This story out of Halifax is really bothering me.
Sonja Power is a 17-year-old girl who was told her Aikido class would be divided by gender, men on one side, women on the other, in order to accommodate a Muslim man who enrolled in the class.
The class was run out of the Lakeside Community Centre, owned by the city of Halifax. The city and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission both supported this gender segregation.
All of that bugs me, but it was what Sonja and her mother, Michele Walsh, told Sun News was the reaction of the sensei when they complained.
“You better get used to it because this is going to happen more and more in Canada,” is how Walsh remembers sensei Steve Nickerson responding.
|Sonja Power and Michele Walsh|
Gender segregation and other unreasonable accommodations will happen more and more, but not because I want it or you want it. It will happen because of cowardly political leaders and bizarre, twisted human rights commissions that no longer believe in real human rights.
Look at the York University decision.
A male Muslim student in an online course that required some group work asked not to work with women.
This wasn't a group program that required contact, he wouldn't have to hug the women or even be alone with them.
The professor said no, the student thought about the professor’s reasoning and the student decided the prof was right.
The university administration and the Liberal provincial government say the prof is wrong and the student must be accommodated.
Another victory for gender apartheid.
These two accommodations on their own will not change the face of Canada, but as they say on the infomercials — wait, there’s more.
We already have what are essentially Muslim-only swims at public pools across Canada.
Windows are blacked out, change rooms are locked and male lifeguards relieved of duty so men and women cannot swim together nor see each other.
It’s an Islamic accommodation, one that happens across the country, including my neighbourhood.
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that Muslim women can testify in court with veils over their faces, denying the accused the right to face their accuser in an open court.
In Canada, the right to a fair trial is secondary to religious accommodation.
We allow veiled voting which can only encourage voter fraud. The Conservatives did try to ban this when the issue came up a few years ago, but that was during their minority government days and the Liberals and NDP blocked it.
Canada, and the western world in general, needs to find its backbone, it needs to regain its cultural confidence that stood for basic rights for all.
In the 1840s, when Sir Charles Napier was governing a large part of India, he is said to have witnessed an attempt to practice suttee, the burning of a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre. His response could instruct us today in standing up for our principles.
“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them.
“Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”
We need to find that backbone again before Canada is no longer recognizable.