Muslims have right to protest?

Ottawa Muslims should think twice about criticizing Pride at schools | July 06, 2023

As a Muslim parent, I strongly disagree with Mohammed Adam’s framing of the issue. Before I explain, I want to clarify that using violence or hate against any group is not  sanctioned in Islam. So, regardless of any differences, destroying property or flags is not in line with the teachings of Islam.

 

Adam is correct that the Muslims can face discrimination in different settings, but the intolerance perpetuated by some people harbouring ill feelings towards Islam cannot be equated to the protests of Muslim parents against Pride activities at schools. Issues around Pride and education are centred on political differences, and there is substantial disagreement of whether these topics need to be discussed in schools at the age level at which they are being raised.

 

Sexuality is a highly personal, moral and politically diverse discourse and it ought to be left to parents to decide what they teach their children on this topic.

 

Muslims parents, and all parents, have the right to educate their children about issues relating to morality and their personal beliefs. Their protest against Pride activities is simply in opposition to those rights being taken away from them. No Muslim is discriminating against anyone by taking their child out of school when Pride is celebrated. In fact, it is the most peaceful and respectful way of showing they disagree with the discourse.

 

Adam also argues that Ramadan is celebrated in schools and in the same way Pride should be allowed to be celebrated. If schools state on their calendars or mention that Ramadan is being held during a particular month, along with other religious holidays, that hardly qualifies as “celebrating.” Flags are not being erected, and people who are not Muslim are not being forced to read the Qur’an or observe fasting. If anyone wants to celebrate Ramadan, they can go to a mosque or private event. There is no moral and politically charged discussion presented that could cause discomfort to families in schools about Ramadan.

 

In Canada, people have the right to peaceful protest and raise concerns about issues that affect their families and communities. Muslims and parents from across different faiths are exercising that freedom and will continue to do so.

 

Talha Yaad, Vanier

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