Canadian society faced another challenge this past month as a school district in suburban Toronto wrestled with the accommodation of Muslim prayers on Fridays even as critics called for suspension of all such religious services on school grounds.
School board trustees veered back and forth between addressing fears that student sermons would cross over into hate speech and addressing opposite fears that school authorities would presume to censor students.
A compromise solution was passed to allow students to write their own sermons, but they had to be submitted in advance to the principal, and a teacher would continue to monitor the prayer time. But the trustees have asked staff to come up with a policy that will please at least more of the unhappy people in Peel District.
Many Canadians might feel that we’re going back to the future. Didn’t we wrestle with school prayer a generation ago, and decide, from coast to coast to coast, to take it out of public schools? Are our new Muslim neighbours threatening now to turn back the clock on progressive Canada?
Yes, no, and no.
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