Canadian CAIR Welcomes Decision on Kirpans in Quebec

March 2, 2006

Source: CAIR-CAN Press Release

On March 2, 2006 a CAIR-CAN Press Release reported, "The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) welcomes the decision from the Supreme Court of Canada that upholds religious freedom by overturning a ban on the Sikh ceremonial dagger in Quebec schools. 'Today's Supreme Court decision is a strong statement protecting religious freedom in educational settings,' says Riad Saloojee, the Executive Director of CAIR-CAN. 'This decision gives hope to many Muslims who have also faced restrictions on their religious practices in schools,' he added. In a unanimous 8-0 decision rendered today, the Supreme Court overturned a ban by the Quebec Court of Appeal on the Kirpan, saying that 'religious tolerance is a very important value of Canadian society” and that accommodating the kirpan “demonstrates the importance that our society attaches to protecting freedom of religion and to showing respect for its minorities.' While the ruling relates only to the Kirpan in educational settings, it is likely to be reassuring for many Canadian Muslims, particularly those in Quebec, notes Halima Mautbur, CAIR-CAN’s human rights coordinator."