Name: Salman Hasan
In an effort to promote inter-group understanding and diversify, the province of Quebec instituted a secular, mandatory ethics and religious culture program in grade 1 to 11 across the province. The purpose of this course, among other things, was to educate students about religions and cultures that contributed to the provinces heritage, including those that might be different from their own. A few families objected to their kid being taught this course because they argued it interfered with their freedom of children and that there is only one true way of god. These families also argued that it infringed on the charter of rights: ‘’Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.’’ These parents demanded that the government exempt their children from this course and also to prevent it from being taught in the school’s curriculum. These rights of the parents are certainly true, but does this course really violate these rights? I believe the government has made the right decision to not remove this course, as it will introduce these young students to religion practices and traditions from across the world, which will help them interact with different faiths within the society. They also argue that, this course is also acceptable because it does not violate Charter rights. The government was able to provide many strong reasons to why this course belongs in the curriculum. These parents have tried many times, and have failed in all of their attempts to get rid of this controversial course.
While the government accepts that the parents have a sincere belief in the need to pass on the precepts of their religion to their children, the government finds that this Ethnics and Religion course does not in any way interfere with this obligation in an objective way; therefore, the freedom of religion of the parents was not violated. Parents can teach their children about their own religion, buts it’s also important to understand other cultures as well. In addition, a reason proving why this course is acceptable and should be taught is the fact that this course will introduce students to religious practices, and traditions from across the world. I believe learning about other religions and traditions will help students understand the world around them better. Furthermore, by learning about different religions, students will learn how to interact with different faiths within the society. Canada is a culturally diverse nation, home to a variety of ethnic groups and traditions. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to have a basic concept of the belief systems of other people around us. ‘’My kids go to an English school in Quebec. The religion course is called Ethics. It is used to teach the kids that it is perfectly acceptable that other people have different ways of thinking and still get along.’’ , said the mother of two kids currently attending this course. It is very important for these young students to be able to get along with people of different backgrounds, not only will it minimize racism and bring peace to the nation in the kind future, but it will also be a way of fostering harmonious relations among children of different backgrounds. With the world we live in today, especially in Canada, it is a necessity to understand others religion and culture in order to survive; that being said, I believe that this Ethics course should be enforced and required to take.
The Charter also recognizes equality rights which states to ‘’provide equal treatment under the law to ensure non-discrimination on grounds such as age, gender, race, etc.’’ This course should remain in schools across Quebec because it does not infringe on these charter rights. "Exposing children to a comprehensive presentation of various religions without forcing the children to join them does not constitute an indoctrination of students