Montreal Gazette – April 14, 2011
A Dorval mosque that has been plagued by vandalism in the past had two windows and several doors broken during an overnight break-in. “I’m not sure if it was thieves or vandals,” said Mehmet Deger, president of the Dorval Mosque. “But it’s very upsetting to our members when it happens.”
He said the culprits broke in through a fire exit door and stole a computer. But they also used some kind of slingshot to fire steel bolts through a couple of windows, including a large picture window. In 2009, the mosque was vandalized four times, usually with graffiti painted on walls. The last time it was vandalized was in September 2009. The mosque has about 2,000 members and has been operating since 1994.
Schools in Québec are now required to note the passage of holidays like Eid al-Adha, Hanukkah, Diwali and the birth of Sikh guru Nanak. These dates are part of a controversial new course on ethics and religious culture making its debut in classrooms this fall. One school, Loyola High School in Montreal, is going to court in protest. More than 600 parents at the private Catholic school have requested exemptions to allow their children to opt out of the course. The school’s principal, Paul Donovan has stated that “if you’re going to allow Catholic schools to exist, then you have to allow them to be Catholic.”
Jean-Pierre Proulx, a University of Montreal education professor who advised the provincial government on the new course, stated, “We’re not aiming to form good Catholics or good Protestant or good Jews. We want to form good cultivated citizens, who are tolerant and able to enter into dialogue with others.”
The Dalai Lama will travel to the province next year to show his enthusiasm for the ethics and religious culture class.
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