SECOND UPDATE: Ezra Levant gives his evidence here. The mainstream media reports are, predictably, inaccurate.
UPDATE: The Globe and Mail says that Ezra Levant is wrong about this (thanks to James). We shall see if Levant comes back with more information.
“What kind of school board sends around a memo allowing children to be exempt from Remembrance Day ceremonies, just weeks after terrorist murders of two Canadian Forces soldiers, including one standing guard at the war memorial?” What kind indeed? If expressions of patriotism are offensive to a group, that group should be monitored and challenged to adopt the values of the nations, not coddled and accommodated.
“Lest only some of us forget,” by Ezra Levant, QMI Agency, November 10, 2014 (thanks to The Truth):
It’s Remembrance Day. But not for everyone. The Greater Essex County District School Board in Ontario circulated an e-mail to the 75 schools it runs in places like Windsor and Leamington. The memo says teachers should be preparedto [sic] exempt Muslim students from Remembrance Day.
“Some families may be reluctant to have their children attend your location municipality’s ceremonies. Please note that meaningful alternate activities should be provided at the schools for those families who do not wish their children to participate in any Remembrance Day ceremonies.”
In case you were wondering which families they might be referring to, the school board didn’t say specifically but pointed teachers to two Muslim-themed websites, including the story about the first Muslim soldier in the Canadian Forces who wore a hijab, an Islamic head covering.
But Remembrance Day is a central part of Canada. It remembers our history, and the men and women who fought and died to keep us free. It is not a dark day, an embarrassing day, a racist day or a day of shame.
It is a day of remembering why we are free, and what we stand for, and who sacrificed to make us this way.
It’s not a religious day, like Christmas. It’s a day for everyone.
It’s a disgrace that any family would object to it – especially an immigrant family who came here to benefit from our country. It would call into question the basis on which they applied for and were granted citizenship.
And even if some old bigot from a backwoods village in Pakistan or Somalia doesn’t want to respect Canada, that’s where our schools come in and teach those bigots’ kids and grandkids what it means to be Canadian.
It’s insulting that either parents or the school board thinks Remembrance Day is in any way anti-Muslim. Canada fought in the Boer War against Afrikaaners, the First World War against Germans, the Second World War against Germans and Italians and Japanese. We fought against North Korea. What on earth could possibly be objectionable to a Muslim family about any of that?
Could you imagine if a German or Japanese family objected? The obvious question would be: Do you think Hitler or Mussolini or Hirohito were right? That’s the implication of Muslim families objecting to Remembrance Day — that we were wrong….
What kind of school board sends around a memo allowing children to be exempt from Remembrance Day ceremonies, just weeks after terrorist murders of two Canadian Forces soldiers, including one standing guard at the war memorial?I’ve started a petition to the school board. I chose the website’s name carefully: www.LoveItOrLeave.ca.