Friday, March 03, 2006

Kirpan Ruling Makes Sense

The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that a blanket ban by any school on carrying a kirpan to classrooms is an infringement on the constitutional right to freedom of religion. Such a ruling has thrown the usual arguments about freedom of religion and multiculturalism on one hand, and public safety on the other.

I find that opponents of this ruling, touting the kirpan as a weapon and threat, forget one important thing. The Supreme Court did not prohibit schools from placing restrictions on the kirpan. A school can ask that the kirpan be blunt, limited in size, sheathed in sealed cases or clothing, and worn underneath clothing. Such restrictions are not banned by the Court, rather, the Court struck down the practice of issuing blanket bans on kirpans.

As a Muslim, I always support such rulings in favor of multiculturalism. It can be remembered, that few years ago, opponents opposed giving Sikh RCMP officers the right to wear turbans, all in the name of tradition and culture and public safety. I ask them, have we lost anything now that these officers wear turbans?

To use the kirpan as a weapon, a Sikh will have to bring it out from under his clothes, break the seal, take it out and then use it. There is plenty of time to run away before that happens. If he brings it to school unsealed and ready to attack, he will be breaking the conditions. Therefore the Supreme Court rulings make sense. Similar arguments can now be made by women who wear the jilbab, burkha, or other multicultural clothing, when it comes to rulings against their freedom to wear such clothes.

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3 comments:

Clown Party of Canada said...

" A school can ask that the kirpan be blunt, limited in size, sheathed in sealed cases or clothing, and worn underneath clothing. Such restrictions are not banned by the Court, rather, the Court struck down the practice of issuing blanket bans on kirpans."

Very good post and explaination - thank you. I agree with you on this matter. This is one area in which I think all Canadians can agree upon, acccording to your comments. {I think the only exception should be in prisons - just a thougt)

It can also be encouraging to christians in that now they can not be fired from a job for having a cross on their clothing.

Anonymous said...

What I am worried about is Islamic people. What if they go to court tomorrow saying that they have a right to wear an explosive-jacket or a bomb-in-a-jacket because mohammad and koran say so?

mezba said...

The Crown will just get a well known and respected Canadian imam who will say the whole argument is rubbish and the case will be thrown out of court.

In Florida one lady wanted to wear a veil covering her whole face while taking the driver's license picture, arguing it was in her religion. The state just got respected imams and US clerics to say this is not so. Case dismissed.