TORONTO - The Muslim Canadian Congress has criticized the proposal by the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario to fund private religious schools by diverting funds away from the public education system.
The MCC stands for the separation of religion and state. Religious organizations have no role to play when government services are provided to the public. In every sphere of life where government interacts with its citizens—in law making and law enforcement, in utilities, transit, public recreation, social services, and above all, in education—religion is as irrelevant as gender or race.
For this reason the MCC demands that every province in Canada should have a single public school system, available to every child. We believe that only a single unified school systems should be supported by tax dollars.
MCC supports equal opportunity in education for all Canadian children. The same high quality of education must be available to all. Every child has the right to a fully trained and qualified teacher, a professionally developed curriculum, a complete range of facilities and activities, an education, which emphasizes the challenges we can foresee, and the need for training in mathematics, sciences, modern technology, and languages. An education with an uncompromising commitment to excellence, the will to develop new methods and strategies, always to improve, never to be complacent or satisfied. MCC believes that segregated schools cannot and do not meet these standards.
MCC insists that immigrant parents do not have the right to deny their children full access to the opportunities that are available to all Canadians. Every child has the right to learn with and from children of other backgrounds, to be taught the rights and duties of a Canadian citizen, to master Canada ’s official languages. Every child has the right to learn Canada’s culture, which includes history, the rights and freedoms which are embedded in the Canadian constitution, our vast and unique geography, our music, sports, literature, how Canadians do business, and how we interact with each other formally and socially.
Immigrants who have chosen Canada must allow their
children to become Canadian.
MCC cannot support schools which undermine the values that we and other Canadians cherish. If a school wishes to promote discrimination against women, or against people of other races or religions, if it is not totally committed to our democratic and pluralistic society, then MCC is vehemently opposed. Such schools should not even exist—let alone collect public money. Such schools are no place for the children of moderate Muslims.
The values which are important to progressive Muslims are best taught and learned in public school systems. Where the children of Muslim parents have special needs—for example, space for prayer, observing Ramadan, appropriate gym clothing--public schools are willing to make reasonable arrangements.
The Muslim Canadian Congress does not want to see tax
dollars taken from public schools to support segregated
schools. We are committed to work toward a unified
education system, providing equal opportunity to all