Religious Accommodation

The Week In Review: When Rights Collide, Seek Common Sense

Marni Soupcoff | Posted 03.21.2014 | Canada
Marni Soupcoff

The collective freakout Canadian commentators seem to be having about a collision of religious and gender rights is overblown. Yes, some decisions must be made that won't please everyone. But usually the people involved can figure things out sensibly, without human rights commissions or TV commentators dictating the correct answers. Because realistically, those answers will differ in each case. If we concentrate more on protecting the overarching right of individuals to act as they see fit, then the complicated calculations (Does gender trump religion? Does creed trump sexual orientation?) will take care of themselves.

At York University: Is the Issue Religious Accommodation or Gender Harassment?

Shahla Khan Salter | Posted 03.19.2014 | Canada
Shahla Khan Salter

By demanding a male student have no interaction with female students didn't the university administration disregard the right of female students to full and equal status at York University? Didn't the university administration fail in its duty to make efforts to protect the female students from gender discrimination?

Why I Said No To Gender Segregation at York

Paul Grayson | Posted 03.19.2014 | Canada
Paul Grayson

For the past week, York University has been widely criticized for the way it handled a male student's request for a religious accommodation so that he would not be required to interact with female students in his class. I denied the request because it infringed upon women's right to be treated with respect and as equals. In the end, the student accepted my decision and completed the assignment with other students, including female ones. Despite this resolution, the university continued to insist that the accommodation be granted. As a result, the public has soundly and justifiably criticized the university administration.

Why Did York University Throw Women Under the Bus?

Anne Theriault | Posted 03.12.2014 | Canada Living
Anne Theriault

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.

School Defends Letting Student Skip Class Because It Had Too Many Women

CBC | Posted 03.12.2014 | Canada

An official with York University in Toronto says although a male student asked to be excused from a group project with women for religious reasons, ...

Professor Denies Student Request To Be Separated From Women

The Huffington Post Canada | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada

A York University professor is refusing to let a student skip a group project because there are too many women involved in it -- a decision that is re...

Québec Misinterprets Open Secularism

Doug Thomas | Posted 10.21.2013 | Canada Politics
Doug Thomas

In the wake of yesterday's mind-boggling announcement out of Quebec, we must ask: Why is there the need to accommodate religion in this way? I have never quite figured out how someone else's attire affects my philosophy. Seeing a man wearing a kippa has never pressured me to consider Judaism as an option for my personal philosophy.