The Lynch List, 02-Mar-2010

Here we go…

First: Never fear! The burka debate will be decided once and for all by the ones most qualified to preserve and defend our human rights. While I try to extract my tongue from my cheek, I take solace in the fact that I don’t have a dog in this race. I mean, what do you get when you combine repressive Islam and its enablers, the Quebec language police, and a Human Rights Commission?

The student, an Egyptian who is a permanent resident of Canada and who wears a veil over her face known as a niqab, apparently refused to reveal her face in class and insisted male students not face her, according to La Presse.

The Cégep tried various ways to accommodate the woman between February and November 2009. But the situation became tense and created problems at the school.

Roger Giroux, the director of francization with the Quebec Department of Immigration, made several requests to the woman for her to remove the veil at the risk of being expelled. She refused and insisted that Giroux’s ultimatum be confirmed in writing. Giroux informed the woman in a letter that she was indeed required to remove her niqab in order to participate in the class, since part of the objective of the class is to encourage interaction with other students.

The woman was informed, however, that she could take the same class on the Internet.

The woman has since then apparently complained to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which will study the complaint in the coming months, La Presse said.

Second, to hell with remediation.  A Grimsby man is launching a complaint over the distribution of Gideon bibles in elementary schools. The school board, upon being notified of the complaint, changed its policy to bar the distribution during school hours, but that wasn’t enough:

While aware of the Chouinards’ complaint, the rules were changed to better reflect the diversity of Niagara and to be more inclusive of different religious groups in the region, board spokesman Brett Sweeney said.

Despite the change in policy, Chouinard said he’s still planning on pursuing his human rights challenge for the 12 years the board did funnel bibles through schools.

While I agree that the Gideons shouldn’t be using tax-funded facilities and services to distribute ideological material to children, it cannot be ignored that this is exactly what any public school system is designed to do.

Third, Some commentary on the OHRC’s “Right to Housing” by Scaramouche.

It seems to me that one of the reasons why Babsy is so intent on finding new “rights” for us–aside from it being a way of keeping her and all the other busy little OHRC beavers busy and justifying their generous salaries–is so we’ll be so delighted with all our new “rights” we won’t notice that our most valuable old right, the right to free expression, has become officially defunct.

Finally, BCF points out that the BC Civil Liberties Association has applied for intervenor status in the Lemire appeal. I may not always agree with the positions of the BCCL, but it’s obvious which side they will come to bat for in this one.


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