Freedom of religion

Stephen Harper is creating an Office of Religious Freedom (Le Devoir, 2013-02-20). Équipe autonomiste is worried. What exactly will be its mandate? Are we in for more waste of taxpayer dollars? Value 5 of Équipe autonomiste states: “5- Respect for and maintenance of Québécois customs and traditions. The Québécois should be proud of their language, values, traditions and way of life and stand firm in the face of unreasonable demands from any pressure groups.”

Will this office be mandated to impose polygamy on Canada? Isn’t this custom allowed by some religions and, thus, part and parcel of religious freedom, even though it’s illegal on Canadian soil? Will the office gives its backing to the pro-Shari’ah network of Imam Foudil Selmoune in Brossard? Religious freedom is not an absolute right and should above all respect local customs. Wouldn’t it be better to invest the same money in an office that would defend human rights fairly and equally? Already, Quebec is being negligent by promoting girls over boys in different school programs, including one to get girls more interested in the sciences. A spokesperson said that this “positive discrimination” would enable girls to go into all fields of study, yet everyone knows that in Quebec no girls are prevented from going into the sciences. When will we have programs to encourage boys to become private secretaries or synchro swimmers?