A dozen Muslim families, who recently arrived in Canada, have told the Louis Riel School Division they want their children excused from compulsory elementary school music and co-ed physical education programs for religious and cultural reasons.
"This is one of our realities in Manitoba now, as a result of immigration," said superintendent Terry Borys.
"We were faced with some families who were really adamant about this. Music was not part of the cultural reality," he said.
The families accept physical education, as long as the boys and girls have separate classes, but do not want their kids exposed to singing or playing musical instruments Borys said.
The division has suggested kids could do a writing project to satisfy the music requirements of the arts curriculum, he said.
However, a local Muslim leader says there is no reason for little kids to be held out of music or phys-ed classes on religious and cultural grounds.
This kind of behaviour makes me think that some, perhaps many, Muslim immigrants are more akin to missionaries than immigrants, providing a vanguard for the inevitable delivery of Canada to Islam. And by the looks of things they've got momentum on their side as the Muslim population in Canada is expected to triple by 2030 to comprise 6.6% of the national total.
I don't see much value in Muslim immigration and a lot of this has to do with the way many of them act in the west. Considering cultural differences there are many people the world over who are better suited to Canada than Muslims. I don't see why we bother. Frankly, I think it is out of fear that the government doesn't take steps to curtail Muslim immigration even though I can guarantee the majority of the population would approve if it did so.
There are plenty of people ready to say that Muslims integrate will into Canadian society but what is that based on? Having a job and paying taxes? In this country we have set our expectations so low for what we consider "integrated" that to go any lower would mean that all one has to do to be considered a Canadian is to be in the country and breath the air.
The reality is we don't integrate our immigrants. We accommodate them and accommodation is not integration.