An article published in the Globe and Mail last week lulled readers into thinking that India is struggling to contain a growing Hindu fascist movement, carelessly employing reductionism and omission to present a distorted view of a country that is gaining economic and cultural importance for Canada.
Only days ago, news leaked that Penguin Books India had quietly settled a 2011 lawsuit filed against it by a conservative Indian education reform group, which required the publisher to withdraw and destroy all available copies of the Indian edition of University of Chicago professor Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus: An Alternative History.
I honestly can't think of a major religion that forbids men from meeting in public with a group of women. And honestly, if this restriction existed, how would you even function in the world? Regardless of whether the student's request is legitimate, let's talk about the fact that certain people quite high up in the university's food chain were willing to grant the accommodation that the student was seeking. A secular university -- I seriously cannot stress that point enough -- was more than willing to make an exception based on a religious belief that women were ultimately so different from men that the two genders could not interact in public.
I understand the importance of free thought and the necessity for societies to allow for variant perceptions on God including atheism. It is for this reason that I, as a religious person, strongly advocate for freedom of religion and decry these nations who persecute those who, in the process of thought, arrive at different perspectives.
Imagine your child's favourite teacher. This teacher is known to provide her students with an enriched classroom. Now imagine that this exemplary teacher is a person who subscribes to a religious faith for which she dresses in a particular fashion. Should she remove the outward signs of her faith so that she can keep teaching?
At their age, the best explanation I can give my kids is that we are Muslim and that's why we don't celebrate Christmas. I know that as they get older, I can get into more detail but for now, that will have to suffice. We still wish our friends and neighbours who celebrate a Merry Christmas just as they wish us a Happy Eid when it's our turn and I hope to pass on this respect for other holidays and faiths to our children.
I refuse to be part of any organized Christian sect because my problem, I realized, isn't with God. It's with a lot of his followers. It's why I ended up leaving the church a few years ago. It's why I struggle so much with hatred and disgust when it comes to Christianity.But it changes at Christmas time.
Quebec's Muslim women have been threatened -- violence against veiled women has increased dramatically since the Charter debate was introduced. In Quebec, the issue of choice and self-determination around the veil is critical. It would seem, then, that in matters of fashion, religion, and secularism, Montreal's Muslim women are being held to a higher standard by their provincial government. Montreal's young Hijabistas -- and those who support them -- told us what the veil means to them.
There is a problem with the church today -- a problem that runs deep and wide and long. It's created a chasm actually and an exodus. It's a problem sourced by a history of church practices and traditions that serve to verify its authenticity as real and overt. It's a problem all right. And that problem is shaming, specifically the shaming of people, both Christian and otherwise.
Halloween celebrations are cancelled at one Ontario school. No candy, no costumes, no fun. The reasoning behind this puzzling decision is supposedly one of inclusiveness, according to school administrators. The decision of the school board to cave in to these demands is political correctness on steroids.
Here is a link to Harvard University Psychology Professor Steven Pinker's now "infamous" essay in the New Republic titled "Science Is Not Your Enemy." "Geeze, who in their right mind would think that science is their enemy?" Memo to self, "Write an essay some day called "The Christian faith is not your enemy."
Years ago I found out that someone I love is gay. I was instructed to love the sinner and hate his sin. My fidgeting became loud and urgent. How could I be part of a community that knowingly marginalized? I watched his faith circle adjust to the news of his homosexuality. Christianity framed our world in a way that created this need for a period of mourning over something sacred. Personal. None of our goddamn business.
Rex Murphy helped shape the way I think. He was a shining example of the type of strong rhetorician that this country rarely produces. Now, he openly deals in hateful diatribes cast down from the pages of the National Post. This means he has become what his critics have incorrectly accused him of being all along: a shallow, reactionary demagogue. And his latest piece will only prove them right.
I was born, baptised and confirmed a Catholic, but I could never relate to the Church. For four straight weeks I attended Father John's 7 a.m. Mass at Saints Peter and Paul in Vancouver in addition to regular Sunday morning Mass. The truth is I knew after my first Mass that I had found my priest at long last.
Christians don't often get a lot of positive reinforcement out of Hollywood, and so when we do, it's a big deal. And so when the producers of the new Superman movie decided to make Christian themes part of the media promotion talking points, it is no wonder CBN News sent the "Miss America" of broadcast journalism, Wendy Griffith, to interview the director and cast of "Man of Steel."
On the heels of the Quebec Soccer Federation banning children from wearing turbans while playing in kiddie league games, the Province of Quebec has extended the ban to include cowboy hats being worn anywhere in public by adults or children. "Cowboy hats are destroying our natural French love of toques," said Premier Pauline Marois, making the announcement from the steps of the Assemblee Nationale (National Assembly) in Quebec City, wearing a green paisley beret to match her business suit.
When you first heard about the statement of Chiheb Esseghaier -- one of the men charged with plotting a terror attack against a Via Rail train -- that he did not recognize the authority of the Criminal Code because "it is not holy book", how did you respond? The fact is that in a broad, general way, it is not enough for us to see the Criminal Code as morally binding because it is the law of the land. We must go beyond that assertion. We must understand it to be -- again, in a broad and general manner -- the law of the land because it reflects a greater, moral standard that is incumbent upon all humanity.