CNW: Public Education Fairness Network Welcomes Free Vote

Comment on the press release below from the “Public Education Fairness Network”:

Canada is considering opening public education to faith-based Islamic schools, based on its current inclusion of Catholic schools in public education. Canada, like many European countries, has supported religious-based schools through public education.   Many European school systems extended this policy to Islamic schools over the last generation, only to discover they had funded radical madrassas. Germany is currently reconsidering the entire project of funding Islamic schools because their experience showed that these schools became part of the radicalization process pursued by the Muslim Brotherhood throughout Europe. In fact, this documented European experience with funding Islamic schools is an important reason for the concern of the founders of the Stop the Madrassa Coalition, and of our national group, Citizens for American Values in Public Education.

As usual, please note that we support the teaching of Arabic in regular secular schools as a standard elective, and that it is the supporters of KGIA who equate Arab and Muslim, Arabic and Islam, not us.

That the UJA-Federation of Greater Toronto is a leader in this dangerously naive effort to obtain public funding for Islamic schools is reprehensible. Ample evidence exists of the serious risks of institutionalizing and legitimizing radical Islamic madrassas in public schools using the European model. Does this policy reflect UJA-Federation policy in the United States as well?

Public Education Fairness Network Welcomes Free Vote

TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ – The Public Education Fairness Network welcomes
the possibility of a free vote in the Ontario Legislature on the inclusion of
non-Catholic faith-based schools in the public education system. A free vote
means that members of the legislature will not be bound by party positions
when the vote takes place.
“We look forward to a detailed Legislature discussion on this issue in
order to demonstrate the benefits to Ontario of inclusive public education,”
said M.D. Khalid, Director of the Islamic Society of North America – Canada.
“We hope that an open vote will help build understanding and bring polarized
positions closer together, without inflammatory language.”
“We understand that public education fairness is an appropriate but
complex subject to explain during an election campaign and that greater public
understanding is essential,” said Shahen Mirakian. “That’s why continued sober
discussion in another forum is a positive step.”
At the same time, PEFN reiterated its commitment to public education
fairness and its opposition to the status quo which supports more than 650,000
students in Catholic schools in public education system, but excludes 53,000
students from other faith-based schools.
“There is no statute of limitations on the quest for fairness. The
discussion has been underway for four decades, and now it’s clearly on the
public’s radar. It transcends this election campaign and will continue until
fairness is achieved,” noted UJA Federation Vice-Chair David Koschitzky.
For further information: Howard English, UJA Federation of Greater
Toronto, (416) 631-5735 (office), (416) 274-8461 (cell), henglish@ujafed.org;
Shahen Mirakian, ARS Armenian Day School, Toronto, (416) 865-7048 (office),
(416) 878-9776 (cell), shahen.mirakian@mcmbm.com

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