affairs minister was the keynote speaker Thursday at an event in the U.S. capital honouring religious freedom, forcefully defending his government's strong support of Isr...
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will be the main speaker at a Washington, D.C., event celebrating religious freedom Thursday night to promote Canada's planned Office of Religious Freedom. But the...