Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sikh Ceremonial Dagger

I just read this news article on CBC.ca, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation web site. Here are the first two paragraphs to give you an idea of what's happening.

"A Montreal boy can now wear his Sikh ceremonial dagger in the classroom after Canada's top court unanimously overturned a ban on the kirpan.

In its 8-0 judgment, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday that a total ban infringed on Gurbaj Singh Multani's guarantees of religious freedom under the Charter of Rights."


So what they are saying is that it's OK to bring a knife to school? Here's more.

"Manjeet Singh, the Sikh chaplain at McGill and Concordia universities, who also assisted Gurbaj Singh's legal team, said baptized Sikhs believed the kirpan is a symbol of courage, freedom and responsibility to stand up for their rights.

"It is one of the five articles of faith that every baptized Sikh is supposed to have on their person, all the time," said Manjeet Singh."


So what about on airplanes? How do baptized Sikhs get this knife through security? I'm guessing they don't and that it's not a big deal to them because they understand the circumstances of todays world. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt there. I would think that bringing a knife into school would fit into the same category.

I don't think anyone is saying that because a Sikh boy brings a knife into school that he's going to use it but a potential weapon is now in the school that anyone could have access to. This puts Sikhs in as much danger as Christians or Muslims or Athiests or Jews or anyone else.

Check out section 2 of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Fundamental Freedoms

Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

  1. freedom of conscience and religion;
  2. freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
  3. freedom of peaceful assembly; and
  4. freedom of association.
You can read the rest here at a Government of Canada site. That link goes on to say this:
"Even though these freedoms are very important, governments can sometimes limit them. For example, laws against pornography and hate propaganda are reasonable limits on freedom of expression because they prevent harm to individuals and groups."

I know I'm just a musician but it would seem to me that not allowing this ceremonial dagger into school would be a reasonable limit because it prevents "possible harm to individuals and groups." Sometimes I wish I understood politics better so that this kind of stuff would make more sense.



9 comments:

Krista Lavender 3/02/2006 4:31 PM  

You may not say the Lord's Prayer in school any longer, but by all means, bring your religious weaponry to class! Seems a little backwards to me.

Ever heard of bullying? Yeah, weapons on the playground no matter whose hand they are in, or what religious reason they have for being there, not a good idea in my opinion.

Scary.

David Wozney 3/02/2006 5:09 PM  

Can Christians wear swords in sheaths?

Jesus said unto the apostles: "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one". (Luke 22:36)

Jesus instructed Peter: "Put up thy sword into the sheath". (John 18:11)

Jesus said: "That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". (Matthew 16:18)

Lindsay 3/02/2006 11:33 PM  

Wow, I can't believe they actually won this case...it's called a 'ceremonial' dagger, and last time I checked school was not a ceremonial occasion!

Darcy's Mama 3/03/2006 11:09 AM  

This really troubles me a lot. i think Krista has raised some excellent points. If prayer in school is not an acceptable form of religious expression, how can a weapon be acceptable?

How can weapons of any sort be allowed at school for any reason?

I'm working with a girl right now who is being bullied at school. It would really scare me if I thought there was a kid at her school with one of these weapons.

It's just too dangerous in today's society to allow this to happen.

What can we do?

Alexis 3/03/2006 11:49 AM  

Wow it is a very scary thought to think that weapons like this can be legally allowed in our schools.

I have a friend who is a teacher at one of our high schools and a few years ago after a shooting in a Toronto school she asked her students how hard or easy was it for them to get a gun. She was alarmed that in a Cambridge school to learn she could get a gun within minutes if she really wanted one.

Upon a locker searh many weapons were found and taken away. No charges were laid. No guns were found in the lockers but apparently there are kids carring them.

Our government has allowed for the Lord's prayer to be taken out of our schools, but allow weapons.

Recently in my bible study a women shared that her granddaughter was disturbed that her highschool was going to allow a prayer room for those whom need to leave during the day for prayer periods. She was working with her granddaughter whom is shy to build her courage about her faith and to ask for the same time be given to allow her to go and read her bible.

I think it is important to have freedom of rights but where do you draw the line. When does the freedom start to oppose a threat to others.

I am with Lindsay about ceremonial occasions, we are not allowed to celebrate any christian holidays at school any more, Christmas, Easter, and so forth. But we can allow ceremonial daggers. What is next?

I am also with Sue, What can we do?

We need to take action to protect the children of todays society.

glennlavender 3/03/2006 3:01 PM  

David Wozney,

I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, so for me and possibly others could you explain your comment? I'm having trouble understanding what you are trying to say.

Thanks!!

Dale 3/06/2006 2:14 PM  

All I can say is "wow!" Weapons in the classroom is not a good idea no matter what religious faith you claim. I'm with Krista on this one. "You may not say the Lord's Prayer in school any longer, but by all means, bring your religious weaponry to class! Seems a little backwards to me."

Princess,  4/27/2006 5:16 PM  

This is terribly backwards. I agree with you, school is not a religious ceremony this no need for the weapon. Why not have a plastic replica if this is so important? What if this weapon is used on the person carrying it? It is real weapon and if they are not allowed to carry it on the plane, then they should not be allowed to carry it in the schools. Same reason of safely! Why is it that so many immigrants can come in and change our laws while our spineless polititians sit by and allow it? If you cannot abide by the laws of the land then go back to our own country. I have no right to come into yours and change your laws, therefore, respect mine please. No Lord's prayer but by all means bring your religious daggers in!!!!

John 2/05/2007 6:03 AM  

I find it upsetting that this was allowed to get thru. I also was upset when I heard the case of the RCMP officer who was allowed to wear a turban agenst RCMP tradition. Do you honestly think that if we were in there society that they would make exceptions for us? Weapons no matter what there purpose have no place in a school. Students are not even allowed to carry a small pocket knife, I love Canada and I think it is wonderful we live in such a free and excepting nation but sometimes we take things to far trying to accommodate everyone’s views and beliefs you have to draw the line at some point.

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